Sherman's Food Adventures: Milltown Bar & Grill

Milltown Bar & Grill

We haven't seen the likes of Inspector Gadget in 2 years.  Ever since he had his second child, he's been busy doing daddy duty and refraining from playing softball.  Pffft...  daddy duty...  what's that???  Viv, you know I'm kidding right?  Anyways, he showed up randomly to one of our Monday night games and proceeded to give me the heads up about Milltown Bar & Grill located in Richmond, but really, it's in Vancouver.  You see, the restaurant is right on Richmond Island that can only be accessed from Vancouver off of Granville Street, but due to the boundary lines, it is really in Richmond.  Funny, all the cars seemed to be parked straight in the parking lot...

Bear, Milhouse and I decided to share the Black & Bleu Poutine consisting of fresh-cut fries, blue cheese, cheese curds and chilli oil melted under house-made gravy.  In an attractive shade of golden brown, the fries were on point being crispy while maintaining their potato texture.  The gravy had a nice consistency while being only mildly flavourful.  Exhibiting its trademark sharpness, the blue cheese crumble was the most dominant item on the plate.  We felt there should've been more chili oil as it was non-existent, as well the modest amount of cheese curds.  I got a large order of Salt & Pepper Wings to start and they were crunchy with a well-rendered skin.  The meat was on the drier side though (probably intentional due to the type of wings).  However, Dark Helmet's hot wings were much juicier.

For my main, I had the Port Side Beef Dip made with slow-roasted sirloin beef, white cheddar and onion strings in a house-made baguette accompanied by au jus.  Although the plentiful amount of beef was dry, it wasn't difficult to chew.  There was plenty of melted cheese and just a touch of crispy onions.  I found the baguette to be slightly dense, but it softened easily when dipped into the "just salty enough" au jus.  I decided to get half fries and half Caesar because it made me feel better that I had some greens on my plate.  Bear went for the Monday special being the Milltown Burger & beer for $10.95.  Constructed with a house-made all-beef patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and house-made burger sauce (served on the side here), he thought it was lacking in moisture.  Even with the house sauce (served on the side here), the well-charred patty was too dry.

Chill opted for 2 items beginning with a bowl of the Manhattan Seafood Chowder.  This was a fairly thick concoction that was as tomatoey as it appeared.  It wasn't particularly tart nor seafood tasting, but he enjoyed it nonetheless since there was a bevy of ingredients.  Next, he had the Starboard Halibut Tacos with lightly blackened halibut, crisp coleslaw, avocado crème and black bean salsa wrapped in a soft tortilla shell.  As stiff as the tortilla shell appeared, it was actually warm and soft.  The fish was not overcooked while the sauce added only the slightest hint of spice.  Overall, it met his expectations.

In addition to the poutine we shared, Milhouse went for the Mariner Halibut Burger with Cajun rub, avocado cream and peach salsa.  He opted for a side Caesar which, like mine, was pretty standard except the dressing could've been more evenly distributed.  As for the burger itself, the fish was well-charred but dry.  He remarked that with all the promise of flavour, it was pretty bland.  Boss Woman ended up with the 1 piece Cod & Chips served with tartar sauce and coleslaw.  The fish itself was flaky and moist with a medium-thick tempura batter.  It was crispy albeit on the greasier side.  The tartar sauce was creamy with only a slight tartness while the coleslaw was crunchy and mild-tasting.

Judes had the Pesto Chicken Sandwich with grilled chicken, fresh avocado, sundried tomatoes, smoked Gouda cheese and pesto on freshly baked foccacia bread.  She thought the foccacia was fresh and soft. However, the sandwich began to fall apart midway and was lacking seasoning. The chicken was therefore quite bland albeit tender and moist.  Yet, it was just missing something. She enjoyed the fresh avocado but would've liked to see something like a guacamole (for the purposes of more impact). Gyoza King seeing there was no gyozas on the menu opted for the Butter Chicken.  Uh...  Yah, well that wasn't a great decision as the flavours were rather flat.  It was indeed creamy, but there was a lack of tomato tang and also some of the usual spices (or at least they were muted).  Furthermore, the naan wasn't really naan, but we weren't expecting that either.

Dark Helmet unexpectedly ordered a salad.  Thankfully it was Dry Dock Salad featuring Thai marinated steak, red grapes, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, crisp onion strings and smoked Gouda cheese on mixed greens with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and a peppercorn ranch drizzle.   He found the individual ingredients to be decent especially the grapes as they added a refreshing element.  The steak was tender and flavourful, but he found the salad overdressed where it muddled up the flavours.  Not to be outdone, he also got the Loaded Barge Nachos consisting of house-made lime salted tortilla chips, tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, green onions and mixed cheese with house-made black been salsa, sour cream and guacamole.  This was pretty good with plenty of toppings and crispy fresh chips.

Lastly, Bear couldn't end a meal without dessert, so he got the Peach Cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  This was fairly sweet with tender peach slices.  It was a bit on the mushier side, but decent nonetheless.  Overall, from the wide range of items we tried, the food is passable at a reasonable price.  The location is indeed interesting with one side with the view of planes taking off and the other with the view of the marina.  Milltown has the potential to be a great patio to hang out for some drinks and eats (if they can make a few tweaks).

The Good:
- Interesting, but ultimately great patio location
- We got attentive service
- Inexpensive

The Bad:
- Food needs some work
- We didn't mind, but the roar of the planes can get loud


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