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“intimate, fun, tasty” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blighty's Bistro

Blighty's Bistro
2006 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
250592-5111
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Ranked #3 of 1,083 Restaurants in Victoria
Price range: $18 - $30
Cuisines: Bistro, Fusion, Chowder
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Victoria, Canada
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“intimate, fun, tasty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

This is one of our local restaurants, and the best of them by some distance.

It's small - no more than a handful of tables - and cosy. The tables are quite close together, but it doesn't feel as though you are listening in to your neighbour's conversation. The atmosphere is intimate and friendly.

Indeed, the atmosphere is half of what makes this such a great place to go. The servers are far from anonymous, being very friendly and ready to offer advice, but not being too "in your face". The little restaurant sits (at the moment) opposite the Gracepoint Journal, as they are currently filming "Gracepoint", the US equivalent of the great UK TV drama Broadchurch in Victoria. (Look out for it later in 2014; if it's half as good as the original, it'll be well worth watching.) There's free parking outside the restaurant, or in the immediate area.

The food? Well, that's the key, and we've found it to be very good indeed. The daily specials have always been good. The only let-down we've had has been the lamb shank, which we've had twice, and has been tender, but almost taste-free each time. More garlic, some rosemary, some meaty Shiraz would do the trick for this, but at the moment it doesn't pass muster.

The dessert menu arrives as a series of cards and a box of scrabble-type letters. Sounds silly, but it works. And all the items we've had have been delicious.

So what are the problems? Well, the restaurant is small, and that has an unavoidable effect on the menu, which is quite brief. If, like me, you can eat and enjoy almost anything, then the menu is full of riches; I've particularly enjoyed the seafood. If you are a picky eater, you might struggle to find what you want and at very least you should give them a call first to find out what's on offer. We love the perky, cheerful and helpful servers, but it might be different if you prefer quiet and anonymous. With a small kitchen there can be a bit of a wait for dishes, though we have not found that to be an issue. It's also not within walking distance of downtown for most people, though it's an easy car or taxi ride.

For us, this is one of the most congenial restaurants in the city; our first choice as a place to take our friends when they visit. In London, or Boston, or Vancouver, Blighty's would be worth four stars, but in Victoria, in which there are numerous plain good restaurants, but not many very good ones, it's a five.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“We found this restaurant to be over rated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

Eclectic decor in an old store. The menu was nice and food was okay but just too much oil and not just in one dish. Service was good but nothing outstanding.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Geneva, WI
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

Victoria has the most restaurants per capita of any North American city. But you probably won't find this little restaurants on the "famous:" list. But Rochelle and staff provide the friendliest environment and the tastiest creative Northwest food that you'll find. It's small so you'll need a reservation. It's worth a trip to downtown Oak Bay to experience this special place! We look at all the Victoria restaurants and still keep returning to this one!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingsville, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“A Notch Off Center - FOr the Love of Oil”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

This hasn't occurred to me in my years as an avid TripAdvisor user but I have to say that the comments of NAVSWO are absolutely spot on. Truly, not much to add but I shall in the hope that more information will help other travellers and perhaps help Blighty's hit the heights it is capable of. My wife and I dined here for a special occasion on February 21st. As NAVSWO wrote, the restaurant itself is cozy and intimate and is located in a "retro" or "vintage" area of Victoria known as Oak Bay. The restaurant itself is in what I recognize to be some sort of retail store likely from the 50s. The original tilework at the entry is still visibile and there are cozy tables for two where the display cases of the shop may have been. The decor is difficult to describe with the ceiling done in dark fabric and accentuated by numerous, small, coloured LED lights. I found the effect akin to that of a starlit night where the stars are all blue and red. The place is on the small side as are the tables themselves but the effect is not displeasing. We were a bit taken aback by the Hostess cum server's greeting (which we heard repeated throughout the night) of "Who are you?". Not "Hello", not "Welcome to Blighty's ..." very strange but I suppose it's one way to ask if one has a reservation or not. While on the subject, reservations - at least on weekends - are essential. The restaturant is tiny and we saw two groups of people turned away and two others seated on the condition they vacate by a certain time. Anyway, as NAVSWO did, we too chose the charcuterie board for two as an appetizer. We were very impressed with all the salami's, the three cheese sampler and the olives. The crostini however was excessively oily. Indeed this was to become a recurrent theme in all our non-dessert dishes: it seems the chef is very fond of oil on many dishes but suffice it to say unless you love the taste of oil-drenched foods, you may be best advised to steer away from the various dishes where oil forms a large part of the dish. We chose one of the daily specials which was pasta with beef tenderloin in a white wine and oil sauce. The pasta was accompanied by garlic bread. The dish was different but again the "oil-gremlin" popped up and detracted from the lovely taste of the pasta. The tenderloin was nice but fairly scarce. The sundried tomatoes in the dish tended to overpower the fine taste of the pasta and beef but the overly generous use of oil was again the main contributor in detracting from the dish. The garlic bread was so soaked in oil that neither my companion nor I were able to take more than a few bites. My companion chose the Bill-Mur which is described as "gourmet, stuffed fish and chips". The fish was nicely done (if a tad lacking in flavour). The french fries were very tasty and appeared to be home made. The Bill-Mur is served with a side Caesar salad. Happily this was a small portion as the Caesar suffered from death by oil. I love Caesar salad and have tasted it all over the world but Blighty's version is best left in the history books with the Roman Empire. We had room for dessert and tried the "classic creme brulee" and the flourless chocolate cake. Both desserts were far above average (happily no excess oil affected either of them) and were thoroughly enjoyed. The dessert menu however was a small cardboard box covered in wrapping paper with the names of desserts spelled out by cutting out letters from various sources on small cards a la scrap book style. Many of the cards were soiled and the overall effect was not appealing at all. Still, the desserts themselves were great. As for service, well, although certainly attentive it too was very "different"- certainly not mean or ignorant just not what we have come to expect from servers in non-roadhouse eateries. Prices were reasonable, dinner for two with appies, a decent bottle of wine and dessert was around $130. I agree yet again with NAVSWO, we may go back - some day. The thing is Victoria has so many great restaurants. Blighty's has considerable work to do to be among them and an excellent first step might be to put a cork in the oil bottle and invest in some decent menus.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rosborne, Owner at Blighty's Bistro, responded to this review, February 26, 2014
Hello my name is Richelle Osborne and I am the owner of Blighty's. Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your experience in our bistro and I m sorry you did not entirely enjoy our efforts. My chef and I have read and taken to heart the comments of both you and NAVSWO and are committed to making improvements to our ever evolving cuisine. I recall serving you last weekend in fact I recall enjoying serving you, so while the comments about my service style certainly stung I can only appologize if you felt I was inappropriate or unprofessional in any way. The goal is to be casual, friendly and yes a bit quirky (who I am) as opposd to pretentious and stuffy (who I'm not!!) . Our dessert box is a favorite among the regulars but definitely needed some TLC so thank you for pointing that out. I do hope you will give us another chance sometime in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
1 review
“The Best Little Restaurant Ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Unlike many people, I go to a restaurant initially for the decor and stay ( as a loyal customer) for the food and service. Blighty's is outstanding in all three areas. The room is small but cozy not tight. What other restaurant do you know where the charming and whimsical decor changes with the seasons or special events? The food is always fresh and beautifully presented with fun twists on standard favorites. And service? Fabulous! This is totally a "go-to" spot on my list. And parking? Always easy.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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