Friday, February 23, 2007

Ouisi Bistro

Every Thursday, I browse through the new edition of the Georgia Straight and scout out the dining section. It is almost embarassing the kind of excitement I get from finding out that Meinhardt, the gourmet goody store, is having their first sale, ever. Now, there are two things in life that make this girl very happy: food and sales.

Since I was in the South Granville neighborhood, I thought I would check out Ouisi Bistro. I heard mixed reviews about this place, mostly bad, but some good. Now there are those of us in life who take others' advice to heart, and there are those, like yours truly, who have to fall into the hole to see how deep it really is. So I made a dinner date with my friend Tracy for our night of Southern comfort.

It was a Thursday night, and the restaurant only had a few tables occupied. We ordered the crabcakes ($10) for appies and shared the Catfish Etoufee ($20)from the Cajun menu, and the Creole Beef Tenderlin Tips ($19)from the Creole menu.

The food:

The crabcakes were cheap, but they also looked and tasted cheap. It was two tiny morsels that settled on top of a bed of lettuce. At least the lettuce looked fresh, but the cakes were lukewarm
and you can taste the filler with a touch of crab. I would have to say that I enjoyed the cornbread basket more, not that it was anything special.

The Catfish Etouffee was niether good nor bad. It was exactly as described in the menu: catfish simmered in a holy trinity roasted tomato broth, served with a rice pilaf. But it was fairly bland for a Cajun dish. The fish is flaky as catfish always is, but tasted "fishy".

The Creole Tenderloin Tips were simmered in a dark roux that tasted mostly like a sweet dark barbeque sauce. The meat was tender, and I kept eating it only because it tasted better than the catfish. Seriously though, if they were going to serve beef braised in barbeque sauce, then they should just say it as it is and don't try to pull one over and call it a roux.

Presentation: 1 out of 5 = everything was just slopped on in true Southern style
Taste: 2 out of 5 = a little worse than mediocre
Creativity: 2 out of 5 = only because they thought of substituting bbq sauce for a roux

The Verdict:

Let's just say that it was a good thing that the main purpose of our meal was to catch up on love and life rather than indulge in culinary delight. For that, Ouisi Bistro served its purpose because it had a good atmosphere. The waitstaff was good in the sense that they did not interrupt us much, but bad because even though we were deep in conversation and hardly noticed, we still have to wave them over for water and wine refills. Let's just say that we were glad we had an Entertainment Book coupon so at least it was a discounted meal.

Ouisi Bistro 3014 Granville Street T: 604-732-7550

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