Sherman's Food Adventures: Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

"The flying what???", was the consensus response to my suggestion about The Flying Beaver as our after softball eats. No, I wasn't trying to be lewd or vulgar. That is really the name of the place. It took a bit of convincing partly because they thought I was just trying to be funny and secondly, The Flying Beaver is located in a weird spot. How weird? Try the Harbour and Seaplane Terminal right off of YVR. Part of the Mark James Group of brewery restaurants, it shares the same building as the terminal right on the water. If you didn't know about the place, you'd drive right by on Russ Baker Way. Well, that's what I did since I wasn't paying attention. I had to loop back around to get there.

For a Monday night, the place was hopping. Turns out it, it was their Monday 2-for-1 appie special. Sounded good to us as Milhouse, Boss Woman and I decided to share 4 appies and 2 entrees. We chowed down on the Steak Bites first. These meaty sirloin morsels were tender with a little chew. There was a good amount of caramelization from the frying which helped bring out the sweetness of the pineapple-soy marinade. In addition, there was an underlying spice which was further accentuated by the chipotle aioli. I had high hopes for the Coconut Prawns since it brought back memories of Bubba Gumps. Okay, laugh if you may, but I like their coconut prawns! This one was not as crunchy as I would've liked as it was somewhat gummy. It probably had something to do with the fact that the batter was predominantly coconut (which has a lot of moisture). On the other hand, it was aromatically coconutty. The prawns were sweet, yet had no snap. The sweet ginger sauce was quite nice though as it complimented the other flavours quite well. Next up was the Spinach & Artichoke Dip which consisted of warm spinach, artichokes, feta, Monterey Jack and cream cheese with tortilla chips. Although this is usually a pretty "boring" item to order, it is great for sharing. Furthermore, they did a pretty good job with it since it was cheesy, full of spinach and balanced in flavour. No complaints here.

Now for my favourite of the ones we ordered - the Duck Spring Rolls. These were stuffed with roasted duck breast with apple slaw and served with sweet Thai sauce. Although being pretty darn oily, these rolls were crisp and full of moist duck and crisp veggies. The dip was pretty standard, but then again, it worked with the spring rolls. Now we weren't the only ones to order appies. Gyoza King (no, not the restaurant) and LuLu Bomber had the Hardee's Crab Cakes served with smoked red pepper coulis and spiced yogurt. LuLu Bomber offered a really big piece for me to try and even though I thought it was too generous, she insisted. Me thinks she is a fine addition to my eating adventures, I should get her to join us more often! I found the crab cake to be rather wet and not all that crabby. Yes, it was in a good mood... The exterior was fried up nicely though. As for the 2 dips, I much preferred spiced yogurt since the red pepper coulis had this ketchup-thing going on. Their second appie was the World Famous Hot Wings. Really? I think it was all in tongue n' cheek. Hmmm... maybe it would be awesome if there was actually tongue and cheek in it! Mmm... tongue and cheek... Actually, the wings were pretty good on their own. They were large, moist and meaty. They were a little wet from the hot sauce which was quite mild.

Gyoza King, seeing how LuLu Bomber offered me crab cake and wings, decided he should follow suit and offered some of his Chicken Curry Rice Bowl (Coconut curry sauce with vegetables, topped with mango chutney and spicy yogurt, over jasmine rice, with a side of naan bread). Now, I do realize the Flying Beaver is no Indian restaurant, so I'll take it easy on them. It is understandable that it cannot be compared to real Indian food. With that being said, the rice bowl had very little curry flavour. In fact, the whole thing was pretty dry including the pieces of chicken. The veggies were crisp and vibrant though while the naan was well, not naan. Now if we looked at the bowl without prejudice, it was not bad, it just wasn't curry. Judes went for the Seafood Grill consisting of two seafood skewers with salmon, halibut, ahi tuna and tiger prawn with a ginger-soy glaze, jasmine rice and seasonal vegetables. She felt that the seafood had a nice char to them, but were overcooked. She didn't like the rice as it was dry (much like the curry chicken rice bowl) while the green beans were soggy and wilted. She did like the glaze as it was a good balance between sweet and salty.

Getting back to my meal, we shared the Halibut and Chips which was served in a steamer basket. For a 2-piece halibut dinner, we expected it to be somewhat bigger, especially since it set us back $19.00. The batter was not really all that crispy either as it was soggy in parts and greasy throughout. The halibut was a touch overcooked too. The tartar sauce was creamy and had a nice tartness to it. The fries were pretty good though being crisp and not having a generic feel to them. Our second main was the Redneck Pizza with spiced beef, pepperoni, ham, capicolla, bacon, mozzarella cheese & tomato sauce. We liked the appearance of the pizza as it obviously was cooked in high enough heat for some good colour and char. Hence, the crust was mostly crunchy and only a touch soft in the centre. They were not stingy with the toppings, yet the pizza didn't end up being salty nor greasy. A pretty good pizza considering the venue.

Now whenever Bear is around, dessert is mandatory. Gosh, better not have both him and Mijune at the same table... So he went for the biggest offering they had with the Beaver Trio (uh... interesting name...). The darn thing was huge, including Raspberry Cheesecake, Tiramisu and Belgian Pecan Brownie. Okay, the cheesecake was not very good. In fact, it was poorly prepared. There were clumps of cream cheese strewn throughout the cake. In fact, it was far from smooth and was a little gritty (and it wasn't because of the raspberry seeds either). It did taste okay though with a good cream cheese hit (of course, since there were clumps!) and raspberry flavour (in it and the coulis). The tiramisu was decent with a strong liqueur hit. The cream was texturally pleasing and not too sweet. Lastly, the brownie had a nice chewy texture and was quite sweet. I didn't get a lot of chocolate in each bite. Seeing how Bear went for such a large dessert, it prompted me into ordering the Apple Pie with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. This was good. The crust was was crispy and buttery throughout. Inside, the layers of apple were warm and tender while not wet. It was sweet, but not too sweet. So for all the things we tried here, nothing was bad. On the other hand, nothing was as impressive as we had expected (based on the many glowing reviews on the Net). Bottom line is that the Flying Beaver is a decent place to grab some eats to go with your brew and a good view.

The Good:
- Nice view
- Okay eats

The Bad:
- Okay eats, but not as good as we thought it would be
- The "find-your-own-table-and-wait-for-people-to-leave" routine needs to be re-evaluated

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


Winnie said...

Hi Sherman,
Another Great review! I cannot agree more with the steak bites and the artichoke dip! Those are our staples whenever we visit the flying beaver as well.
Thank you for reviewing the duck spring rolls because I never thought about ordering it. Now I know that it is actually tasty, I will make sure that I order this dish on my next visit!
I really recommend their burgers and in particular the Kahuna style burger (used to be called big Kahuna burger!) I think it is the nicely charred and juicy patties that got us hooked....
anyway, thanks for sharing your experience and happy eating!

LotusRapper said...

FBB&G is a cool place, not a foodie destination but it doesn't claim to be. It's a gastro-pub in a loose sense of the term, and one that is more fun to be at than the chain "casual dining" venues. We always get a patio table, that's the point of being there, to watch the floatplanes :-)

Fun place to take out-of-town guests to, also.

Sherman Chan said...

@Winnie Thanks for the suggestion!

@LR Yes, you're right. The location is neat.

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