Sunny days in Vancouver are perfect for gobbling up freshly shucked oysters and chugging down an ice cold bottle of beer. We ended up at Rodney’s Oyster House located at 1228 Hamilton St. in Yaletown. I’ve always had a curiosity for this restaurant even when I was younger, but I never gave it a try until a childhood friend gave me the recommendation. Michael and I came here once and had a lot of fun, but I’m not sure why we never went back, so today was the day!
Rodney’s is arguably the definition of west coast dining. The restaurant has an open bar where you can see staff chucking away the oysters, steaming the clams, and preparing drinks. Rows of oysters are laid out behind the bar and adorned with signs explaining where they were caught, giving a harbour-like feel despite being in the heart of downtown. The staff also looked very relaxed in their t-shirts and cargo shorts, even though the restaurant was completely packed, they seemed extremely at ease.
We were promptly seated and served with complimentary sourdough bread with capers and raspberry. The bread was moist, the capers added a great punch, and were just delicious! We ordered from their Low Tide 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. menu, happy hour if you will. I’m usually not the biggest oyster fan, but today Rodney’s really changed my mind.
Raw oysters were an affordable $1.50 each – we ordered 14 of them. The oysters do take some time to arrive, since they’re shucked by just one staff member behind the bar, but arrived with an appetizing platter of condiments, including the classic Tabasco, Worcester Sauce, white vinegar with capers inside, and a variety of self-concocted mixes. The sauce I chose to go with my oysters was called Shallots and Vinaigrette, dubbed “a classic in a French kitchen.” It gave the oysters a unique taste, going down very nicely and smooth, while Michael exploited the “concocted by the devil” Seawitch Sauce.
We also ordered the steamed clams, $10.95, from the Low Tide menu. Steamed in own liqueur and butter, the dish was simply marvellous with its light, fresh tasting broth. Michael and I could have sipped that broth like soup.
Next, the beautifully presented Scallop Gallette arrived. The dish was a crispy potato encrusted scallop with plum sauce and a green salad. Perfectly cooked, the batter was light and crispy and complimented the dish rather than overpowering the scallops. The shellfish themselves were fresh, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, pairing nicely with the tangy plum sauce. The mixed greens were lightly drizzled with olive oil and vinaigrette, and came as a pleasant bonus to the plate.
Rodney’s has another location in Toronto, and I’d like to say hello to my cool aunt who lives in Ontario, if you ever get a chance to go to Rodney’s in Toronto, I hope you feel a wee bit closer to me.
With two beers, our bill came to $71 including tip.
Rodney’s serves great food with stellar service, and its lively atmosphere is guaranteed to keep you coming back for more. We’ll be back.
Follow me on Twitter!