50 Bastion Square
Hours: Weds to Sun 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Phone: (250) 361-9223
I can easily do the jailhouse rock at Rebar Modern Food. Or rather, I might get jailed for going vegetarian since I’m better known for going primal, enjoying steaks at home than dining out for them. It saves me money since prices jump when getting somebody else to prepare them. But for fish, I get it; you have to slice those fillets and crisp it just right to bring out the flavour and texture of the meat.
This cozy restaurant is tucked to one corner in the famously haunted Bastion Square. As we chatted about the paranormal, on her way here, I wondered if this place had any stories. I know the pubs that’ are up a few doors from this place are, but I don’t recall if there are any stories here. Not like it’d deter us from sitting down for a bite. We were greeted by a friendly server, and opted for a seat with a view of the area.
I’m very pleased to say their greens are tops. Unlike other places where I sometimes get something less than crispy, the flavours and tastes for even a salad had me smacking my lips. I loved the cucumber dill dressing that went with my Blackened Rockfish Burger. I wasn’t sure if that’d fill me, as I had a small snack before coming into town to meet my friend from the National Film Board of Canada after a Victoria Film Festival screening. I was more interested in the Q&A since I got to see the documentary, The Colour of Ink, prior. This work is simply beautiful in teaching viewers about what this medium can do. My review can be read on the sister site, Otakunoculture.com.
One interesting discussion included the use of edible inks in food. It’s just limited to black squid ink, but in what a specially designed printer can do. I recall catching a video showing how they’re used in cake decoration, but I’m sure there are more applications than just that! While it won’t print out a meal for you to consume, just what can be done is simply beautiful to behold.
Even my meal was nicely presented. All the colours jumped out at me. I can easily identify the carrots, tomatoes, and chickpeas. They were eye candy and also equally tasty once I added the dressing on top! The warmed peasant bun was nicely soft, and it made for a pleasant contrast to the rockfish, which was charcoaled up just right for me to say, “nom, nom, nom.” I rarely add avocado to even a traditional burger, and what I ate had me savouring the contrasts in the two flavours.
The smoked paprika aioli didn’t really stand out in this meal, and that’s okay. Between that and the arugula, it was a meal for the common man to enjoy.
The drink I had was a bit of a star. It was a lot tangier than I realised, but when the mix is called the Sun Ra, I suspect the name is not just an homage to the Jazz Singer. It’s simply a mix of orange, grapefruit, and lemon nicely blended up and served with a smile. I was certainly beaming afterwards, and I’d come back here for the drinks! There are a lot more mixes I’d love to try out, namely the Maui Honeymoon, made of orange, mango, and pineapple. What got my respect is that their specialty mixes are named after landmarks near this city’s Chinatown, namely Value Village and Capital Iron. Anyone who knows the story of the latter will appreciate this inclusion, and even Popeye would toot about it!
The one drink that really got my notice, that I’ll return for is Mothra (apple, pineapple, cucumber, lime ) and Godzilla (apple, kale, spinach, parsley, banana). The fact they love their pop culture here too is tops in my books!
4 Blokes out of 5