Sunday, August 25, 2013

Joey Coquitlam


Some people hate restaurant chains, but I am not one of them. The reason why I enjoy them is because I like consistency, whether good or bad. I also like to have a certain amount or lack of expectations to prevent any annoyances or surprises during my dining experience. For example, some chains are considered to constantly provide underwhelming service; so when I visit, I can expect mediocre service without getting frustrated. Moreover, I usually go to a couple of restaurant chains for specific dishes. Take Joey for example, I enjoy their ahi tuna salad and apple pie.

Joey has a similar atmosphere to Cactus Club, where the restaurant is dimly lit, loud music plays in the background, and the female servers are usually attractive and wear short black dresses/skirts.


BLAZING WINGS WITH CREAMY BLUE CHEESE DIP ($11.50).
The sauce is actually pretty good; the consistency is creamy and the blue cheese does not overwhelm. The wings on the other hand, taste spicy but are very dry. The only wings I like from a chain is Boston Pizza because they taste juicy most of the time.

CALAMARI FRITTO, "Tempura vegetables, spicy aioli" ($12.00).
The calamari is a touch over fried, tasting rubbery with a very crunchy exterior. It seems like the calamari at Joey in Coquitlam is always poorly executed, either over fried or soggy.

RAINBOW ROLL, "Ahi tuna, sockeye salmon, crab, avocado, sriracha aioli" ($13.25).
Who would order sushi here? Me, as well as people who like plain California rolls. I never have any complaints when I order the Rainbow Roll at Joey and it is a given that the roll is overpriced. However, this time the rice is inedible and fairly… disgusting. The rice is very hard, crunchy and dried up. The roll must have been pre-made and kept in the fridge, or the cooked rice was not properly stored from earlier on in the day?

I know some West Coast restaurants pre-make their rolls and I do not expect them to change that, especially when considering that Glowbal restaurant Coast does that… But I have never had rice that tastes super hard, unless it was my leftover sushi that I kept in the fridge overnight. The good news is, the toppings on the roll are not pre-made. The rainbow roll overall tastes like it has been pre-made since the morning and the rice is honestly rock hard. Honest to truth, no restaurant should have served this, especially a chain.

SASHIMI TUNA SALAD, "Seared rare ahi, mixed greens, mango, peanuts, avocado, crispy noodles and cilantro" ($17.50).
This  is my used to be my favourite salad and I love the red tuna because it tastes plain along with simple, with no seasoning. But I swear after the last two years, Joey uses less spinach and arugula, and more iceberg and romaine? Or am I crazy? I think I could be crazy. I do not know, maybe it is just during this visit. The salad does not taste fresh and there are wilted pieces, and the dressing is more acidic than usual. I still recommend the salad overall though for those who like red tuna. 

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN AND RIBS, "Mashed potato and vegetables" ($25.00).
The chicken tastes tender, but neither flavourful nor dry. I personally think Joey in Burnaby makes better chicken, despite that it is still a bit on the dry side). As for the ribs, the meat tastes a touch tender and the sauce is only average. Surprisingly Boston Pizza's ribs are a lot better, especially when considering how Joey should be one of the higher restaurant chains.


MOROCCAN CHICKEN SOUP, CHOPPED CILANTRO ($5.50).
The last dish to arrive is the Moroccan Chicken Soup, which for some odd reason did not arrive first. Is the soup worth the wait? No, the soup tastes watered down and not in the "healthy" way as in the broth tastes light. But instead, as if the recipe cheaped out on ingredients. The soup actually kind of tastes like watered down Chunky's.

This visit to Joey in Coquitlam was very underwhelming. I have tried the calamari and wings along with the chicken before and those dishes were not the best, so I can let that slide. The rice in the rainbow roll, the pieces of wilted greens in the salad and the bland moroccan soup however, are very disappointing. Perhaps because we visited during the late night? Still, that is no excuse. With regards to the service, it is generally not bad depending on who the server is.

Our first server was a female who disappeared and it seems like she asked a male server to help us instead. He checked up on us a few times and he was speed walking to help his three other tables, which I never see these days (speed walking) and I like how he had a sense of urgency. But he forgot our side plates and cutlery, so we waited a fairly long time for those.

POSITIVES
- Open late night
- Friendly server

NEGATIVES
- Poor quality control

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5

Joey Coquitlam on Urbanspoon

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