Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar
1095 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4
Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar is as they put it “City’s definitive destination for seafood”. Our goal was to eat local food that defined Vancouver. Executive Chef Frank Pabst is known for his innovative and brilliantly executed West Coast plates, insisting on using seafood from wild and sustainable harvest. At the raw bar, cut master Yoshi Tabo has his own dedicated following for his expert sushi and sashimi. We had eaten at their sister restaurant, Araxi, in Whistler a couple days before our dinner here. Blue Water Cafe is located in the trendy Yale town district, which literally has restaurant after restaurant on each block.
Decor, Vibe – Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar is a busy, loud, and energetic restaurant. Big open kitchen, sushi bar across the room, and a large bar up front. Exposed pipes, bricks, and open feeling room. Well-dressed folks, loud bass heavy music, upscale crowd.
Menu (Click to zoom into any picture)
Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar Menu has a variety of appetizers and entrées with an emphasis on seafood. They also have a sushi menu and a raw bar menu.
Seaweed butter and red pepper butter, along with excellent homemade rolls.
Oysters – From BRITISH COLUMBIA:
Kusshi – Cortes Island, smaller, deep cup, mild taste ($3.50 each) were small and flavorful, just the way we like them. They served him with horseradish and mignonette.
Royal Miyagi – Cortes Island, smooth texture, mild flavour, kiwi-like aftertaste ($2.75) were also super fresh compact oysters with a ton of flavor.
WASHINGTON Kumamoto – small sized, deep cup, rich, buttery, salt flavour, sweet, light finish ($3.75) are much more available in the San Francisco area, and still have a smooth flavor.
Sashimi Platter with Salmon, Maguro, Kizami Hotate (Chopped Scallop), Toro, Hamachi, raw shrimp ($34) was a stellar tour de force of top-notch fresh fish. Doesn’t get much better than this. We watch the expert cutting up the fish and saw how concentrated he was. We’ve paid significantly more and not have gotten this level of quality.
Spicy Tuna sushi chopped albacore tuna with sesame and chili ($10) was excellent, the freshness of the fish, and a large chunks that they included are unique.
Sockeye Salmon sushi local wild sockeye, avocado and cucumber ($12) was stellar, super fresh fish, and a good quantity of sushi too.
Pommes Frites with truffle oil and Parmesan ($9.50) had a nice truffle flavor to them and were a bit salty, but hit the spot.
Green Beans with Sesame and Chili ($9.50) were plentiful, fresh, and not overly greasy.
Petit fours fruit gelee and almond mini cakes were a nice end to the meal.
Organic Greens with Wild Artic Muskox Bresaola chioggia beets, candied pecans, maple huckleberry vinaigrette ($15.50) was a weird salad. The almost beef jerky like Muskox Bresaola (Arctic mammal of the Bovidae family) was very salty, gamey, musky and the salad below have a slightly sweet and salty taste to it. Certainly a combination we haven’t tried before.
Dungeness Crab + Shrimp Cake spring salad, avocado, harissa aioli ($14.50) had a super sour rice wine dressing that just overwhelmed the dish.
Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar had very good service with a knowledgeable waiter was also friendly, no hiccup’s. It is not hard to recommend this restaurant. We would suggest folks concentrate on seafood and especially the excellent Japanese-style sushi here. We would award the seafood tower but we had it at their sister restaurant couple days earlier. Some of the other items that we chose might be avoided.
Good-sized award-winning 55 page wine list. Glasses from $8.75, bottles from $36.