Ulla Restaurant Victoria BC Surrey Canada
Victoria, BC V8W 2P3
Halibut...nevermind.I was going to list the good things but it was all good...not a ton to choose from but just make your pick and enjoy. Ps...I always come in skeptical and this place swung me and killed it on service and food!
Ulla falls squarely into the new style of upscale-casual chef-driven restaurant. It's not the kind of place that's affordable to the average diner on an average night out, but when you're paying an arm and a leg for dinner, the value is represented in the food first and foremost. Well, I would include drink in that as well. See, under the old regime, people paid a lot to dine at "fancy" restaurants, where it was all about white tablecloths, white-gloved waiters, crumb scrapers, and 14 forks per place setting. The new school is focused less on the ambiance or snootery, and more on the food. Ulla delivers on the food in more ways than one, but sloughs off the white-tuxedos for stylish, almost hipster appointments; friendly-to-casual service; simple decor; and, again, crazy good food. We lucked in to this spot on a Friday night with no prior reservations. It was our pleasure to learn that a reservation had just canceled and our party of 3 could walk right in. The cocktail menu rides the line of simple, classic drinks. The wine list has some interesting choices. And the dinner menu offers an array of high-end dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. The prices match the quality of ingredients and, as you'll see when it hits your table, the beauty of the plating. Oh, and not to forget, the flavor. We sampled the quail, a tasty salad of micro-greens, cheese and root veggies, the grilled octopus and the short rib steak with a beautifully-arranged array of mushrooms and roasted onions. Each and every dish could have ben hung on the wall as a piece of food art. This was no gonzo, grease-fueled hardcore Rocco Zifretti food porn. No. This is a classy adult food-film... maybe the gustatory equivalent of a Marilyn Chambers flick. everything meticulously placed on the plate to create a tableau as breathtaking as it is mouth-watering. Needless to say, the serving sizes here are not going to be over the top. One entree was enough for me to feel satisfied, by far. But if you're the kind of person that, regardless of the quality, expects to be inundated with grotesquely oversized portions for food at this price, well, Ulla may not be the place for you. The cocktails that accompanied our food were well-prepared and of the craft-variety. Our wine selections matched quite well with the food. Service was friendly and welcoming, but most importantly lacked the pretense you often find with food of this caliber. I feel that Ulla would compete on the level of many of the better restaurants in PDX, and that's saying a lot since I find the food in PDX to be excellent. The prices are higher than I'm used to, but that seemed to be the case everywhere in Victoria. I guess I'm spoiled in Portland. I highly recommend Ulla for a special night out in Victoria.