My extended family decided to have a rather unconventional Chinese New Year’s Eve meal this year, making our way to Luke’s Corner Bar & Kitchen. We normally go to a Chinese restaurant for one of the 10-course “banquet” meals or to someone’s house for some home cooking, but we thought we’d change things up and indulge in more Dine Out Vancouver action.
Luke’s Corner Bar is located in the South Granville area, right by the Stanley Theatre. In fact, if you show up with your ticket from the Stanley, you are normally given a discount off the regular menu. For Dine Out, they had a three-course dinner for $18 per person.
The pulled pork poutine sounded good on paper, but it was ultimately disappointing. The cheese curds were replaced by a few shreds of white cheddar, supplemented by some shredded cabbage. There really wasn’t anything in terms of sauce, so the dish ended up being too dry for my tastes.
The soup, with its slight tinge of ginger, wasn’t so bad, but it was a lot thinner than I had expected. There were a total of three options for the appetizer portion of the meal; I just didn’t get a picture of the generic Caesar salad.
Even with an $18 prix fixe menu, the pasta portion here was a lot smaller than it should have been. This little bowl could have easily passed as an appetizer instead.
The skin on the fish had a nice crispness to it, but the portion again felt on the smaller side. The cous cous could have used some help in the flavor department too.
This is a cheaper cut of beef (sometimes called flank steak or flap meat), so it’s not terribly surprising that it was on the chewier side of things. There was still a fair bit of connective tissue inside and the meat itself was undercooked. I would have also liked to see a better char on the outside for flavor, especially since there wasn’t much “peppercorn” going on either.
The lemon pudding had a distinct thickness to it. It was definitely on the sour side of things, but the little bit of berry compote was meant to cut through that.
The sponge cake was neither horrendous nor amazing. The unremarkable nature of this dessert really epitomize the overall experience at Luke’s.
Cool Hand Luke?
I certainly cannot speak to what the “normal” experience at Luke’s would be outside of the Dine Out Vancouver festival. What we did get, though, was ultimately quite unexceptional. Despite relatively attentive and friendly service, the food was mediocre at best and inedible at worst.
Yes, I completely understand that this was just an $18 meal that came with three “complete” courses, but our dinner at Bistro 101 was also $18 and it was better than this… and that meal was prepared by students, no less. Luke’s has a nice location and it’s a cool space, but they really need to up their game to survive on South Granville.