Rumrunner's Pub

Port Sidney Marina, 9881 Seaport Place Sidney, BC, tel (250) 656-5643 Mon-Thurs 11:00am-11:00pm Fri-Sat 11:00am-12:00am Sun 11:00am-11:00pm 

Great service, good location and a menu with some potential - All they need to do is get the kitchen up to snuff.

Located on the Sidney waterfront, The Rumrunner is a spacious bar/restaurant with a good view.

We sat ourselves in the pub section of the restaurant and were quickly attended by a very enthusiastic server. This guy was on fire and seemed eager to serve us. He sold us on the Russell ale, an apparently, "award-winning" beer from the mainland. The beers arrived quickly and were tasty.

Left with our menus and special sheet, we observed that the food selection seemed excessively long. However, the selections, while largely standard pub fare, demonstrated some degree of creativity. We just wondered how taxing it would be on the kitchen to have to be responsible for a menu of this length.

Patty ordered the bouillabaisse ($14) off the special sheet. A nice, saffron infused broth, the seafood unfortunately was overcooked and the shellfish ended up shrivelled. Similarly, Patty complained that unpeeled prawns, no matter how lovely, don't work in hot soup. He suggested that with a little development, the bouillabaisse could be a top-notch menu item.

I had the steak sandwich ($14) - a signature item. This 8 oz portion of striploin was very tender, considering how overcooked it was. I asked for med-rare and it arrived med-well. Served with fries and a Caesar salad, the salad with fresh and the two selections was a nice change. There was room for improvement, other than donness, the steak was served all alone on a crouton and could have some accoutrement - like sautéed mushrooms or caramelised onions.  For the price it was value, however I would have preferred a 6 oz piece of meat, with the food cost adjusted to include a more detailed oriented presentation.

I was disappointed that in a restaurant as large as the Rumrunner that the ladies room had only one operating toilet and was generally a little dim and cramped. Patty didn't have the same problem with the men's.

The service at the Rumrunner was great - friendly and personable, it even seemed like this guy enjoyed his job - a unique trait. The food was good, the portioning generous, without being excessive. It's a comfortable restaurant with a good location, a few refinements in the kitchen will go a long way. 

Reviewed April 6, 2006