The Eastern end of Granville Island is an urban oasis. The perfect place to spend a summer stroll, soaking in the sea-breeze. With warm air filling your lungs, sun rays and laughter bouncing from the water it is impossible for your senses not to be engulfed by the coastal atmosphere. As James and I cruised our way along the gorgeous pier, spotting seals playing around the seawall, we reached a foodies utopia and floated directly into the tranquility that is Dockside Restaurant. Greeted with infectious smiles of the staff, we sat down to an icy cold cocktail and chilled summer ale, we knew we were in for a treat.
We started our lunch feast with the pesto baked brie, and what a start it truly was. With delight we cut into the brie and immediately were greeted with the oozing gooey melted centre, teamed with the garlic pine nut pesto and tadda, what a magnificent start. Next followed the Legendary Chilli Squid, now…I’m sure the name gives away the intent for this entrée, but let me talk you through it. This entrée defined seafood dock style eating, as I sipped my spritz and gazed out upon the water it was a match made in heaven. The squid was lightly dusted in ginger, lemongrass, garlic and cilantro…this combo had a spicy little kick, which helped balance the flavors of the dish.
Next came the actual “lunch” by this point we’d found the entrees to be far more satisfying than initially intended. That being said we jumped in head first…or should I say tongue first. With the recommendation from our waitress, we opted for the Baja Steak Salad and Halibut Salmon Linguine. Let’s talk salad first…Personally, it’s not my first choice when dining out, I’d make them forever in a day in my own kitchen but to justify buying one out is not a logic I ever had (especially when a burger is the same price). However, after receiving the Baja Steak Salad I now have faith there are salads out there ready to satisfy a hungry belly. This salad was colossal in size and flavor, with a tortilla as large as the plate, featuring; steak, bell peppers, black beans, corn, avocado, leafy greens, hickory sticks and a tomato chipotle vinaigrette. Having been a few months since I’d had a restaurant steak, the anticipation was immense. The steak was oh so tender and juicy it just fell apart, I was in salad heaven, and believe me I didn’t think there was such a place. The bench mark was set, how was the Halibut Salmon Linguine ever going to compare to the hearty steak salad we’d just fought over? With big shoes to fill the linguini did quite the job, it featured; halibut, salmon, mussels, white wine rose sauce and seasoned vegetables. Boasting a mix of familiar (and much loved) flavors and textures, the creamy based sauce against the rich salmon, made for an explosion of seafood flavor.
Next …dessert. I’m curious to know, does anyone ever say no to the waiter/waitress when asked “Would you like to see the dessert menu?” I personally can’t ever recall a time where I’ve rejected this indulgent question. By this point of the afternoon, we were bursting at the seams, with very little space left in our stomach..but lo and behold, we still managed to order not one, but two desserts! To finish off our lunch adventure we selected the Banoffee Pie and Double Chocolate Cake. James being a banoffee pie loving kinda guy, described it as the perfect balance of rich and sweet, and hey you’re eating bananas so must be good for you right? Last but most certainly not least was the Double Chocolate Cake. Do I even have to go into detail on this one? Surely I’ve got you drooling by this point! The fluffy chocolate cake was accompanied with an espresso gelato and raspberry coulis. Espresso was just what the doctor ordered as the afternoon slump set in, and what an amazing end to our afternoon feast.
A brilliant dining experience, Dockside Vancouver gets a big thumbs up from us. The perfect end to a sunny afternoon, matched with personalised, attentive service from their lovely staff. From the ambitious menu to the tropical ambiance and festive touches, it’s clear all dishes were individually designed to bring something unique to the table. The next time you are cruising your way around the docks of Granville Island or even if you're stuck for a way to soak up a glorious Vancouver summer day and evening, be sure to check out the quality experience of Dockside. It will be worth it and more!