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“good fish and chips” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rock Cod Cafe

Rock Cod Cafe
#4, 1759 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, British Columbia V0R 1N0, Canada
250-746-1550
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Ranked #8 of 13 Restaurants in Cowichan Bay
Cuisines: Seafood
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Cobble Hill, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“good fish and chips”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

The service wasn't spectacular but it might have been an off day. There is a good selection of seafood choices on the menu. The view is good, right on Cowhichan Bay.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    74
    63
    24
    12
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nanaimo, BC
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Pleasant afternoon in Cow Bay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

After seeing the Rock Cod Cafe on "You Gotta Eat Here" we decided to drive down from Nanaimo to Cowichan Bay for lunch. We started with calamari. It was fantastic! I had the 1 piece cod and chips and my wife had one of the lunch specials, tortilla crusted fish burger. We were not disappointed. The food was great. Absolutely no complaints. What really made our visit enjoyable was the server. She was very attentive and pleasant. When we paid our bill, she chatted about all her children. She was awesome.
Thanks for a lovely afternoon.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JHokanson, Owner at Rock Cod Cafe, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for the excellent review. I love that the best part of your visit here was the great interaction you had with one of our servers and the fact that you had a chance to talk about family; I do my best to promote authentic connection wherever I can and it warms me to hear of it happening amongst my staff and customers.
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Victoria, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Detour: "To The Rock Cod Cafe!"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

If ever there was a cliché forged especially for the restaurant business I believe it is this one: “You cannot please all of the people all of the time…”

I mention this because after a lifetime in the restaurant business — and later as a freelance writer — this truism (learned through punishing experience) is fixed firmly in mind when I visit a restaurant with the intention of writing a review. However, on a recent visit to the Rock Cod Café in Cowichan Bay I had no such intention.

My visit was the result of an impulsive detour off the Island Highway enroute to Duncan last Tuesday, which brought us quite by chance, to this charming seaside hamlet and waterfront seafood restaurant. I have no intention of offering an in-depth critique based on one solitary visit here, but I think an attractive restaurant with excellent food, merits a mention for the benefit of anyone who might find themselves in the neighborhood and hungry for some tasty seafood served in clean, pleasant surroundings with a beautiful water view (which we thought was enhanced by a wintry mist swirling over nearby mountains on the day we visited) and friendly attentive service.

To be brief, I enjoyed a steaming crock of French onion soup topped with two slices of thick French bread, baked to a golden brown and smothered in bubbling Mozzarella cheese. (6.95) What could be more warming on a drizzly winter’s day? (Please see the photo, it tasted as good as it looks.) If I were the chef here I might add more onions and perhaps a hint of cinnamon,but that's a personal preference. As it was; a feast for the eyes, very tasty and thankfully not laden with salt.

As my companion and I both love seafood he ordered the Captain’s Plate (22.45) which included a 2.50 charge for substituting salad for fries) whilst I settled on the smaller Mate’s Plate with French fries. (13.95) We were grateful when our thoughtful waiter Nicholas volunteered that we could choose to have the fish, (halibut and cod) oysters, scallops and shrimps, grilled instead of fried, as was the Calamari. (All deliciously au naturale with no thick batter in sight!)

The Captains Plate of perfectly cooked seafood, arrived accompanied by a generous salad beautifully presented with grated carrot, sprouts, thinly sliced mushrooms and tomatoes, cheese and assorted greens arranged symmetrically on the plate, with zesty dressing. My smaller plate was more than adequate for lunch with the above-mentioned assortment of seafood sans calamari (and cod instead of halibut) and a hefty portion of French fries. Fresh hot coffee was regularly replenished.

We had a most enjoyable, albeit brief, dining experience and look forward to a second visit in the spring. Next time I’ll bring along my camera for some interesting shots, as I was limited to a cell phone camera this time.

Our only complaint for which I cannot fault the restaurant, was the presence of a very noisy party of six at an adjacent table who made any conversation at our table impossible.
(Is it an environmental thing that encourages adults to shout at each other whilst dining in a restaurant? There was no loud music to compete with. Perhaps that phenomenon is worthy of exploration.)

One other point of appreciation I’d like to make is the attitude of everyone on staff. Here is an establishment that is trying very hard to please in a very competitive market — and in my opinion — they’re succeeding.

Incidentally, the windows of the restaurant were sparkling. I NEVER dine in an establishment with dirty windows, for obvious reasons.

PS: One interesting side note: I notice the owner pays attention to the reviews posted here and does his best to respond in a positive manner. Kudos to you sir.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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JHokanson, Owner at Rock Cod Cafe, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Hi Alastaire,

Thank you for the very detailed and excellent review. I love how you not only indicated that you liked or did not like something, but said exactly why. It gives us an excellent opportunity to really get to the bottom of a problem or if there is no problem, to figure out where the praise should go!

Regards,
Jacob
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Regina, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Always on our itinerary when in the area”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Only on the Island for 8 days and had to visit The Rock Cod Cafe twice. It has a wonderful atmosphere and good service. The menu is varied. The food is always good and plenty of it. The battered cod and chips is a favorite for my husband. I forego the chips for a Rock Cod Salad. It is the only salad like it everywhere and is a meal in itself. The prices are reasonable.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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JHokanson, Owner at Rock Cod Cafe, responded to this review, December 7, 2012
Thank you so much for the second positive review! I'm glad that year over year we continue to please. Best of the holidays!
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BC
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We have been to the Rock Cod Cafe several times and each time we have dined there the food and service have been very good. Based on our previous visits, we thought it would be a nice place to have lunch with our family. While the service was excellent this time as always, the food was just average. I ordered the buffalo chicken wrap, which was just ok, but I found the $3.50 charge for sweet potato fries a bit excessive. I am used to being charged extra for sweet potato fries, but have never had to pay this much for them. They were not worth the extra charge, they were very greasy, and to be honest for $3.50 I expected a better quality and quantity. My daughter-in-law had the veggie burger and she said it was very good. She was pleased that it was served on a multi-grain bun instead of a white bun, and said the burger itself was very tasty. My son had fish and chips & my husband had the oyster dinner, and based on what they said, their meals were just average. We found the price we paid for lunch quite high for the quality of food we were presented with. This is the first time we have been disappointed with both the prices and quality of food at this restaurant.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JHokanson, Owner at Rock Cod Cafe, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
I never like hearing reviews like this one, but it is also an opportunity for improvement. You are not the first to comment on the yam fries and the trend has me reviewing our pricing structure for this.

I'm glad the veggie burger was good but the other items were 'just average'. I hope we do much better for you on the next round if you give us that chance.

Regards,
Jacob
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