It has become a family tradition to go out for a Christmas Day buffet brunch every year. We want to try different restaurants so for the past few years we have visited EBO, Herons and Mosaic. This year, we chose Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel; its long menu caught our attention.
Overall food quality was great and there was plenty to choose from. Here is a laundry list of menu items:
Prawns, Wild Snow Crab Claws & Cold Water Shrimp, Albacore Tuna Tataki with Daikon and Ponzu, House Cured Sockeye Gravlax, Poached Oceanwise Steelhead, House Beet Pickled Herring, Spicy Avocado Crab Devilled Eggs, Smoked Kippers, Cedar Jellied Indian Candy, Smoked Trout
This was probably my favourite station. I really enjoyed the house cured salmon, tuna tataki, prawns, and snow crab claws. Even though they were chilled and marinated, they weren’t over-dressed to compensate for the what-could-be loss of flavours during the chilling process.
Local and International Cheese Display with House Compotes and Berries, Local and International Charcuterie with House Pickles and Mustards, Crostini, Lavache, Cracker Bread, Rainforest Crisps
Grilled Mediterranean Platter, Dockside Caesar Salad, Arugula & Grilled Pear Salad, Cobb Square Salad, Chili Malay Noodle Salad, Red Rice Quinoa & Ginger Salad
Smoked Bacon & Canadian Bacon, Chicken Apple Sausage & Bangers, Roasted Turkey Breast & Leg with Herbed Pan Gravy, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Brown Sugar Sea Salt Crusted Double Smoked Ham, BBQ Pork & BBQ Duck
The prime rib roast was excellent! They carved it nice and thin so you wouldn’t feel stuffed after just one slice. It’s cooked to medium/medium rare so it’s still pink inside. It’s moist and juicy, and the accompanying jus wasn’t too salty.
Lemon Chili Fried Potatoes, Brown Butter Sticky Rice, Broccoli in Aged Cheddar Sauce, Sauteed Gai Lan, Roasted Tomatoes Wild Mushroom Saute, Squash Ravioli with Tomato Basil Sauce, Dockside Legendary Chili Squid, Seared Sockeye Charred Orange-Caper Butter, Dockside Grilled Sugar Cane Prawns, Honey Mussels with Leeks, Tomato & White Wine
The hostess mentioned to us that their legendary chili squid is a must-try item, so we did. It wasn’t the best wok squid we’ve had – the pieces were a bit too big and the coating was a bit hard (“crusty”) – but I really liked the fact that they add ginger to the stir fry. Not only you can taste the chili peppers, you can also taste the scent and spiciness from freshly grated ginger.
Also, this is probably not the best venue to serve mussels. You can’t really enjoy the broth that the mussels are cooked in and it’s likely soaking up everything else you put on the plate.
French Toasted Brioche, Belgian Waffles, Lemon Ricotta Fornocakes, Made-to-order Omelettes & Eggs, Brie & Broccoli Quiche, Egg Benedicts (Canadian Bacon, Crab & Shrimp with Roasted Corn, Smoked Sockeye & Arugula, Spinach & Roasted Tomato with Arugula)
Cinnamon Buns, Danishes, Croissants, Bagels & Assorted Breads, House Granola, Cereal
Orange Scented Milk Chocolate Fountain, Cookies, Pound Cake, Cheesecakes, Mousse Cakes, Chocolate Tarts, Chocolate Pates, Lemon Curd Tarts, Praline Bread Pudding, Fresh Fruit, Caramels & Candy
There was something wrong with the chocolate fountain. The sauce separated along the way so it’s clogging up the circulation and what was left was thin and runny and not coating anything. Otherwise, I thought the dessert selection was the best of all places we’ve been so far. And the excessive sprinkling of edible gold flakes made everything look luxurious!
Here are some of my plates:
I quite appreciate the fact that they only have 2 seatings: 10:30am and 1:30pm. It helps them manage the crowd and gives them time to refill brand new trays of food prior to the 1:30pm seating. The food was refilled pretty quickly and there were a lot of staff working that day. That being said, the down side is that everyone rushes to the buffet line when it opens at 1:30pm so you have to wait a bit for food. For some reason, serving utensils were missing at certain stations and not having enough of them made it rather messy to pick up food. The dessert table became a mess after awhile and people had to pick up tarts with their hands when tongs were missing.
Also, the arrangement of the dining room was rather odd. There was no one clear pathway for customers to get to the buffet stations so we had to keep nudging our chairs to accommodate other diners as they found gaps and holes through the room. It became quite disruptive to guests.
For $60 per person I thought this buffet brunch was very good value and would recommend you to give it a try. There was no shortage of food and there has to be something for everyone. Keep in mind that this price doesn’t include beverages, not even coffee and juice, so be prepared to pay another $3+ for drinks depending on what you are getting.
Dockside Restaurant at Granville Island Hotel
1253 Johnston Street, Vancouver