Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hart House

I have been wanting to try Hart House for a while and to be honest, asides from the restaurant being located in Burnaby… I do not know much about it. Another reason for visiting is because it was my Mother's birthday, and she did not want to go Downtown for lunch.

Walking in, I was surprised. The entrance looks amazing and there is a fire place. The restaurant actually resembles a house (hence, Hart House) and there are plenty of rooms available. We were seated in a dining room with plenty of windows and the seating arrangements are not cramped.

KIR ROYALE ($12.00).
Throughout the lunch, our server asked if we wanted the kir royale refilled, rather than our empty glasses of water.

The table bread is served warm and the crumb tastes fresh as well as super soft. Furthermore, the crust has a nice light crispiness. As for the slices of baguette which tastes fresh as well, we preferred the softer kind more. If anything, the butter was too hard and could not be spread.

The calamari tastes tender with a nice snap, and not chewy at all. Furthermore, the batter is very light and has a soft crispiness. If anything, the seasoning is a bit too salty. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the calamari. However, we only finished 70% of the appetizer because our server took it away without asking? LOL. I mean, of course we could have said something… but it was awkward enough he popped out of no where and removed it. In general, usually servers ask… even at a cheap Chinese restaurant. I hate to say this but, even the server at Fraiche asked and the only mistake was when he assumed we did not want 90% of the appetizer packed and tossed it out. If anything… our server did leave the extra table bread? My mother was kind of annoyed because she loves calamari in general and no restaurant should ever do this.

My sister went for the three course lunch for $24.00 and her choice of appetizer are the oysters. According to her, the oysters are fresh and "SO @#$%ING GOOD." Thirty minutes after the calamari was taken away, our entrees arrived.

The tuna is evenly seared and tastes simple, although it would be nice if the restaurant offers an ahi tuna option (even Joey offers ahi tuna!). If anything, the seasoning may be considered too light but I thought it was fine, considering I like simple and bland dishes sometimes.

As for the aforementioned medium poached egg, it is a medium with a nice crusting. Continuing along to the salad, unfortunately there is too much dressing and I had to leave it behind; the salad was just too soggy. In addition, the fondant potatoes lack that nice crusty or crispy edge and is neither creamy nor moist inside. The potatoes resemble baked potatoes that should have been baked longer for a crispy edge, and the potatoes are quite hard. Usually I never comment on potatoes but since they are fondant potatoes which I really like, well; I was disappointed because these are not fondant potatoes.

The bottom of the fish cakes are burnt as well as very crunchy. We would have liked the mention this to our server but, he was no where to be seen. Furthermore, I think it is unprofessional for the kitchen to hide the burntness by flipping the crab cakes upside down. Asides from the burnt bottom,  the fish cakes taste dry like canned tuna which has been squeezed extremely hard in a fist and drained a few times. LOL… only someone in my family will say "hey, it's really hard and dry, you should try it…" rather than most people who claim that something tastes great and declares it as a must try.

My sister is the worst person to dine with because she will not eat anything that tastes really bad and wastes food. I tried encouraging to eat more than half a crab cake but, she responded there is not even enough sauce to make it less dry. So, my mother finished a bit more since like myself, she does not like to waste food. This was around the same time when my mother mentioned if she does not finish my sister's entree, our server may pop out of no where and take it away LOL. She then mentions that this time she is prepared to say she is still eating.

The fish tastes dry and has an extremely salty glaze. I am not sure what the glaze is but, my first bite was pure salt. Furthermore, not a nice salty glaze but literally, a pure salty glaze. We think the cook may have forgotten that he added salt the first couple of times, and added more again. As for the pumpkin puree, we all liked it. The puree tastes creamy as well as smooth, and slightly sweet. 

As for the highlight, which should be the trout, unfortunately the meat tastes very dry and not good at all; it is completely overcooked. Sigh, what was I thinking when ordering my mother trout? By the way, it would be great for a server to mention the catch of the day without a customer having to ask.

My sister says, "mom it's your birthday, crack it, crack it." Ahaha... there was no cracking and the creme brulee does not even have a hard brittle top. However, the creme brulee tastes slightly sweet as well as creamy, and is nicely caramelized. As for the biscotti, it is a bit flaky and could have been crunchier, but I like it (better more flaky than rock hard crunchy like Joe Forte's).

Overall, honest to truth, we enjoyed the bread more than our entrees. I was even thinking of taking BF here for dinner but will probably pass.
As for the service, our server only spoke four sentences to us, no exaggerations; 1. Hello, what can I start you off with? Later on when he came back to grab our order, he just stood there without asking if we wanted to order… kind of odd; 2. Can I get you another glass of kir royale? He could have asked if we wanted more hot water, but at the end of lunch, a waiter did come around to finally refill our glasses. It is just… we needed the water during our entrees!; 3. Amex?; 4. Have a good day. Actually, we were not expecting him to say goodbye because he did not follow up on us or ask how the lunch was overall.

- Table bread is REALLY GOOD
- Presentation is nice
- Free parking
- Dinner services may be better?

- Salty glaze on the fish and overcooked fish as well as burnt crab cakes
- No service let alone fine dining
- Entrees took thirty minutes to arrive after the calamari was taken away
- No waitstaff should ever remove something without asking if it is finished

- Meh, I mentioned it is a birthday lunch on OpenTable and the manager who seated us could have said something like, "enjoy your birthday lunch" and made it casual. Plus, usually it is the managers who go the extra step
- There is a bus for seniors that takes them right to this restaurant (is this a warm and cozy lunch restaurant for seniors? Meaning the food may not be good?)
- Sad to say but, Hart House may be on par with Horizons (Horizons has better service)

Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5

Hart House on Urbanspoon

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