Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar (2nd visit)


A few things come to mind when I revisit a restaurant, 1. Convenience; 2. Above average tasting food; and 3. Service must have been good. Usually it is only one or the other, favouring convenience and good service. However, I do travel far for good food, like to a few restaurants in Langley (although I somewhat contradict myself since I travel pretty much anywhere even for mediocre food).

Gotham is one of the priciest steakhouses in Vancouver as well as a former regular restaurant of mine. Having said that, on the last visit, the food and service was great; hence, another revisit. However, this visit is probably the worst out of countless visits to Gotham. Choosing to have dinner on a Tuesday evening in hopes for a slower restaurant along with better than usual service and carefully prepared dishes, I was wrong. On the weeknight, Gotham was quite busy with lots of diners who just got off work.

The restaurant has a casual, relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Walk in wearing sneakers as well as sweats, and there will be no awkward stares (oddly enough I get awkward stares at Cactus Club or The Keg). Gotham has two levels of dining room as well as a patio, and the basement is reserved for larger parties. The restaurant is fairly dim and the seating arrangements are either a velvet booth or is the centre of the dining room.

CAESAR ($8.35). 
After waiting a bit under twenty minutes to order, the table bread and drinks arrived shorty. Also, it would have been nice if the wine glasses were removed but hey, no need to complain? The bread is served slightly warm, tastes soft as well as pillowy, and has a faint onion flavour. As for the drink, the caesar has a hint of spiciness despite asking for medium spicy, and tastes meh. The caesar is nothing special nor necessarily bland. 


You know those type of people who hates ordering the same dish as someone else at the table? Yeah, I am one of them. In my defence though, the chowder tasted pretty good on the last visit and we both agreed to stick with it. Although unfortunately on this visit, the chowders tasted the worst we both ever had. The chowder tastes more milky than creamy as well as bland, and resembles heated up milk with added cream. The soup tastes made to order with no flavour of seafood or the usual chowder taste.

I mean, Campbell's Chunky Chowder soup tastes a lot better than these. However, there is a fair amount of diced shrimp and flakes of salmon, along with plenty of raw onions, crunchy celery and barley cooked potato. The both of us were disappointed considering the chowders have tasted better, and we would have never ordered them again if it tasted like this before. In addition, we would have liked to mention this to our server but he was never around or checked on us.


Starting from the top tier, the kusshi oysters taste fresh as well as smooth, and properly rinsed. Continuing along, the dungeness crab meat tastes average and not too stiff. Moving to the second tier, the snow crab claws taste naturally sweet and were a favourite of mine. 

Following, the alaskan king crab legs taste watery with a faint hint of sweetness, and one piece was still a bit frozen. Further on, the jumbo cocktail tastes meaty with a nice bounce. As for the lobster tails, the meat tastes slightly rubbery but bouncy, along with a hint of natural saltiness.

Finishing up, the apple cider smoked salmon does not taste salty nor sweet, and of course pairs well with the cream cheese, onion and capers. Last up, the grilled scallops taste bland as well as stiff. All in all, the seafood tower is pretty much average and there is nothing very special about it. Personally, I consider the tower something to try and would not order it again, unless someone else at the table wanted it.

The sides at Gotham are a la carte and we went for the mushrooms. The button mushrooms taste buttery along with a taste of herbs.

14oz FILET MIGNON ($51.95).
The filet tastes tender as well as buttery, and requires very little chewing. A good quality filet is when the steak can be sliced very thin like beef sashimi, and this is it. In addition, despite the not very flavourful cut in general, I do find Gotham's filet a bit more bland compared to other steakhouses (mainly The Keg's because of their bacon and heavier seasoning).

Furthermore, the steak is cooked to a perfect medium rare and towards the centre, a bit more rare (the way I like it). If anything, visually there are nice grill marks but, the steak is missing that nice slightly crisp exterior. 

16oz BONE-IN RIB STEAK ($47.95.). 
After ordering, we confirmed if the bone-in steak comes with a bone since it was missing on the last visit. According to our server, sometimes there is no bone or only a very tiny one because of the cut, and he would make sure to give us a larger bone. I appreciated him for making a note but at the same time, was also surprised when hearing this because it is a first for me (a bone-in steak should always have a bone right?). Also, BF wanted the 24oz rib steak instead of the 16oz which he should have been more specific on, but it would have been nice if the server clarified what size of steak he wanted instead of accepting "rib steak, medium rare."

As for the rib steak, despite the dry looking appearance, the steak tastes juicy as well as fatty. Although if anything, the steak could have tasted more tender and was slightly chewy, especially compared to the last visit. In addition, the steak lacks that nice crust and the grill marks are not very even. Am I surprised that Gotham is inconsistent? I am! I never expected inconsistency here at all. I mean, in my only ten visits, the food always tastes slightly better than average; the kind you would come back for. Not the "meh," it is nothing special and the food tastes average kind.

None of the items on the dessert menu are very appealing to me; however, I felt obligated to order dessert to feel like I had a satisfying dinner. As for the cheesecake, the crust tastes a bit doughy but the filling is fairly good. The cheesecake tastes smooth, creamy and very light. As for the mixed berry sauce, there is a nice syrupy consistency along with a slightly sweet flavour, which does not taste overwhelming. If anything, I kind of hyped the cheesecake would taste like Hy's… it is sooo good!

- Good quality steaks
- Casual and laid back atmosphere

- Not cheap
- Food is inconsistent
- Below average service regardless of the type of restaurant (service actually resembled a typical Chinese restaurant)

- First post on Gotham Steakhouse [here]
- I do not expect many restaurants to serve amazing food, but I am more likely to revisit if the service is above average. I mean, I never complain if the service is not genuine, as long as the bare minimum tasks are done then it is fine because in the end, it is just a job. Plus, it is not really hard to fake customer service. Having said that, our server never checked up on us and we could not even order more drinks until he came over to give us the dessert menu. I was also a bit surprised because even at the end of dinner, he never asked how anything was or everything overall. Furthermore, we even ordered more than the last visit but tipped less, only $33.00 which I felt embarrassed to leave. However, if asked, I had more than enough reasons to leave the tip I did
- The Keg (none of the ones downtown) and Hy's are good enough for me, I would not come back because I expect Gotham to be consistent

Food: 2.5/5 (chowder 0.5/5)
Service: 2/5 (for the class of restaurant, 1/5)

Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. stick with hy's encore, gotham's gone downhill and is overrated

    1. The lobster and twice baked potato at Hy's… oh. my. god.

  2. Hy's and the Keg, bang on! Gothams service sucks, never got the same service you did on the your first review

    1. Aw.. I've never had bad service until this visit. Someone on Instagram mentioned this as well, usually they're pretty friendly and attentive

  3. ambiance, food, price and service comes to MY mind when i try go to a restaurant. gotham is expensive, not cheap, you should learn to ask for service and find your server if the food is not up to standard or service

    1. LOL that's too embarrassing for me… "hi, can you ask me how the food was?"

  4. Happy CNE,

    The Keg never disappoints ^.^

    1. True! Only the downtown location has.. and surprisingly bad service too. I've never tried the Yaletown location and would probably some day



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