So I kept hearing about a new place in Yaletown that just opened up on Mainland Street towards Davie – Hub Restaurant and Lounge (where the Brown’s Restaurant used to be, for those familiar with the area). There’s no day like the present, so I met up with a couple of friends over lunchtime last week to give it a shot (okay, so no day like the recent past).
We all saw a few things on the menu that we wanted to try (plus, you’ve probably already noticed that I prefer to share food so I can have a variety of things), so we decided on a bunch of appies from the HubSNAX menu. We started off with the Kobe Meatballs. These were served in a spicy marinara sauce, with cheese (was it asiago?) on top. I thought that the meatballs were a little bit dry, but the cheese managed to add a little extra kick to them.
The next thing we had on our list of items was the Lobster Wings. When reading the menu, we weren’t really sure what to expect with these – a couple of us at the table are somewhat obsessed with hot wings (yes, you know who you are), so we thought this might be a bit of an interesting variation to try. Once they were brought to the table, we realized that it was in fact a serving of lobster tails, fried in a crispy coating of some sort and served with a clarified butter dipping sauce and a lemon wedge. I actually preferred these on their own with some lemon squeezed over top – the butter didn’t seem to add much to the dish, and when I tried tasting some of it on its own, it just reminded me of theatre popcorn butter, but more bland. Not good. However, the wings themselves were not bad, and I’d order those again (probably my fave of the bunch).
We also tried the Wok Squid, which was basically deep fried calamari with garlic, ginger and some spicy chillies on top. This was served with a sesame ginger dipping sauce, which did not have a strong flavour. This counteracted well with the rest of the spiciness of the dish. The squid wasn’t overcooked, and was thus nice and tender, but I found that the coating was a bit too moist for my tastes. I would’ve preferred something a little more dry with that flavour and food combination. I remember that it even kind of surprised me a bit when I took the first bite – it kind of made me feel like the squid were left sitting in some extra sauce or oil in a pan or something before it was served.
Next up was the Bruschetta on Filone Bread. The flavours weren’t too bad, but I found that everything was sliced too large – so it was more difficult to enjoy the tastes of everything together. The tomatoes, shaved asiago and basil could have been cut up into smaller pieces to make it easier to enjoy in a single bite. The way that it was served, half of the toppings fell off when I dove in, and then I had to spend some time picking it up off the plate and trying to shove it into my mouth to make it all mix together like it should (plus, it’s just a disaster waiting to happen when you have a klutz like me trying to eat this). So really, I’d say that this one was just average.
I’ve been hearing so much about this pazookie dessert thing, so to finish things off, I had to make sure I still had room to order the Chocolate Chip Pazookie Dessert. I’m not big on chocolate chips, but I thought the fact that this had ice cream on it and sounded like it had all of the best parts of a cookie to it (basically, fresh out of the oven warm cookie softness), would mean I would probably like it.
I would have to say that this was the best part of the overall meal. I do have to say though that after all of the hype I’ve been hearing about the pazookie, I wasn’t completely in love with it. Sure I’ll order it again if I come by, but I won’t be going there just so that I can have that dessert. Chocolate chip cookie lovers out there may completely disagree though.
I’d recommend trying out Hub Restaurant and Lounge for some drinks one night, and share the Pazookie dessert with a friend (or just have it yourself if you’re really hungry). Also, they say that their HubSNAX menu is all $6 from 4-6pm on weekdays, which is a great deal if the full menu of options is offered. There are plenty of flatscreens TVs around the bar, so I’m sure that this will become one of the places to go in Yaletown during the Canucks games this winter or just for some casual after work drinks.
Hub Restaurant and Lounge
1165 Mainland St.