Ross Bay Pub

1516 Fairfield Rd, 370-1152
A new pub is always a fundamentally good thing. However, sometimes certain elements of restaurant performance suffer in pubs and in new pubs they can be at their worst.

Point in mention, the menu at the Ross Bay Pub. The Ross Bay Pub menu started out more comprehensive than it appears now. However, rumour has it, that the first approach was a disaster on opening day. Good for them, for changing the menu that didn't work, but I'm still a little hesitant about the bare bones menu they've installed since then. I don't think it is possible to come up with a simpler pub menu. What do I mean? Well, first off, they have three starters, nachos, wings and crab cakes. That's pretty weak for a pub where snacks have to be the most important part of the menu. Granted, we tried two of the three starters and they weren't bad. The wings ($8) came presented nicely with some ranch dip, however I could have used a finger bowl. The wings could have been spicier (but I always think that). They were a bit skinny on the meat, but I'll blame the distributor for that. We also had the crab cakes ($10). Indeed, they had quite a bit of crab in them and were better than many I've sampled. Also, the accompanying salad was very nice with dried cranberries, walnuts, cashews and bacon (however, it was served undressed).

The bar menu was satisfactory, with your standard array of local and import draft, including Strongbow (which means something to me.) The wine list was a bit of a snoozer, but better than many of the pubs in town.

The service was good. We were quickly attended to and our food and drinks were served quickly.

The atmosphere, while vaguely reminiscent of an airport lounge is comfortable and generally well designed. We sat on the patio today, which is attractive with two fireplaces and a good amount of sun and shade in the afternoon. Most impressive is the exterior facade - lots of dark wood and pillars gives its genuinely pub-like appearance; and if you close your eyes, you may even forget that you're in Fairfield Plaza.

August 2005