L, AY and I decided to check out the Rock Café in Marlborough. Though the café was out of our way, I wanted to try it out because of all the favourable reviews on Urbanspoon. I already knew what I wanted to order – the shrimp burger, the calamari and the tiramisu. As it was a rainy Wednesday night, I didn’t think that we needed reservations. Well, this wouldn’t be the first or the last time I was proven wrong. The tiny restaurant was maxed to capacity. When we arrived, there was only a table for two.
The restaurant definitely falls under the category of ‘diamond in the rough’. The interior is small and plain. A female server (I think she was the co-owner) apologized and said they were too busy to serve us. Seeing as we had driven over 20 minutes to check out the Rock Café, we weren’t thrilled with the news. AY, always the problem-solver, suggested that she add an extra chair to the table.
Once seated, we ordered a variety of beers (Corona, Heineken, Coors) because, hey, what goes better with a burger than a beer? The Rock Café must have an ice-cold fridge, because these were the coldest beers we have ever tasted. We even checked using Coors test on a can– and L’s beer met the certified cold grade.
The kitchen was in the dining area of the restaurant, which means you could hear flames searing and (and later wear) the delicious smells from the grill. The appetizer of tempura squid was pretty darn tasty. We received about a 10 thickly cut ringlets.
The calamari ($10) was tender, nicely seasoned and lightly battered. We were in deep-fried heaven. The dip tasted a bit like Thousand Island dressing, but with some additional spices.
The shrimp burger ($13) arrived in a cheese bun, which was large and soft. The burger was outfitted with a couple of pieces of iceberg lettuce, melted spicy Monterrey Jack cheese, and a zesty ketchup-like sauce. The patty consisted of chopped up shrimp. Though the patty was large in size it was a very thin. I would have liked a burger that was smaller but a bit more dense and hearty as I felt I was eating mostly bread. I ordered a Caesar salad, which wasn’t much to write about. I found there was too much dressing and the flavour was one-dimensional. If the dressing was homemade, I couldn’t tell the difference.
L’s potato wedges were very good, it had a nice dry seasoning and the fries were sliced into wide, flat sections. I thought the side salads and fries could have been a bigger portion.
For dessert we ordered the famed tiramisu. It was good – the tiramisu was creamy, the ladyfingers were fluffy, and the filling was not too sweet. The only thing missing was the taste of boozy rum and the portion could be bigger. Though I suppose that’s just a personal preference. I’m don’t exactly have a dainty appetite.
At the end of the meal, I went to pay for the meal. Again, AY and I battled for the bill. It must be a Chinese thing, because L, as usual, just sat there and watched the fight. AY shoved my debit card out of the way and pushed her card on top of mine. When that didn’t work, she threatened to cause a scene in the restaurant. This wasn’t an empty threat. She made a big stink at Golden Bell on 17th Ave earlier that week when I tried to pay. I caved in this time. AY – you may have won this battle, but I’ll win the war.