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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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ular 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!

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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.

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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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  1. I love the new look, the photos are so nice and big and everything looks really delicious!

  2. The pecan pie looks yummy! I walk up Granville at least 3x/wk and have never noticed this place!

  3. “yat pet yeh”…haha, that is funny. 🙂 I had been meaning to try this place as well but haven’t had the chance yet!

  4. LOL at your description:“yat pet yeh”.
    FYI Pacific Culinary Institute of Arts have their 2 for 1 up until the end of Feb.Lunch/$24, and Dinner/$36 Mon to Thurs.3 courses meal.

  5. Hello there!

    I am Amber and so happened to come up on this site…I’ve read about the restaurant you’ve visited and it sounds nice! I live in Michigan. Maybe I will go someday. I’d love to travel just to try out new restaurants. Sounds cool!

    I am writing because you’ve stated:
    “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?”

    I must say this…I am from Georgia–the South. And the thing with Southern cooking an’ awll cookin’ is that…us Southerner’s like seasoning compared to any other part of the Country. And depending if the person cooking is Black or White. Us Southern-Blacks love seasoning a tad bit more than Southern-Whites, (lol). Where as a Black goes to a restaurant with a White chef they may think the food is too bland. Or vice versa; if a White goes to a Black restaurant they may think the seasoning is overly seasoned (lol). And we awll LUV! sweet tea (lol). Maybe a little too sweet!

    And based on research on both the Cajun’s and Creoles…alot of their seasonings aren’t really the seasonings at all (salt, pepper, seasoning salt etc.). It’s mainly the roux (“rue”), herbs onion and bell peppers to my knowledge. A little family secret-seasoning here and there or specially home-made seasonings, Cajun/Creole mixes that are hard to find if one doesn’t know where to get them–or what isle (lol). And also, many people think ALL Cajun food is supposed to be SPICY! And that is Not the case!

    But my thing is not all Creole fool is supposed to be “bland and tasteless”! Nor Southern food at all! My hymn- saingin’ Grandmother’s catfish is ALWAYS on point! It was probably the Chef’s doing. I’m pretty sure he either traveled to the South, researched or both. And he picked and tweaked the recipes to his own likening. My best bet would be if you know any “TRUE!” Southerners–regardless of race…(Black, White–heck, even Mexican!) you’d have a great TRUE Southern experience and a hearty meal and definitely will be left satisfied!

    But this restaurant does sound nice. And they played Jazz music! Great! C’est Bien! They should also play a little Zydeco as well!:) But maybe I will take your charismatic critiques to heart, going with my gaurds up…for I know how REAL Southern food is supposed to taste! But can’t blame them for trying!

    –Thanks for this though!

    P.S. We all appreciate you for being open minded and telling us how it went! (wink!);)

    1. You are right about creole and close to the base. It’s called the trinity celery, green peppers and onions.

      D

  6. Umgh! I’m hungry now, lol!

  7. I make a good jambalaya myself and I consider it to be southern style risotto. The thought of putting a dish which has rice as a principle component on top of more rice does not make a lot of sense to me.

    We don’t have much in the way of creole in Vancouver so I may go try this anyway. At least it all looks pretty.

  8. Get glasses and learn to write. Also, live and let live…other people are allowed to be there too!

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