Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Black + Blue

Black + Blue = Steakhouse, Glowbal restaurant and meat locker. Yup, that pretty much sums it up. I recently found out that all Glowbal restaurants currently have a promotion, order two appetizers as well as two entrees, and the second entree is free! Of course the fine print is, it has to be between 4:00pm-6:30pm which is more than reasonable. Most places that offer happy hours or promotions is to keep the restaurant afloat during the day and the staff busy. A typical business strategy when the restaurant needs extra income and does not lose money during the daytime. On a rainy weekday, I made reservations for 5:00pm and requested a seat on the second floor. I also requested that if the seating arrangement cannot be accommodated, I would be more than happy to change the date and/or time if needed.

Well, turns out that was useless. After being seated on the first floor in the corner with a view of the front desk, the host mentions that the second floor opens after 6:00pm. Yeah… why did I not receive a phone call? Plus, considering that the restaurant was not busy when we walked in, it would have been nice if we were seated at a different spot (although we did not get the worst seat since there is a window...). To be honest, if I was celebrating a special occasion, I would not be happy with the seat. Also, since it was pouring rain, it would have been nice if the host offered to grab our coats.

The amuse bouche was a great way to start the dinner. Especially when it is a light creamy goat cheese wrapped in a sheet of beet, paired with a bit of arugula, tomato, pecan, balsamic vinegar and EVOO. Furthermore, I appreciate the amuse bouche considering that we were here for a promotion.

The scallops taste slightly overcooked as well as stiff, and the natural flavour is overwhelmed by the salty bacon. However, I like that the saltiness from the bacon compensates for the salt which is not added to the scallops. 

Black + Blue offers a unique version of stuffed mushroom compared to some restaurants. A portobello mushroom is used rather than white mushroom caps; however, the béarnaise sauce is too heavy and there is no hint of crab. Although there is a good amount of crab meat, I am here for the food and not creativity, so it is unfortunate the sauce tastes too creamy as well as overwhelming. I appreciate our server for letting us know the skillet was hot though.

After waiting a while for the caesar, I followed up with our server and he responded "no you didn't" (of course it really does not matter how he responded nor do I take it personally, but it is an odd response...). After having BF confirm the drink order, our server mentions that he thought we wanted caesar salads. But… if that was the case, the caesar salads never showed up and we were half way done our appetizers! Anyway, the caesar has a nice medium spiciness, tastes rich, and not watered down. The drink is also topped with lemon, pickled jalapeño, pepperoni stick and olive.

The corn has a creamy as well as a slightly spicy jalapeño flavour, and the flavours do not taste too heavy. However, the corn could have been cooked longer and the niblets taste a bit too hard. 

Three accompanying sauces are provided for the steaks; however, we did not try any since we were having Japanese Wagyu. The only difference asides from the marbling compared to Kobe beef, is that Wagyu has a beefier and meatier taste. "Japanese Wagyu. Nikyua's Wagyu Beef is raised in a grassy field in the mountains north of Tokyo. The cattle are raised slowly to develop exceptional marbling with minimal exterior fat. The product is graded A4 or A5, the same highest grades in Japan, making the product rare, even in downtown Tokyo".

8oz NEW YORK STRIP ($19.00/oz). 

Although the New York strip is medium rare as requested, the steak is oddly hard to cut. After changing the steak knife, the steak was still hard to cut. Our server was also surprised and mentioned that when he took his mother here, the steak was super tender and could be picked up with chopsticks.

Despite this, the steak tastes juicy, fatty, as well as tender. Furthermore, the steak has a nice crust and although the seasoning is heavy on the salt, it was fine. If anything, the cut is too thick and should have been slightly more thin.

14oz RIB EYE ($150.00).

As for his steak, the rib eye lacks that nice curst, which may be understandable considering the thin cut. However, the steak looks more like a 10oz than 14oz. In addition, the steak is slightly overcooked by a few seconds and more medium than medium rare as requested. It was also a bit dramatic when the manager came out with a keychain flashlight to show us the steak was done right... but it was not (btw, he was not dramatic as in crouching down to point the flashlight at the steak. He was standing, pointed the flashlight for a second and said it was cooked right).

Despite the slightly overcooked steak, there is a marbled, fatty and buttery flavour. However, a thicker cut would have been tastier. I am not sure why a steakhouse would serve such a thin cut, perhaps because we were here for a promotion? The cut resembles a Kobe steak before it is sliced thin for shabu-shabu or grilled in small cubed pieces. 

TOTAL $221.30 + TIP $33.20 = $254.50.

Overall, we tipped only 15% because the food was average and a few simple protocols were overlooked. Also, although we were here for a promotion, a $250.00 meal is not cheap. And in a way, it is a bit of a "rip off" considering that the rib eye is definitely not 14oz and we would have been more than happy to pay the full price for a better cut.

- Door buster promotion
- Friendly server (he did check up on us a few times!)
- EVOO and salt on the side for the wagyu steaks, properly done

- For those who are big on service
- Food tastes only average

- To think that I mentioned the manager/host at West Restaurant who could have grabbed the door for us since he was standing right there… Well, LOL at Black + Blue, as we were walking out, the manager was walking in and closed to door on me. Although an honest mistake, it is not really expected at a "fine dining" establishment
- I am big on service as well as atmosphere, and am more likely to revisit a restaurant that serves average tasting food or only slightly above, if I enjoyed the experience. However, I really did not enjoy my experience here. I mean, if the restaurant was a full house or only half, I would settle for the seat. But when a customer asks for a specific area to be seated, it should not be overlooked considering that a note was made, willing to change the date/time

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5

Black + Blue on Urbanspoon


  1. B+B constantly fails to disappoint BUT when I'm with some bar star friends, we get free dessert from the manager

    1. Lol a few friends of mine are too and in a way, can't complain cause it's a strategic business move to appreciate your regulars!

  2. Miss Vancouver Piggy,
    Surprised you made the trip to B+B. Was it for the wagyu steaks, promotion, or pure interest? Many bloggers review the restaurant for only media reasons. My 5 out of 7 meals at the restaurant were underwhelming and I decided to take my business elsewhere. Birthday dinners were forgotten and even sent back dessert with no "happy birthday" on the plate. Bar Star? We should've got a comped dessert having a birthday mix up! I agree the service and atmosphere keeps the restaurant worth visiting, but enough is enough.

    Have you read about the tipping issue a couple of years ago?

    PS. Are you participating in the Glowbal passport promotion?

    1. Hi Jen!
      To be blunt, it was for a blog post, wagyu steaks and promotion haha. I used to come here lots when I was younger but stopped after I started going to Gotham's or Hy's. Sorry about those birthday dinners, it happens (I think….) and hey, at least they gave you a new dessert!

      Btw, not sure about the tipping issue and not participating in the passport! It's such a good deal though especially for loyal customers! Or even those who grab their cheap lunch specials

  3. Where's them meat locker and golden lights ppl talkin bout !

  4. "The product is graded A4 or A5, the same highest grades in Japan, making the product rare, even in downtown Tokyo."

    costco in the states sells the exact grade

    1. so does canada–-Canadian-Wagyu-Rib-Eye-Steaks.product.10330438.html


  6. I like coming here for the loud atmosphere, like a "party club"



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