The Boathouse - Seafood Was Not Fresh


The Boathouse was always one of the better places to eat in Stanley in my opinion and I remembered that I had a very pleasant dining experience there. As I haven't been back in like 2 years or so, I didn't even realized it was now under the Cafe Deco Group. I had a friend visiting from out of town and I invited her to go to Stanley as she had never been before. We were quite lucky that the weather had warmed up quite a bit and it was pretty empty in Stanley even for a weekend. The Boathouse was not full at all and we were able to get seats easily. 

There are 3 floors at The Boathouse and we were seated on the 1st floor balcony area with a canvas roof. It allowed us to enjoyed the view of Stanley without worrying about sun damage. 

View of Stanley from 1st floor
The lunch specials menu were mainly sandwiches as well as salad and other snacks which will cost you over $100. It's not cheap but most restaurants in Stanley are not either.

The Boathouse is most famous for their seafood bucket which is on their a la carte menu. There were more choices on this menu so we decided to order food from both menus. When we wanted to order, we couldn't find anyone and after waiting for a while, I had to walk inside to flag down a waitress to take our orders.

Bucket of Fresh Seafood (Large $265) - you can order mussels, prawns, clams or an assortment of all three. We decided to get the assorted to try all three seafood. Our bucket arrived topped with a few pieces of garlic bread sticks. The bucket didn't look that big to be honest, especially since most of the space was taken up by seafood shells.

A matching bowl had been provided for the finished shells. 
First, the garlic bread wasn't garlicky, fragrant or even hot. The bread was a bit limp so it wasn't crunchy at all. It was very dry and hard to eat. 
Onto the seafood! First off, the seafood varied very much in size. One mussel I picked up would be tiny while the next mussel I fished up would be big. Same with the prawns and clams. Not a big issue - just an observation. Next, the seafood did not taste fresh at all, especially the mussels and clams. The mussels were overcooked and the texture was mushy instead of being firm and juicy. The clams had the same issue as well with the same mushy texture. On average, the sizes of the clams and mussels were mostly on the smaller side. The prawns fared a bit better as they were decent in size and seemed fresher and firmer than the other two. 

There were also 4 choices of sauce which were lobster broth, green curry, white wine garlic cream, and pesto cream. We chose the more classic white wine garlic cream. Unfortunately, it was neither rich or flavorful so it did nothing to spice up the already disappointing seafood. Besides salt and cream, I was not able to taste any white wine or garlic in the sauce. 
On the whole, this dish was very disappointing as one of their flagship dishes. 

Parma Ham and Melon Salad ($105) - several pieces of parma ham over melon was topped with frisee and spinach with droplets of balsamic vinegar on the side. The parma ham was not particularly flavorful and tasted rather bland. More spinach would have helped so it didn't just feel like I was eating parma ham with melon. There was really no sauce besides the balsamic vinegar. The flavors just didn't come together like a cohesive dish. 

Summer Salad ($105) - the summer salad was a bit better with a bigger portion and more variety of ingredients such as spinach, pancetta, peach, pine nuts tossed with citrus dressing. The dressing was alright but didn't have that kick or spring in the tartness to provide a refreshing flavor. The pancetta was also deep-fried so the salad didn't feel as healthy either.
Verdict - the quality of the food at The Boathouse seemed to have deteriorated quite a bit since the last time I was here. As the prices are not cheap, it's not really worthwhile to eat here anymore. While it is sad to cross this restaurant off my list in spite of its sentimental values, there are many more new restaurants popping up at the same time, waiting for us to try and create new memories. 

The Boathouse
86-88 Stanley Main Street, Stanley
2813 4467

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