J: When I first heard of the pub called “The Snug” my thoughts were of a small establishment so tiny that getting a decent table would be like me trying to fit into the jeans I wore back in high school. It wouldn’t be pretty and there would be no chance it could be done successfully. But upon entering Oak Bay Beach Hotel‘s pub, it was quite roomy and no matter where one would sit, you get beautiful views of the strait. I liked the pre-1800’s English decor, it was suitable for a man of my tastes.
E: Or rather, a man who looked like a chimney sweeper. I dressed up for the occasion and James was Oscar to my Felix. Well, nothing would stop me from wanting to revisit this place after trying out their seafood chowder.
J: I guess the decor had some effect on me because I decided to keep it English by having traditional pub food of steak and mushroom pie with a side of fries. The fries were what one would expect, average fare but tasty with tomato sauce. The pie wasn’t really a pie. It was more of a bubble crust on top of a steak and mushroom gravy. The gravy with beef and mushrooms were good but it was missing a vital ingredient to send it over the top as something special.
E: I should mention I tried their seafood chowder on a previous visit and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was piping hot and I had to let it cool down before tasting. I could smell and taste the sea in its creamy delight that consisted of halibut, oysters, and mussels. Although the bowl was tiny and light on the sea life, I enjoyed the flavour immensely. When the OBBCH catered the event, I enjoyed their mini halibut & frites combo. The fish was fresh and the tiny fries were delectable.
But on this outing, I sent for their basic snug burger. and as James said, there wasn’t anything special to the fries. They were much more flavourful when made up frite style.
I’m not sure when, but I definitely want to return to try the sushi here. When the menu mentions that they’ve Toshi Minesake rolling sushi that’s Oceanwise (meaning sustainable and fresh), I’m destined to return. The Crunch Roll (panko crushed, rock crab center, avacado, and spiced mayo) sounds very tasty! Although I can tell the selection will be small, it will be varied season by season.
J: Being a part of the Oak bay Beach Hotel, the Snug isn’t as expensive as one would expect. Their prices range from average to slightly above. But is the price of $15 for the pie worth it? I would have to say no in this case. There wasn’t anything to distinguish what was served here from what I could make at home. The food and service compensated where the food lacked. In the end, $15 overall was a not a fair price to pay.
3½ Blokes out of 5