Curse of the Black Pearl (Seafood Bar)

Review

Seafood is one of the great loves of my life.

Regardless of whether it swims, crawls, slithers, or burrows through driftwood and old-timey nautical vessels, if it came from the ocean, I’ll probably eat it.

Gooseneck Barnacles - Surprisingly delicious

Gooseneck Barnacles – Surprisingly delicious

My unhealthy obsession with mollusks aside, it’s no surprise that Cafe Amore’s new seafood bar – The Black Pearl caught my eye.


Before we get too far into the review, however, we need to set a few things straight.

The Black Pearl is NOT a restaurant.

Well… If you’re going by the Merriam Webster definition of:

a place where you can buy and eat a meal”

then it might scrape by, but for all intents and purposes, The Black Pearl is a Seafood Bar.

As in it serves seafood and drinks.

The food is intended to be more of a drinking snack as opposed to a full on meal.

With this in mind, lets talk Edmontonian seafood!


Upon arriving at the restaurant, I was immediately disappointed by the fact that the restaurant was NOT Pirates of the Caribbean themed.

So very disappointed...

So very disappointed…

To be fair, the restaurant was very nautical themed, and had sort of a driftwood/random seafaring shit-themed look to it.

It was honestly like someone with a flimsy grasp of what a boat looked like was blindfolded and asked to design the restaurant using only his sense of touch.

ADD MORE NAUTICAL SHIT

ADD MORE NAUTICAL SHIT

To add to the atmosphere, the restaurant was incredibly narrow, with the only windows being close to the front of the restaurant. Combined with an apparent shortage of lightbulbs, the back of the restaurant was dark as all hell by mid-afternoon.

Whether this was intentional, and the enterprising restaurateurs just wanted to simulate the feel of the being in a lightless pit at the bottom of the goddamned ocean, we’ll never know.

Intended clientele.

Target clientele.

To top this all off, the wait staff weren’t even dressed in period appropriate attire. Not a single rubber boot, pipe or captains jacket was to be seen.

Instead the staff wore jeans and black T-shirts with vaguely suggestive sea-food themed messages.

I’m not going to go any further with this, they just used the word “shuck” rather creatively.

And the food?

Well I ordered the Jerk Crab, and my companion ordered the chopped tuna mash thing.

What?

I forgot to take a picture of the menu, and they don’t have a website.

We were warned beforehand that the portions would be exactly as described on the menu, and did not come with sides or carbs.

Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened.

So goddamned dark

So goddamned dark

The crab was cooked in a spicy jerk-seasoning cream sauce and was delicious. There was a noticeable kick to the sauce and I think I got a hint of coconut milk or cream to tone down the heat and mellow out the flavors.

Think Laksa but with jerk spices instead of Chinese/Malay seasoning.

The tuna was decent, but nothing spectacular. It tasted strongly of lemon, to the point where the fish was almost an afterthought, and had no other defining traits.

it even comes pre-chewed!

it even comes pre-chewed!

It came with over olive-oiled and under toasted croutons as well as these strange tiny red peppers.

While the peppers added a bit of color to the plate, they added nothing to the dish and often overpowered the fish and the lemon.

Since neither of us were actually full from our respective bar-snacks, we decided to get the dessert.

Dessert, for that day, happened to be a Kraken spiced rum flambéed bananas foster.

We were served exactly that.

7/10, sloppy sauce smear

7/10, sloppy sauce smear

To give them credit, the bananas were cooked perfectly. Slightly caramelized and laying in a pool of rum and butter sauce, you couldn’t really ask for a better example of bananas foster.

It also came with a somewhat artistic smear of something red and sour. My memory fails me but I’m certain it’s some sort of reduced berry concoction. It was overly sour and shouldn’t have been on the plate.

It’s times like these where the chef needs to take a step back and taste his goddamned food. Too many times, you’ll have little smudges of random sauce or spurts of balsamic ruining an otherwise good dish.


The Good

  • The crab
  • The drink menu

The Bad

  • The tuna
  • The lighting
  • The decor
  • The tacky-ass t-shirts
  • The lack of Pirates of the Caribbean themed decorations

The Ugly

  • The fact that I spent $15 on a fucking banana

That pretty much sums this place up.

The food is decent, the seafood is fresh, the drinks are good, and you can pay a large premium to have people draw shit on your food with sauce.

But hey, Edmontonian haute cuisine right?

Black Pearl Seafood Bar on Urbanspoon

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3 thoughts on “Curse of the Black Pearl (Seafood Bar)

  1. I would personally love to know what you define as haute cuisine? Have you eaten at a michelin star restaurant? Do you know what defines a typically traditional plate, and what would break the boundaries and broaden your perspective on a new take on the dish? Have you been inspired by something other than a franchise restaurant or do you just eat at joeys and earls?

    Try out San Sebastian and actually get educated from one of the best and you can consider yourself good enough to rate someone else food.

    I love food, and I have worked in Kitchens, even as a chef! WOWZA! and I still don’t utter this kind of nonsense. If you can’t remember the name or the flavour of what you ate, you shouldn’t write about it. Some sour fruit sauce?? Ohhh.. that’s an opinion I’ll put a check mark next to. Pissing about 15$ for a banana? Regular dessert without being cooked to order or coming out of a box is already about 8 – 10 bucks even at a mediocre restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. so… 0 culinary experience or training i presume.
    typically if youre going to grill someone, you should know what flavors youre mocking.
    A pretentious 20 something with too much time on his hands shitting on someones dishes because they werent up to his “standards”, which is rich lol. Chefs love hearing reviews from people with no fucking clue, dont worry pal. Industry wide there are know it all people who pretend to know a shits sniff about what dishes are about and critique someones blood sweat and tears. But for the most of us who have spent years learning our craft, I regret to inform you that your opinion means two things .. Jack and shit lol.
    So feel free to go eat at a Red lobster or Joeys and enjoy your “passion for seafood”, and for the rest of us; who have actually worked in Michelin star restaurants and owned and worked as an Executive Chef, I bid you a happy see you next tuesday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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