I had read so many good things about Bistro 101, so I wanted to try it out. Since they’re only open during weekdays and Friday seemed to be very popular, I had to book a month in advanced to get a reservation through Open Table. Monday-Thursdays are 3 course meals where lunch is $20 and dinner is $26. You can’t get fine dining for a better price anywhere else! Fridays are West Coast buffets at $22 for lunch and $33 for dinner.
I was aware that the prices are cheaper than other fine dining restaurants because this is where the future chefs learned, studied and experimented their cooking. The hostess wasn’t as friendly as you would expect from fine restaurants, but I had read that they are students and aren’t all that ‘trained’ yet up to par.
So how it works is that the appetizers and desserts are buffet, going up and getting whatever you liked, how much you’d liked. There were some good appetizers, but I thought the clam chowder soup was the best.
The main dish was seafood and this, you had to tell the server when you wanted. This isn’t all you can eat – it’s only a one time thing for that dinner per person. There were 2 large scallops, and a variety of fish and 2 asparagus. This plate would have already cost more than $50 at a fine restaurant, so it was a really good deal. The scallops were delicious! The asparagus was on the rawer side – which I didn’t mind, but Sheepie wasn’t too happy. But knowing how Germans served their Spagel (white asparagus), I guess it wasn’t something he’d like. The 2 slices of tuna tataki was soft and melted in my mouth. The potatoes were a nice complimentary side dish.
The main dish (dish is not all-you-can-eat)
Chef Christine was energetic despite working at a different location from 6am. She was telling the other customers at the table next to ours. Seems like the chef changes every 6 months at Bistro 101. It was really nice for her to be serving the customer and interacting so well.
I was really happy with pretty much everything. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere, not too sophisticated as some fine restaurants, but goes well with the Granville Island feel where it’s located. The place is clean and the selections for the buffet is plenty. Be sure to eat only a bit of appetizer at first since the main dish is quite filling. Then you have unlimited dessert! The price is fair. I’d love to come back and try their 3 course meals!