Zachary's on Robson

We visited Zachary's on a quiet weekday, but the restaurant was quickly filled with diners staying in the adjacent hotel. We decided on what we wanted, only to be told after we had ordered that several items were not available. I was a bit annoyed that this was not indicated on the menu and no one told us anything as we were browsing the menu. After finally placing our orders, we waited and waited for the food to arrive with no complimentary bread to munch on. With my stomach growling, I decided to reserve judgement until I've tasted the food. I was in the mood for steak, so I had the prime rib special ($16). It came with a side of veggies, Yorkshire pudding, and a choice of rice or mashed potatoes. The only thing I liked about this dish was the lightly seasoned daikon with its not-too-crunchy and not-too-mushy texture. The Yorkshire pudding was a bit too dry, and the steak was far from satisfactory.

I asked for rare and the steak looked rather promising on first glance, but the meat was actually very chewy and tough.

Yes I know, you must be wondering why we ordered butter chicken again after we learned our lesson at Mandalay Lounge & Steakhouse. We originally wanted to get another chicken dish, but it was not available and we had to settle for butter chicken ($14). Of course the naan advertised on the menu turned out to be pita bread, which wasn't too much of a problem since it was expected and the pita tasted pretty good. The problem was the butter chicken, which turned out to be Thai curry chicken... and not very tasty Thai curry chicken at that.

One of the dinner specials was the honey garlic chicken and ribs ($16). Both the chicken and ribs were not very tender and I even found them a bit dry. The flavour was not bad though, at least compared to the "butter chicken". I was a bit hopeful about the mashed potatoes because the waitress seemed very surprised that I opted for rice with my prime rib and commented that the mashed potatoes were delicious. But really the mushy mash was not particularly impressive; it was neither creamy nor buttery. The only thing special about it was the bits of potato skin mixed inside.

We were provided with a bowl of lemon water for cleaning our hands after we had finished our entrees. This was also the only good part about the service.

I was looking forward to trying the chocolate tower cake on the dessert menu, but unfortunately that was not available (and I wasn't very surprised at this point). It didn't seem like the other desserts on the menu were available either. The waitress said she would check with the kitchen and came back to tell us about the chocolate nemesis ($5.95), a rich and intense chocolate torte. I wasn't particularly interested, but decided to settle for it because I really wanted something sweet to end the meal and there weren't any other options. The torte was very sweet and the texture was just like hard ice cream. The chocolate flavour was prominent, but it wasn't the deep and satisfying aroma I was hoping for. It satisfied my sweet craving, but I wouldn't have ordered it if I could choose again.

To be honest, I have no idea why the people staying in the adjacent hotel would dine here. There are so many dining options just down the street, and probably most of them are better in terms of both food and service.

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