I (Matt) took a trip to Quisi with a friend and she wanted to write the blog entry, she even seemed open to the idea of joining VancouverSlop.  I am crossing my fingers.  Here is how she summed up our experience at Quisi.

Ouisi Restaurant
It’s rare for me to sum up dishes using just a few words. It only really happens when you are unsatisfied with your meal. As is, unfortunately, the case below…

We went to Ouisi with hopes of leaving happy, full, and with stories of good food to tell. Self-described as “a bistro … creating Cajun and Creole cuisine from fresh British Columbia ingredients”, friends who had visited during Dine Out reported that it was tasty, and it’s been on South Granville for quite a while…all signs that would lead you to assume satisfaction, right? WRONG.

When we arrived, it took us (okay, me) a while to decide on what to get. Hungry and looking forward to a good dinner, I deliberated
 between the $8½ Vert et Bleu Salad (calvados vinaigrette tossed spinach, with roasted pumpkin seeds & Danish Blue cheese) followed by a $10 ¼ 14th Street Eats Sandwich (Chicken breast with spinach almond pesto & asiago cheese on sourdough), or the more authentic Cornmeal Crusted Trout $18 (with a mango-chipotle beurre blanc, roasted new potatoes and sautéed vegetables). I decided to go with the trout. I don’t love Cajun or Creole cooking all that much (not a fan of spicyrunny noses and sweaty faces), but I thought, hey, when in Rome…and I do like trout. MISTAKE.
My dining companions, Michelle and Matt, ordered the $2½ Basket of Housemade Cornbread to start, followed by the $15½ Jambalaya (a Louisiana classic, simmered with tomatoes, the trinity, smoked ham, andouille sausage, chorizo sausage & served with green rice), and the $9 Burger and Brew Special (with Swiss; for an additional $2 ¼, might I add, pricey cheese) with a $8 Seafood Chowder (a melange of seafood in a tomato broth with sweet potatoes & fresh vegetables). Sounds pretty Creole-licious, right? (well, minus the burger) WRONG.

Cornbread; one word: DRY. It crumbled when you put butter on it. Housemade, when? Earlier in the week?

Trout; one word: BLAAAAAAAAAAAAND. It was like eating water fish, yes, a make believe fish made up of solid water, zero flavourSo, you’d think the “mango-chipotle beurre blanc” would be the saving grace. Sounds lovely and authentic, but I wouldn’t even describe it that way, it was more just cut up mangos with mango sauce (mango, sugar, flour?) and some chilies; nothing amazing, and it definitely did not do anything for the dishTo round it off, the potatoes were weak and the sautéed vegetables were more like boiled and boring.

Jambalaya; few words: SPICY COVERING BLAND. Yup, another round of bland, but this time it was spicy, a lazy way to cover up bland. I believe Michelle said that it was so spicy that the spiciness was coming out of her eyeballs. Yu-ummmm!

Next: the burger, which Matt actually really enjoyed. Which, yaaaa…I guess is great, but not really what you’d go there for. Although, I guess you now know what to order if someone books resos there and you have no choice.

And finally, the Chowder; few words: DIRTY FISHY WATER. I should mention that this came out almost 15-20 minutes after everything else. Weird that soup would take that long in the first place, even more weird is that they thought they could get away with calling it chowder (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/chowder - A thick soup containing fish or shellfish, especially clams, and vegetables, such as potatoes and onions, in a milk or tomato base)Thick? Nope! It was watery, with random little pieces of vegetable, and maybe random chunks of seafood, not that we say any. Okay, and the taste…seriously, fish water. We actually sent it back and told the waitress it wasn’t very good.

Needless to say, other than the burger, our meals were not polished off.

I can only assume that the Vert et Bleu Salad and 14th Street Eats Sandwich would have been better, but I’m not willing to go back there and try. Michelle mentioned their breakfast/brunch was good, but I pretty much would never recommend this place.


Ouisi Bistro
3014 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
Ouisi Bistro on Urbanspoon

I will find the picture of the trout and get it up shortly.  Sorry.

Matt liked his burger but  hoped that they could hook a guy up with some garnish, fries, or even a cut up tomato.  Come on Quisi spend the 50 cents and make the plate at least  look nice.


shokutsu said... @ July 1, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Urgh. Your description and image of that alleged "chowder" says it all. Sorry to hear of your horrible experience.

Belinda said... @ July 2, 2009 at 12:08 PM

I've never had a good meal there. What is it people like so much.

Oh, just lied. I had some seared tuna with pinapple salsa that was good once... and H loves the black bean soup.

Not recommended

Nat said... @ July 2, 2009 at 12:59 PM

I've just been there recently and have to say had better experience. I ordered the daily special, Blackened Chicken on green rice & some blackbean salsa. It was really good, the chicken was well-seasoned, juicy and tender. All my friends were also satisfied with what they ordered. We also got a couple of items to share, Gator Bites (the portion could have been bigger!) and jerk chicken. Both items were good. I've never tried the real Creole or Cajun style food before so I can't compare Ouisi with the real thing, but I think their food is okay.

Lucy said... @ July 2, 2009 at 7:31 PM

The only picture that looked appetizing was the burger. I would have complained about the dry bread, you paid for it no?! I'm curious about the jerk chicken. Not many places in the city serve good jerk chicken, any suggestions?

Belinda said... @ July 2, 2009 at 8:25 PM

oh man, jerk chicken... well....

riddum & spice on commercial across the street and 1/2 block towards broadway from the ravioli store. Used to be called Nuff Niceness. Bad service - great jerk chicken. cheap mom & pa (with new bad waitress). around 3rd maybe?

the reef on main is really good too. the jerk pork is great there. more expensive.

I wouldn't even try the jerk chicken at Ouisi - but that's just me.

Oh, and mine is yum yum.....

Anonymous said... @ July 3, 2009 at 8:23 AM

This blog surprised me.
I've been to Ouisi a few times, the first time being a dine out and every single person has had good or great food.
It's been just as good as the authentic food I've had in New Orleans, too.

Belinda said... @ July 3, 2009 at 8:30 AM

note: I am extremely picky.

Anonymous said... @ July 7, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Gotta say- had the jambalaya recently and it was quite good, not bland. Also, perhaps would have chosen different words- you said it was spicy and bland, but the two are contradictory...

Anonymous said... @ July 9, 2009 at 11:56 AM

...actually, I said spicy covering bland. the sauce was spicy, but if you took away the sauce, it would have been bland.

be happy you had a better experience.

Gyromite said... @ July 9, 2009 at 9:59 PM

I don't think spicy and bland are necessarily contradictory. In this case the food was hot but not flavourful aka bland.

Chowder can't be made on the spot, they need to let it simmer.

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