The location is a bit hidden. The restaurant looks like a house from the outside. It is 1/2 a block off Main St. I have driven by and I imagined it to be dark / dim inside and having a bar / pub atmosphere. Our reservation was for 5:30pm. We were the first ones there for the dinner rush. Once inside, it wasn't a pub at all. A pub to me has thick wooden tables with the rustic look with accompanying wood chairs (not the most comfortable ones). It didn't have a rustic look to it at all. It was quite contemporary with sleek lines. The decor was neat with the images of the city. It was quite bright when we arrived. When we finished our dinner about 7ish, they dimmed the lights down. It is quite a small restaurant with about 40-50 seats. It did get filled by the time we left.
Food and Price
There was six of us for dinner. We used three Entertainment Coupons. The coupons were for 2 for 1 menu item. We were hungry so we opted for dinner items.
I ordered the steak sandwich which was $13.50 (Local beef, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella, caramelized onions served on garlic bread with mashed potatoes and BBQ sauce)
I ordered my steak medium rare. Medium rare is usually at least pink in the middle. I got my steak medium. It wasn't pink at all. Because it was cooked over my preference, it was dry and tough. For every bite of steak, I had to soak it in the bbq sauce to make it edible. The bbq sauce wasn't that great either. The mashed potatoes were tasteless. Some restaurants add extra garlic or flavouring to their mashed potatoes to make it taste better. This one is the most plain jane mashed potatoes I have ever eaten. I can make better mashed potatoes at home. The top slice of bread was hard. It was as if it was toasted then just left to sit. I didn't finish my bread or my mashed potatoes.
I had two friends who ordered the Lemongrass Mussels at $16.50 (Salt Spring mussels steamed in lemongrass, galangal, red chilies,
fresh lime juice, and Thai basil served with warm baguette.)
I expected better service because we were the only ones there for the first hour we were there. A lot of times the service decreases once they find out you are using coupons and not drinking. A couple of us tried the pumpkin beer. Some had only water.
I would give it a 1 out of 5. I think this is the lowest rating I have ever given a restaurant. This restaurant doesn't deserve a higher rating from me. The atmosphere was ok. The service was passable. The food wasn't good. Thank goodness for the coupon. I would not have wanted to pay full price for the food. Save your money and go elsewhere! This year's Entertainment coupon is only 10% off so it would not be worth your time and money!
Eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge
151 E 8th Ave