When Pulling Into Harbour, You Leave the Sailor at Sea

Harbour House Restaurant
607 Oswego St.
Victoria, BC
(250) 386-1244

E: I could get used to dining at the swanky Harbour House. One benefit for tourists is that it’s barely a hop, skip and a jump away from The Clipper and the nearby hotels in the bustling Inner Harbour of Victoria, BC. If I’m sounding like an ad, then yeah, that’s the purpose. Forget the Old Spaghetti Factory. Come here instead!

J: Harbour House has been providing fine dining in Victoria for 37 years. Their motto at the door is “We dress up so you don’t have to” and it couldn’t be closer to the truth. Our server was dressed in a tuxedo with bow tie for the finishing touch. If he had said “walk this way” and then waddled like an adelie penguin I might’ve walked the same manner due to the posh interior of the restaurant. But don’t worry, the prices aren’t as posh as one would expect.

E: And he knows how to properly deshell a lobster too! If he had a second life as an octopus, I would not know. But I digress. I didn’t care for where James, Brendan and I went to go to eat. Strangely, it was with some guidance by Brendan that we went towards the direction of Harbour House. The sign advertising a steak and lobster was all I needed to convince me to go in.  I’m rarely frugal with my money, and no Scotsman or Irish could convince me otherwise!

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J: That’s odd when considering Ed is of Chinese heritage. I’m guessing he is the family member they would rather not discuss. But at least Ed has proper dining etiquette.

Brendan, on the other hand, is from the Canadian Navy. No one could ever guess his occupation unless he opens his mouth. The windows separated me from the outside world and I really wanted to escape after hearing the things he said. I wanted to spoon flick a snail-shell into his mouth just to make him stop. What I heard was embarrassing. When considering what I was paying for, I was determined to enjoy the escargot bourguignon ($11.00). They were very nutty in the melted garlic butter, which was strong in smell yet subtle on the palette as I popped them one by one into my mouth.

E: I could eat snails up like popcorn if given the chance. And I can tell you for a fact that the stuff you find at a grocery store will always pale in comparison to what gets served in a restaurant, shell and all. Now escargot in a mushroom cap, I’m already salivating. But after the appetizer, it was a battle between the Omnivore and Carnivore … I don’t think there’s a name for just seafood eaters. I just can’t see James as a merman. He’s not attractive enough.

J: It’s not the looks my friend, it is how rugged you can be. And I think I’m rugged all over. Perfect merman material. That and I’m not against wearing a speedo. Mussels were the next to be devoured and by the time I had eaten four of them, Brendan and Ed had picked an entire serving bowl clean of any sea life.

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E: I can certainly say this restaurant knows how to bring out the flavours of any shelled creature. I could’ve lapped up all of the the broth if I wanted to, but my main course, a nicely charcoal seared AAA grade beef served blue and a moist succulent lobster tail (special at $29.95), was coming. Out of all the meats I ate, the one ingredient that stole the show for me was the zucchini. It was grilled to immaculate crispy peppery perfection.

J: I was surprised Ed didn’t shed any tears for his meal as I had done. The mussels and scallops in my seafood fettucine ($23.00) pasta were all cooked just right. They were soft and had a gentle garlic butter taste. I actually shed a tear and said “Finally someone has done it right.”

I didn’t care who saw me. If someone else had tasted the dish, it could’ve been the same result. I believe my manhood remains intact.

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E: The only way I’d shed a tear is if a mermaid invited me into a clean blue sea because she wanted to spend a long moment with me in her arms. Afterwards, I’d be meeting Neptune, her father…

J: You would flee from that courtship, Ed, because that would mean your collection of posters and films on Blu-ray can not survive soaking in all that salt water. Also I wouldn’t expect Atlantis to have Internet. There’d be nothing for Ed to do but converse with the fish.

E: My optical disc collection can survive as long as I remain in freshwater. In fact, it can be a cool and sweet as the crème brûlée ($7.95) to finish off my meal with. The bowl was impeccably cool to the touch, and the strawberry as sweet as the mermaid’s lips that I’ve often longed to kiss. I’m getting shivers thinking about the bowl I had, and that’s rare.

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J: I think Ed and the crème brûlée need some alone time together. He couldn’t stop heaping compliments to it. That is the thing with some desserts, brûlées don’t blush. My scratch-made chocolate mousse ($7.95) was light and fluffy and I loved every mouthful. The whip cream was over-the-top.

E: If I can learn how to make a brûlée like how the chefs do it here, I can have this soft succulent cool custard every day of the week! But in the meantime, all I need is a steady paycheck. My meal was a couple of dollars more than James’ but everything I ate and tasted made this meal well worth it.

4½ blokes out of 5

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