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Table: The Boathouse (Richmond)

I went to The Boathouse at their Richmond location twice recently, so this post compiles the food from both visits. The Boathouse is located in an odd area of Richmond, just before the bridge towards the airport and across the road from the Westin Centre. There's ample parking in the lot, but signage saying that without proper permits overnight parking is prohibited. The restaurant is nicely decorated inside - I like the "space" theme decals on the windowed sections that divide the kitchen from the restaurant.

The first visit occurred during their lobster fest, and their menu has been updated before the second visit, so there are food options shown in this post that are not currently available. Also to note is that their prime rib offering is a weekend deal only, but I'm not sure about availability with the newly updated menu.

Their Thai-inspired sweet chili chicken was served with crisp wonton skins and lots of scallions. There was a lot of added colour from the scallions and black sesame seeds, which really helped to make the plate look more interesting. The chicken bits were well seasoned and everything was tossed and covered pretty generously with the sweet chili sauce. It was a tasty, but uninspiring classical combination of sweet chili and chicken. The portion size was a little small for sharing, but for one person it's a decent size.

Their crab dip with pita chips is served in a portion for two people, according to their menu. I would agree that it's a good size for sharing. The crab in the cream and cheese isn't overtly evident at first glance as the meat is distributed pretty evenly throughout the cream cheese. However, I think the amount of crab is decent, and there are some nice chunks. It's not dry due to the richness of the cream cheese, and it's flavoured well. The pita chips are ultra crispy and I found them very tasty to eat just by themselves.

Their bread was served late on the first occasion but hit the table first in the second dinner. The timing at the back was probably off and they were behind with baking new loaves. The Boathouse serves a fresh sourdough and it's nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It's served up with a house herb whipped butter. Fresh and delicious. Anata likes to save some of the butter to go with his steak.

During lobster fest Anata ordered their surf and turf stuffed lobster tail with 8oz steak. The veggies for that day were peppers and broccolini. The lobster was on the dry side unfortunately, but the stuffing was okay. It was mostly a cream cheese gratin, but the flavours were there, if a little overdone. The mash potatoes were thick and flavoured well, with fresh pepper adding zing and cutting through the richness well. The steak was done to order and tasty, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. Overall Anata enjoyed the plate but the lobster was overcooked so he didn't quite get the into the lobster fest mood.

My prime rib was well seasoned, tender, and juicy. The au jus added richness but also helped with the mashed potatoes. The good thing about the potato is that they have bits of skin which are where the majority of the nutrients in a potato are stored, so it's not just empty carbs. It's also nice that there are little chunks of potato and it's not a totally smooth whipped mash (our dining party had a preference for the chunky style mashed potatoes). The odd thing for me was the horseradish which was more of a smooth sauce rather than the grated horseradish I'm used to. It still tasted good and had a nice kick, so overall I was very pleased with my plate.

The second time I had the fresh halibut with the salsa verde sauce. I really enjoyed the beurre blanc on the bottom of the plate, and it really added richness and flavour to the roasted potatoes. The salsa verde was also nice and tangy, but was also light and complimented the fish well. However, my halibut was a little overcooked and on the dry side. Thankfully the sauces helped the fish along, and I even used some of their herb whipped butter to add moisture.

Anata ordered the new york strip and it arrived as a spot on chicago medium. He was pleased with the steak, but I found the crust to be overly salty. However, scraping off the crust was an easy fix, and Anata said that it was fine after that.

Instead of potatoes he substituted fries which came on a side plate. The fries were very much cooked like fish and chips style, nicely salted, crisp outside but fluffy insides.

Our friend had surf and turf with a sirloin steak and crab stuffed prawns. The prawns were apparently a little dry (This seems to be a common theme with The Boathouse...) and our friend was unhappy with the "crab" stuffing and said it seemed to be mostly just cream cheese. I think it was pretty similar to the crab dip where the flakes of meat were really well distributed (in fact it might have been the crab dip, but just covered with a gratin type seal to hold it all together) because I did see bits of crab meat, but it just didn't seem like it was executed that well. There were no complaints about the steak, so I assume it was done well enough.

Overall my experiences with The Boathouse have been positive. For the appetisers we've had good experiences with most all of them, and so far I think our favourite is the crab dip. However, the entrées seem to be mixed with the seafood coming up on the dry side, but the steaks have been executed well. I really like their prime rib and Anata is always pleased when he finds a place that does a good chicago style steak. Regarding portion sizes we always walk away too full to even think of getting dessert! The prices are on the higher side but I think is on the average for establishments that serve the same types of food.

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