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Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Ouisi Cajun and Creole Bistro

For this year’s Dine Out event, Suanne and I virtually selected our choice of restaurants rather randomly. We thought we wanted to have a bit of varieties. So, the first place we selected was a cajun and creole place — the Ouisi Cajun and Creole Bistro.

The Ouisi Bistro is located on Granville Street in Vancouver. It is located across the street from venerable West, which we had waited and waited for a special occasion to go, someday. For now, the Bistro is good enough.

The place is really dim even though the picture above looked bright enough. We must be getting older as we had a tough time looking over the menu even with the lone candle on the table. I must say that it’s sort of a Frenchy setting because of the many fleur-de-lis symbols decorated along the wall.

And the music was great … jazz. We were there early at 5:30PM and having the entire place to ourselves was certainly great. It was great until a group of 10 boisterous girls came in which quite ruined a quiet evening I was expecting! All I heard was their screaming and laughing. I think they got drunk.

On our table was two bottle of hot sauce. While waiting for the food, we tried them. There is one called Fear Itself Habanero Sauce and the other was Auntie Bev’s Hot Sauce. Oh man … the Auntie Bev’s Hot Sauce sure was hot … we like it. You don’t really feel the heat for the first 10 seconds or so but it will gradually grow very very hot.

I had the Big Rock Traditional Ale which is kind of soft. Frankly, I just randomly choose a Canadian ale but was a good choice.

Like the few southern cooking places I had been to, Ouisi also served corn bread with butter. There are 4 really big pieces. I don’t know how this is normally served but I think it would great if they had warmed up the bread a bit. It was crumbly and sweet but just that it’s a bit dry.

For dine out, my strategy is to order what I want and Suanne order what she wants. But no, Suanne insists that we order different dishes so that she can try more varieties.

Our first appetizer was the lamb and rosemary sausage. Unlike most other sausage, this one is particularly soft. We like it. The warmth of the sausage is perfect with the pickled red onion and grainy mustard-creme fraiche (whatever that is).

The other appetizer was a pair of really small and light Cajun Style Crab Cake. The crab cakes sat on top of a big pile of rather sourish corn relish. Nope, it was not great … we like the lamb and rosemary sausage better.

For the main, we ordered the Jambalaya with Smoked Ham and the Blackened Catfish Etoufee. The two dishes looked alike, so much so that I can’t tell which is which from the two pictures.

So, let’s just pretend that the above dish is the Jambalaya Smoked Ham, shall we? :-) The Jambalaya is served with lots of rice and is topped with ONE single miserable by large wild prawn. The “springy” prawn is the best part of this dish.

And … let’s also pretend the one above is the Blackened Catfish Etoufee. Etoufee is a popular Creole dish that had shellfish or chicken over rice … like Jambalaya … like Gumbo … at least to me. The catfish, well, was quite bland and tasteless. And it’s too wet for our liking, too much sauce which like the catfish is rather bland.

Hey, maybe that is how real Creole food are … what do we know, right? In Cantonese, this is best described as “yat pet yeh”. LOL!

The Bread Pudding with Whiskey-Praline Sauce was great! It is simply the best part of this 3-course meal. We love the sweet sauce.

The Pecan Pie with Chantilly Cream was alright. Wished that it’s bigger though.

It’s a $25 prix fixe dinner with the total bill came up to just $70.

Ouisi Bistro on Urbanspoon

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