Paprika Bistro

2524 Estevan Avenue, tel: 592-7424
UPDATE - May 09
With a recent change of ownership, the new Paprika didn't disappoint. The restaurant and menu structure remains the same, while incorporating the vision of new management and a new chef. Kudos for maintaining the positive atmosphere that has existed in this space for decades as Paprika and its predecessor Chez Daniel. Prices are reasonable and quality is high. The wine list isn't what it used to be, but let's give them a chance to build it back up.
Patty tried the beef tartar, which was unconventional, but tasty. Followed by the pork chop, which was portioned on the heavy side, but succulent and full flavoured. I had the greens with shaved foie gras, which was creatively well balanced, then the quail. Oh how I love little birds... it was a fussy dish,  without being pretentious.

Having always enjoyed this restaurant, it's a happy occasion to announce that is appears to have been left in good hands.


UPDATE - Paprika Bistro is under new management as of the winter 2009. A new review is pending.


Paprika Bistro distinguishes itself with labour intensive attention to detail. Every evening a different variety of house-made specialty items are served, most notably Chef George Szasz's charcuterie dishes. In no way the focal point of the menu, his commitment to maintaining the profile of these dishes speaks to his culinary dedication.

Located in deepest-darkest Oak Bay, Paprika is the quintessential neighbourhood bistro. That said, the affluent nature of this particular neighbourhood, is evident in the menu pricing and wine list. Most people would consider Paprika at least a semi-special occasion restaurant.  

Generally speaking, we enjoy consistently efficient and friendly service at Paprika. However last night, granted the day before Valentine's Day, there were a few gaps in the service. Upon arriving, we were not seated immediately. Strangely, we stood at the door with another couple, waiting for the attention of the hostess. Similarly, after having been seated it took a long time to receive service for drinks and dinner orders. The restaurant did seem unusually busy for a Monday night and our server clearly could have used some assistance.

The wine and beer list is well suited to the menu and the style of dinning. Last night, we had the Ochoa Gran Reserva Tempranillo 97, an interesting bottle of wine at a reasonable price - I was pleased. The beer list, while fairly short, has some quality choices, despite the appearance of Canterbury Lager...ewww. 

I started with the oyster special - Quadra Island oysters, with a cucumber mignonette. I loved the cucumber and the oysters were perfectly fresh; but there was a strange lack of liquid in these particular oysters, so I couldn't slurp them. Patty had the previously mentioned charcuterie plate, tonight a mosaic terrine and selection of air-dried ham and sausage. Our dinner mates had the spinach and goat cheese salad and the sausage of the day - chicken, ginger and black bean. Graham noted the intensity of the ginger flavour in the sausage.

For our mains, I had the beef tenderloin special, served with juniper spaetzle. The organic beef was perfectly cooked and had a lovely grilled flavour. Patty had veal with a creamy mushroom sauce, served with a potato rosti. While the presentation was peculiar, the flavour was lovely and the veal (sliced, scaloppini style) tender. Graham and Lisa both had the half duck, which easily met their expectation - I believe I heard a few small moans from their direction.

For dessert we all shared a lemon filled crepe, with an apple sorbet. Lovely and light it was the perfect taste of sweet to finish the meal.


  Reviewed: February 13, 2006