Thursday, July 25, 2013

Salmon House on the Hill

I visited Salmon House tonight to compare with Fraiche, since the restaurants are only a few minutes away from each other. I have read a lot of reviews about Salmon House and the most recent ones are not that great, so I did not really expect much. I only know of Salmon House because someone posted that it was better than Fraiche, and I agree. Apparently Salmon House is around thirty years old? The restaurant's interior looks quite nice and if it was a newly renovated restaurant, I would believe it. The exterior however, looks like old offices (there are offices connected).

The restaurant is fairly large and has two sections. On the left is the interior with natural lighting and on the right, is after the sun set. A lot of people have mentioned that the restaurant looks dated and exactly the same as they visited ten years ago, meaning, in need of an update. I do not mind the restaurant and like the high ceiling with wooden decors. The only complaint if anything, are the ugly chairs.


COMPLIMENTARY BREAD. The restaurant serves two types of bread, white and cheese. Both breads taste soft as well as pillowy and the cheese bread has a slight cheese taste. White bean puree is given on the side which has a humus taste and texture. It would have been nice if butter was provided as well.

SALMON HOUSE SEAFOOD CHOWDER, MANHATTAN STYLE ($8.00). The chowder tastes flavourful and has a good amount of tender salmon pieces. The restaurant uses salmon belly which is pretty smart considering that the belly is the hardest part to overcook. I wish a new england chowder option was available since it is my favourite.

SEAFOOD BOWL (CLAMS, MUSSELS, PRAWNS, SALMON AND HALIBUT), LEMONGRASS TOMATO BROTH, ALDER GRILLED BANNOCK BREAD ($28.00). When we started the dish, BF said this is what he expected Fraiche to be like and it is already better than Fraiche. I love this and I am not the type to like these too. The broth tastes like a seafood bisque and is very flavourful. The salmon and halibut pieces taste moist, and the clams and mussels taste fresh. What sold me is the bannock bread with the broth, it tastes really good, really. BF tried comparing this to Top of Vancouver's seafood bowl, saying how their concept with a metal bowl and a candle underneath is better to prevent it from getting cold. I am more like whatever, this tastes a lot better.

ALDER GRILLED BC SPRING SALMON, ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES, LOBSTER AND DUNGENESS CRAB SALSA, AND BASIL VINAIGRETTE ($32.00). The salmon tastes moist, tender, falls apart easily and has the alder grilled taste. Although in the beginning I was not used to the alder grilled taste since it does not taste as "fatty" as if it is baked. For the potatoes, they taste pretty good. I usually do not comment or think anything about the sides, but the potatoes definitely need to be acknowledged. The potatoes have a perfect crispy exterior and tastes soft. The entree is also topped with cold lobster and crab meat, quite tasty.

ALDER GRILLED AAA CANADIAN BEEF TENDERLOIN, SMOKED CHEDDAR AND SCALLION MASHED POTATOES, FRESH DUNGENESS CRAB, ROASTED GARLIC AND GREEN PEPPERCORN JUS ($34.00). The tenderloin is cooked to a medium rather than the requested medium rare, however, the steak still tastes juicy, tender and flavourful. The steak is topped with cold crab meat and the sides are pretty much the same as the salmon, with added chips. The chips taste perfectly thin as well as crispy. If I worked here, I would make a bunch of the chips and take them home.

HERB RISOTTO, BABY TOMATO SALSA AND ASPARAGUS ($12.00). On the left is the first order of risotto which tasted raw and powdery. Our server had no problem or questions taking it back and was apologetic. On the right, is the new risotto. The risotto tastes over mushy, gooey and not very appetizing. The kitchen probably cooked the heck out of it since it was undercooked the first time. The risotto has a very strong swiss cheese taste and is not very pleasant at all, unfortunately this was wasted.

WARM MAPLE PECAN TART, WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, VANILLA BEAN GELATO ($9.50). The tart has a very hard crust and tastes a bit bland, although there is a good amount of eight or ten pecans. For the gelato, the vanilla tastes pretty good and creamy despite a couple of ice chunks, and the spun sugar garnish looks pretty.

- Diners can also step out on the balcony and walk around

- Above average eats and reasonably priced dishes
- Nice interior and atmosphere

- Server could have been more attentive and less forgetful, but the bus girl was very friendly and nice
- I do not recommend the risotto

- OpenTable points
- Yup, I will make the revisit
- The restaurant was very busy on a Thursday evening compared to last Friday at Fraiche, when the restaurant was practically empty
- Salmon House is a lot better than Fraiche, just come straight here instead
- Horizons is affiliated with Salmon House but that restaurant is more of a tourist trap

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 2.5/5

Salmon House on the Hill on Urbanspoon

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