Ferris’ Grill & Garden Patio, Victoria B.C.

Back when I was living in Victoria, British Columbia for a month, Ferris’ Oyster bar (upstairs Grill & downstairs Patio) became my go-to restaurant, and over the course of a month I worked myself through much of their menu. The seafood is amazingly fresh, well prepared, and very reasonably price (and if you factor in the US to Canadian dollar conversion rate, down right cheap).

There are in fact two restaurants with overlapping but distinct menus: The fancier one is up a long flight of steep stairs and the more laid back one is located on the ground floor.

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Bouillabaisse (top left), a selection of their baked oysters, steamed clams & mussels, and seared rare albacore tuna (bottom right)
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Seafood Laksa in Malaysian coconut curry broth, Fresh B.C. Halibut in miso dashi , Bouillabaisse in fennel broth w/Saffron Ailoi, Warm Cauliflower Salad,

EVERYTHING I had was tasty, but of everything my most favorite meals were firstly the bouillabaisse served at the downstairs restaurant (the version in the upper pictures, the upstairs one has too much fat for my diet), the laksa (although the coconut milk is verboten for me), the halibut and the warm cauliflower salad.

While all the food is amazing, the more I went there (and I’d been there maybe 12 to 15 times) the more I grew to dislike their downstairs wait staff. Don’t get me wrong, they’re highly efficient, and good at their jobs, but I increasingly got the impression they don’t much like their jobs and would be thrilled if they didn’t actually have to interact with customers. Also, it seems like there’s a high turnover in the downstairs staff because I rarely saw the same folks twice, even though I always sat in the same place. And no, I don’t think it’s just me. I have watched and listened to their interactions with other patrons… same deal.

By contrast the upstairs staff was MUCH friendlier, seemed happier, and did their jobs better.

That said, I will miss both restaurants.

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