Author’s note: As of Nov 20, 2009, REX is no longer. The location is now the home for Laguna Blu, an Italian tapa bar, thus I have picked the post title as such. Perhaps my post can help explain why the restaurant could not be sustained.
Whenever the city is hosting a dining event, you know I would be there. Last month I went to REX for the Eat & Drink BC menu. Eat & Drink BC was meant to promote the use of local ingredients and showcase them through a 3-course menu. REX offered a 3-course dinner at $28 per person.
Turns out the Eat & Drink BC menu was also the monthly Table d’hote menu at REX – that’s convenient. And I have to say, I’m disappointed by the food quality when the restaurant wasn’t even busy on a Friday night. To start I had the Polderside Sunflower Duck Two Ways, i.e. duck breast prosciutto and liver pate. The prosciutto was a little tough to chew (to cut, too, actually) and was overly salty. The pate was alright; the berry preserve enhanced its flavour. The toast points weren’t the most appealing looking, a little burnt on the edge, but they tasted fine combined with the pate and berry. I actually hoped that there were more toast points because the pate serving was very generous.
For entree I had the Pan Seared BC Halibut. At first it tasted pretty good, especially with the juice from the smoked tomatoes. Then the fish started to get dry and I ran out of tomato juice to dip. The roasted root vegetables were tasty, but I noticed that they used the same veggies as the side for the Prime Rib, another option for entree. I usually look forward to desserts, but I’m sad to say that my dessert was a big let-down. I had the Creme Brulee, which was lumpy, and the biscotti on the side was doughy. Perhaps the texture was meant to be like this for this particular one but the brulee tasted like the custard wasn’t mixed properly.
Overall the service was decent, despite our server was switched to someone else half-way through dinner. Both servers were friendly and helpful, and they checked on us frequently. With that I could even forgo the fact that the server told us we’re getting the cheesecake when it was actually the creme brulee.
The location definitely has its advantage as it is situated right at the heart of downtown’s business area. The decoration was simple but classy – perfect interior for business lunches and dinners. The waterfall on the outside sets the mood, and may confuse you with heavy rainfall when you’re dining in the winter (haha).
It’s a shame, definitely, that the restaurant can’t offer the quality of food that I expected from them. The new Joey’s and Cactus Club in the area probably took away some of REX’s business, and I hope that the new venture will be sustainable and continue to provide good food to its customers.
Rex Rotisserie & Grill (now Laguna Blu)
413 – 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver