I originally reviewed Spinnakers over two years ago. Things have changed, and things have stayed the same. They still go for the locally sourced food, they still brew their own beer, and the cooking is still well executed. Things seem to be a little less adventurous in the kitchen, and the beer has become less on the edge. Maybe I've become more accustomed to West Coast way of things. But I think it's more that the standard fare is just a little more standard, and they've stopped calling the beer with interesting names.
I always take visitors to Spinnakers, as it's got a great view and great vibe. And my parents are visiting, and they've had enjoyable times there, so back we went after a day being tourists.
An order of the Pulled Pork Nachos was served for Mum. The personal serving is enough for two as a starter. Served with a mound of fresh, pig goodness and a good salsa, these were a good start to the proceedings. I went with a cup of the chowder, which is creamy, starchy and sea-food salty in equal measure. Nice chunks of (I think) clam in there too. Big bowl of this and lump of bread and I be set on a cold winter's day. Dad also went with the chowder, and seemed very happy with it all.
But as it was a warm summers day, I followed up with the Highland Beef Burger, with cheese. It looked a little small on arrival, the patty shirking away from the edges of the bun, and just capturing the cheese and onions. But this was a packed, juicy, meaty burger. No filler, no messing around with a loose, gristly badly cooked pile of ground meat. This was a BURGER. Beef, beef, and more beef. I needed the bun and salad to compensate for the protein overload. Fantastic. Probably doesn't need the cheese or onions, or the pickled cabbage. This patty. Crisp lettuce. Tomato. The mild BBQ Sauce. Kaiser Bun. Damn fine.
Mum went with the Cod and Chips, and was most happy. Dad had the Bangers and Smash. Very happy he was too with it. Good pile of potatoes, great sausages. Nothing extreme ordered at our table, but good quality, pub food. Looking through the menu (and there was no specials), things are pub food, or local twists. I have had the shrimp pizza here, and can recommend it as well.
Beer wise, I went for the Indian Session Ale. They had opened a Fresh Cask of their IPA with Williamette Hops, but even 90 minutes after opening it, it was all gone. The session ale is a bit like the old Doc's was, but served chilled. Clean, mildly hoppy and low enough in alcohol to have two without the parents wondering if their son was a sloppy drunk.
Service was just fair. Our server got a couple of things wrong and had to recheck what we had ordered. I prefer it when the wait staff write it down... a good memory doesn't impress me as much as getting what I ordered. Fake it if you have to. Make it look like I'm not leaving my food to chance. The pacing of the food was just a bit too slow, waiting for the initial service, or plates to be cleared and the bill to arrive. Might have been a busy session, but didn't feel that way.
Dessert, and I ordered the Raspberry Sorbet, as did Mum, while Dad went with Strawberry ice cream. The sorbet was excellent, intense raspberry flavour that refreshed the palate nicely. Three scoops was a bit much, but good end to a good meal.
Pulled Pork Nachos (Individual Size) : $8.00
2 Cups of Clam Chowder : $6.00 each
Highland Burger with Cheese : $15.00
Fish and Chips : $14.00
Bangers and Mash : $12.00
Raspberry Sorbet x2 : $6.00
House made Ice Cream : $6.00
2 pints of Indian Session Ale : $5.75 each
Tea and coffee : $5.00
Total Bill for three, including tips and taxes : $120.00
Address : 308 Catherine Street, Victoria
Telephone : (250) - 386 - 2739
Website : http://www.spinnakers.com/