Archive for August, 2011

August 19, 2011

ACMe Food Co. – Sean’s Review (aka “He said”)

by HeSaid

It was back in June, ACMe had a deal on Island Daily Deals. Buy a $40 voucher for $20. Since we’re in the business of eating and talking about food, and we’re not getting paid, it makes sense to find deals where we can.

I really wanted a win on this one. ACMe used to be the go-to place back in the day, back when I used to go out for fancy martinis on a semi-regular basis. Now that I drink fewer martinis and demand better food, I’ve not been near ACMe.

The menu wasn’t particularly inspiring. A lot of sushi, which I haven’t heard much good about, and the standard Nanaimoan frou-frou upscale nonsense. You know what I mean, things frazzled in goat’s cheese, wrapped in filo pastry, accompanied by aioli and a menu chock full of hipster haute cuisine. I opted for the ($17) ahi tuna salad, because I like tuna and I figured if they could get anything right, it’d be a salad.

Here’s where I’m gonna rock you with a little bit of knowledge. Good fish, fresh fish, doesn’t smell fishy. As a fish decomposes, nitrogen-containing chemicals called amines are released. Some of these are quite volatile, and the older a piece of fish gets, the more amines are released and stronger the fishy smell gets.

Supposed Ahi Tuna Salad

I think my salad might have looked like this before they made it and left it under a heat lamp for a week.

When our salad arrives, the first thing I notice is the fishy smell. Fresh tuna is bright, vibrant, like in this picture. What I’ve got is palid, greyed out tuna.  It makes me think of the before and after photos of fast food, like, you see a picture of a Big Mac and you think to yourself “that’s gonna be really good”, and then you go and get one and the reality is actually quite grim.

The dressing for the salad was nondescript at best, I still can’t recall the flavour profile (if there ever was one), and the beet tendrils winding through the entire thing made me feel like I was wrestling a Kraken.

Food or fail rating: Fail

Advertisements
Tags: , , ,
August 19, 2011

ACMe Food Co. – Alex’s review (aka “She said”)

by SheSaid

ACMe Food Co. enjoyed a wild ride back in the day: always busy and packed on weekends. Sadly, consecutive changes in ownership ran it into the ground but the most recent owners of ACMe Rib & Seafood House (or ACMe Rib & Steakhouse depending on where you look on the web site) seem to really care about the place and are working to turn things around with the bold proclamation, “the fun is back!”  Having spent years watching the roller coaster at the corner of Commercial and Terminal Avenue, I walked in to ACMe wanting to find “food”, desperately wanting “food”.

What I also wanted was a nice, cold dark beer. Our wait for drinks wasn’t long but managed to feel interminable because it was noisy to the point of distraction. Maybe it was the layout but the place was over half empty and the voices from the next table — the elbow-bumpingly close next table — overpowered our own conversation. It was even hard to talk about how distracted we were.

That pint of Hermanns Dark Lager helped things.

The menu wasn’t far off what it has always been: West Coast favourites and sushi. Lots of sushi. In its heyday it was some of the best sushi in town but I’d need a lot of encouraging to take that risk.  What did catch my eye was the word sesame in connection with a steak salad. Sold. China Steps Steak Salad it would be.

Sadly the claims of sesame-ishness didn’t pan out. What, you can’t toast a couple of seeds and toss them in my general direction? The quality of the meat was passable but barely so; the soba noodles, gummy; the grilled vegetables consisted of two slices each of grilled zucchini and red pepper, pathetic, bland, wilty things. Most pathetic were the asparagus spears: grilled into submission, like they had lost their will, been utterly beaten.

But the single most pathetic element of that plate was the overall flavour profile. Sesame soya dressing makes me think of bright flavours, of a flavour experience, but there was nothing bright or flavourful there.  I couldn’t help but imagine what Gordon Ramsey’s response would have been if confronted with that $17 plate. Profanity, I imagined, and throwing it to the ground.

At least we didn’t pay for parking.

Food or fail rating: Fail