First Dine Out Vancouver of the year, and we chose Carver’s Steakhouse.
Living in Richmond for a while now, I’ve never noticed this place or heard anyone talk about it. Even though their slogan on their website claims that they’re “Recognized as the Best Steakhouse in Richmond”, I believe that is a far stretch. It might just be because it’s Dine Out, and everything might be prepared beforehand due to high demand, but it definitely didn’t make us want to give it a second go.
We were told to wait at the lounge since our table wasn’t quite ready yet. The place gave off a very romantic feel due to the dim lighting, and cozy dining room. After a few minutes we were promptly seated to a two person sized table and given the Dine Out menu along with the wine list.
Because of the dim lighting, I didn’t use flash in case it would disturb the other customers. So most of the images were later altered using Photoshop, that’s why some of them might look funky.
After choosing our meals, bread was brought out. Your average dipping sauce served everywhere nowadays; olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was kind of warm, which is a plus, and some had pieces of garlic inside.
It seemed like a long time before our appetizers were brought out, since most of our bread and wine was finished.
First was the cornet of smoked salmon, herb Boursin and black caviar.
Though it looks beautiful, both Stephen and I found that the cheese and smoked salmon overwhelmed each other in taste and covered the caviar. If they had made the cone smaller, more bite-sized, they could have made 3 and it would have been perfect. Not to mention the already soggy cone.
Beef Goulash; traditional Hungarian beef soup, beef, onion, vegetables, spices and paprika
Caprese Salad; boccocini balls, tomatoes, basil, balsamic reduction, olive oil and Bolivian rose salt
The soup and salad came after our first appy was cleared, and came to a huge disappointment and did not go well with the wines that were paired. The soup tasted more like my high school cafeteria chili beef soup, and was still lacking in flavour in comparison. The salad wasn’t even up to par with the one I bought at Safeway one time for lunch, and in regards to the ‘rose salt’, I couldn’t even remember if there was any. We both finished it and hoped that the rest of the meal would be better.
Certified Angus Beef New York Steak; mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, veal port wine reduction, center cut strip loin, full bodied texture
Fraser Valley Duck Breast; sun dried figs, bee pollen, honey glaze, Yukon mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
I did my research rummaging through their website reading up on their steaks, and with all the care they claimed to have put into their meat, it was not present that night. Our steak was ordered medium rare, but came more on the rare side. In flavour and texture it doesn’t even measure up to the more commercial steakhouses such as The Keg. As for my duck breast, too overcooked. The flavours felt like the BBQ Peeking Ducks one would purchase from an Asian butcher, with the sweet plum sauce, which kind of threw me off. The vegetables were nothing special as well. Bland mashed potatoes, blanched bell peppers, peas, zucchini and I think a squash(?) The peas on my serving were a bit undercooked and ‘stringy’, that might be the Asian in me talking though, since I usually peel those off.
The wine, once again, did not match so well with our main course.
Cheesecake, Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and Triples Berry Almond Tart
Since I LOVE sweets, I really wanted the whole night to redeem itself. That was just me being too optimistic. Nothing special to note, aside from the fact that I had pieces of chocolate on my cake and the other was just a plain cheesecake.
Service could have been better. Aside from the usual checkups after each plate was brought out, there was no interactions. And for it not being too busy when we were there, our dishes came out rather slow. When the bill was being paid, our server just left the machine there after the amount was entered and walked away. I, having experience as a cashier, knew how to run the machine, had to run the transaction and print the receipts myself.
Overall, the night felt like a mistake that I would not want repeated. Unless I had to go for some special occasion that I didn’t have to pay for.