BLUE OCEAN CAFE

Blue Ocean Cafe

Blue Ocean Cafe is a Hong Kong style cafe located in the New Kennedy Square, next to Peachtree Plaza in Markham. The menu is a mix of Hong Kong, Malaysian, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes (when we visited, they also offered a Hokkaido ramen special).

Atmosphere: Our group of friends arrived at 6pm on a Friday night and there was a line. The restaurant is fairly small and we had just missed a turnover of tables. It was a good 20 to 30 minute wait before we were seated. Many of the diners were families and it was hectic. Servers practically ran between tables and the kitchen balancing plates of food.

Service: I understand it was a busy night and I do not have the highest standards for a fast, casual restaurant, but even then the service was disappointing. Our orders were taken promptly and the first plate was quick to arrive. The Fiance ordered an upgraded soup with his entree and everyone dug into their food. After awhile though, The Fiance’s main order never showed up. We worked hard to get someone’s attention to check on the order and then waited. 10 minutes later, no update and one of my friends was close to finishing his meal and still nothing. We asked them to check again and still nothing. Finally, the dish arrived piping hot, after a third inquiry. Whether the dish was originally left off the order, or sent to another table, or left in the kitchen and had to be remade, I wish we were updated with a status after the first time we asked.

Food: Blue Ocean Cafe offers great value in their set dinners, served between 5pm and 10pm. Prices range from $7.99 to $13.50 (for the lobster cream sauce pasta) and include a drink and bowl of soup. The majority of dishes in the regular menu also doesn’t exceed $10. For an additional $3.50, the soup can be upgraded to a lobster bisque with puff pastry. The Fiance ordered the Malaysian Lamb Curry set and opted for the upgrade because he has a soft spot for puff pastry. A friend ordered the Hainanese Chicken Set, another had the Hokkaido Ramen Special (not pictured) and I ordered a House Special Rice Noodle.

The puff pastry topping did a great job of keeping the heat inside and the Lobster Bisque arrived very hot. However, the top layer was a little over toasted and the inner layer was soggy from all the steam. While the soup was creamy and thick, the execution of the topping was a bit sloppy. When The Fiance’s curry finally arrived, I sampled a few bites and thought it was fine. The dish was on par with many other restaurants, pretty standard. My noodles were spectacular. The fried egg was perfect, the broth was milky, rich and the noodles were chewy. I was very impressed with their broth and the depth of flavour. Each of the breakfast meats included were also lightly fried, amplifying the taste. My other friend also quite enjoyed her ramen but thought the short ribs included had a lot of fatty pieces.

If not for the service misstep and long wait time, Blue Ocean Cafe would easily have received a 4.5 rating. As is, I’m willing to check out more Hong Kong style cafes before a return visit.

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