After being on a boat on a bright sunny day for a couple hours; SILs, Cuz C, Meep & I were more than ready for Buck A Shuck at Goldfish and some drinks~ Buck A Shuck was not on the menus 2 years ago, when I still lived in Vancouver; but it seems to be a popular offering at lots of Seafood establishments downtown.
The restaurant had pretty contemporary decor and was surprisingly big with a really nice patio. That being said, Buck a Shuck and Happy Hour dishes were only offered at the bar/lounge, which was not very big.
The Happy Hour was short & concise (food wise) but the drinks menu was extensive, with a good range of cocktails, beers & wine.
Sockeye Salmon Sashimi $4
served with yuzu soy sauce & wasabi mayo
3 tiny slivers of really fresh sockeye salmon. It was actually pretty good but I could not really taste all the different flavours I was expecting from the yuzu, soy & wasabi. The yuzu did give a nice acidity to the sashimi, but the prominent flavour was the mayo and sashimi.
Tuna Poke $4
Marinated Ahi & Hamachi w avocado
Most underwhelming dish of the night. The poke was underseasoned and the whole dish was one dimensional and boring. I don’t mind boring if it tasted good but this was flat. The taro chips were not very good either.
Robato Grilled Pork Ribs $5
in Hoisin BBQ sauce
There is no grill flavour on the ribs at all. It was more like braised short ribs with soft tender fall-off-the-bone meat. Every bite was infused with the hoisin BBQ sauce that was sweet and salty. Pretty tasty and quite addictive.
2 Dim Sum @$3 each
Prawn & Shrimp Dumplings
Pretty pedestrian. I don’t know why they would try attempting dim sum items especially when diners in Vancouver are pretty well versed in Asian cuisine. The shrimp dumpling was just the typical siu mai drizzled with soy sauce. The prawn dumpling was just har gow, with thick doughy skin. Both versions were pretty mediocre.
3 Lobster Flatbread @$8 each
w Bechamel, tomato & avocado
Delicious! Every single bite was delicious. Each flatbread had about half a lobster tail cut into chunks. I don’t know how they did it, but every piece of lobster I had from 3 different flatbreads were fresh, sweet, juicy and cooked close to perfection. The tomatoes got roasted and was a great complement. The avocado chunks gave the crispy flat bread a nice creaminess. The lime and chopped cilantro on top ties everything together very well.
72 Buck A Shuck $72
Fresh oysters on the half shell served with a mignonette, cocktail sauce, horseradish & lemon
The oysters were of various sizes. They all tasted fresh, a little briny and pretty darn good. The mignonette was actually quite tasteless and added nothing to the oysters. Cocktail sauce needed a tad more horseradish, it had too much ketchup in it. In the end, we were all eating the oysters w either Tobasco & lemon.
Although it did take over 15 minutes for them to bring us the Tobasco after we asked for it about 3 times.
4 Pop @ $3.75 each
2 Kokanee $ $6.25 each
Pale Ale $6.75
Italian Job $9.75
Hello Kitty $9.75
I had to order the drink because of the name. Yup, I am so Asian! But the drink itself appealed to me; lychee liquer, strawberry liquer & bubbles! How can I say no to this? It was sweet, bubbly and quite refreshing. The coconut jelly at the bottom was a pleasant yummy surprise.
Total Damage: $225 (including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Pretty darn good)
The oysters were definitely killer. Other than the underwhelming tuna tartare, most of the dishes we tried were pretty darn tasty. I don’t know if I would pay full price of any of them but at their happy hour prices, they were great!! OK, maybe I would pay full price for the lobster flatbread and ribs.
Drinks are a little pricier, since it was Yaletown AND the food is so cheap it is expected. Service on the other hand was horrendous. The bar area is not very big but packed, since the Happy Hour menu is only available at the bar. There were a lot of servers & busboys working but I felt like we were constantly searching for someone to help us. It took forever for someone to grab our orders, even longer to bring our drinks. When we needed more drinks, it takes another 10 minutes for someone to get to us eventhough we got the usual “Be right with you”.
I guess with enough oysters and alcohol, most could ignore the crap service… but there are other places in Vancouver that offers Buck a Shuck, so I am quite torn about the place at the moment.
1118 Mainland Street
(604) 689 8318