(CNS Foodie): I’d been to The Wharf for dinner once and was not too impressed but I decided to give it another try. Some things have changed, and others have not. The place is massive, so much going on for a Saturday night! Barefoot Man was the entertainment, and the Golden Girls & Gents loved it! We had a good time watching the senior citizen dance party, wondering and kind of hoping we would be that energetic when we get to that age bracket. The plastic chairs have been replaced with more sophisticated rattan and wooden ones, but the place still looks cheesy to me.
Our group had a server who didn’t introduce himself and seemed more along the lines of a busboy than a waiter. Our water glasses were never less than half full. Other than that, he was awkward and not capable of making any table side small talk.
We tried the local tuna sashimi, very similar preparation to the famous sashimi at Morgan’s, however, The Wharf’s version doesn’t hold a candle to it. It was fresh, but no real depth to the flavors at all. The bread basket was stale and boring but was fine for dipping into their pumpkin soup, which was buttery and flavorful, but nothing magical.
For mains we had the “Surf & Fly” lobster filled chicken, served with piped mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, the local seared tuna with julienned Szechuan-style vegetables and jasmine rice, and the sea scallops with asparagus risotto and truffle sauce.
Remember my comments on the entertainment? Well, it’s a good thing we had that because our mains took way too long to come out. The server noticed this but instead of addressing the table as a whole, he said to the one man at the table, “Sir, your Surf & Fly will be out shortly.” Um, what about the rest of us? So we laughed, joking that our food is waiting for his forgotten order. Whatever. The wait time was excessive but we had a nice bottle of reasonably priced wine to hold us over.
Once the mains arrived, we dug right in. The scallop dish was nicely plated and the flavours were spot on. I do think they could have afforded to put another scallop on the plate, as there was a lot more risotto and only 3 very small scallops. The Surf & Fly chicken was very tender and the lobster “mash” inside was good too.
The plating was a bit 80’s with the piped mashed potatoes — a total American Tourist Trap dish! The seared local tuna was overcooked to a medium but was still good. However, the plating was uninventive and the sauce had a weird aftertaste.
Dessert was an interesting course. We tried the signature Wharf Napoleon, baked blueberry cheesecake and the coconut in a cup. The filo crunch pastry with the vanilla custard of the Napoleon was very tasty and the berries complemented the dish perfectly. The blueberry cheesecake was not too good, not too bad — a bit dry for a cheesecake.
The coconut in a cup was the most hilarious dish we tried all night — so much passion fruit it made our mouths pucker up. The ratio of coconut panna cotta to passion fruit was way out of proportion and made the dish too tart. The table in front of us ordered it as well, and we all watched to see their facial expressions after the initial bite — raised eyebrows and puckered lips! This dessert has potential to be great but they need to take the top 50% of the passion fruit layer off completely.
Although the staff was pleasant and food was decent, I just don’t see myself coming here again any time soon. It’s a tourist trap for sure. I can see why they flock to places like this — feeding the tarpin, being waterfront — but the place is so massive, it’s hard to make it seem fine dining or intimate at all. I guess for a big family on vacation, sure, why not? But it’s not the place for locals wanting to go somewhere nice for a special dinner.
Gratuity: 15% added to the bill.