[Recap] Winterlicious 2016 – Rosewater

Rosewater has been hovering on my licious list to try for a while since it was so close to work, had gorgeous photos of tall booth seating, and seemed to have a pretty good review for their food menu. So we booked a lunch outing to try this place with some foodie work friends! To our surprise, the place was empty when we got there for lunch, and didn’t really fill up completely even though it was in a core business area. For some reason, the place also didn’t seem as grand as I had pictured it to be from their website and online galleries. Not sure if it was a due to the fact that it was a lunch service, but it definitely felt quite casual from the decor placement to the wait staff attire and attitude, as opposed to the very fancy vibe you get from their marketing material. An interesting first impression, but here goes the review:


We sat right behind this interesting rose glass panel.

Snuck a quick shot of those super tall booths I was excited about. But it didn’t seem as grand in person – seemed a bit old and fading compared to the fancy looking photos online! Also… we didn’t get to sit in one since we were a large group… we just got regular chairs at a regular black wooden table in the center :'(

I think I expected something fancier for menus and placement sets too… I think I was just deceived on my expectations the whole time.


Basket of Mixed Bread & Lots of Butter Balls
Basket of Mixed Bread & Lots of Butter Balls

Everything came out really hot – which is nice because cold bread is always a bummer. Enjoyed their interesting pointy crunchy crisps things that you don’t normally get at restaurants!


Appetizer - Sesame Prawn Toast
Appetizer – Sesame Prawn Toast

The food also all came out really hot. A little too hot I’d say to be ready to enjoy. Got a warning from a fellow diner at the table to be careful not to burn yourself by being too excited to eat your food! The toast here was a bit hard, but the dish had the right flavours of what you would expect to get. The sauce was an Asian style sweet and sour sauce that kinda reminded me of cheap spring roll dipping sauce. The fanciness is really going out the window at this point.

Appetizer - Butternut Squash Purée
Appetizer – Butternut Squash Purée

Also came out a bit too hot for people. The soup was not very dense nor heavy as butternut squash purée normally is expected to be. The flavour wasn’t very strong either so this is preferable for those looking for a lighter butternut squash soup.


Entree - House Made Papardelle
Entree – House Made Papardelle

A nice solid plate of pasta here, although a little too peppery for the guests that had it. Good al dente texture and a good balanced mixture of sauce.

Entree - Duck Confit Shepherd's Pie
Entree – Duck Confit Shepherd’s Pie

The pie was quite tasty but a bit too greasy. There was a good amount of filling to be sure to make you full. The salad was pretty normal.

Entree - Line-Caught Pacific Cod
Entree – Line-Caught Pacific Cod

Unfortunately the fish was a bit bland, but the artichoke purée was very tasty! The fish was cooked well too, but just wished there was more seasoning to accompany all of it!


Dessert - White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
Dessert – White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

The pie was VERY MUCH banana cream flavoured above anything else. For once I think it overpowered the white chocolate component completely. It felt more like a buffet-style cloned dessert to me so it wasn’t anything special in experience, but just a regular dessert of sorts with heavy banana.

Dessert - Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding
Dessert – Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding

This dessert was my favourite of them all. It was a great bread pudding consistency for me, and had a yummy mix of fruity flavours. Everything was a complement and nothing overpowered in this one. Yum! Except the extra random fruits thrown in on the side… those can go in terms of being useless for plating and for accompaniments. lol

Dessert - Trio of House Spun Sorbets
Dessert – Trio of House Spun Sorbets

The only thing anyone could really say about this one was the sorbets were just… really really hard. I mean they look a bit iced over even in the photo, so maybe they needed some more time for them to sit so that it’s actually edible and not teeth breaking. Otherwise… it also felt like they threw together a random mix of things to make a “dessert” dish.


Missing wardrobe photo as it was a work lunch
Attire – Casual


Overall consensus with the group was that this place’s food was good enough, but it wasn’t amazingly great at the usual licious level. For the price, it might make more sense to just drop in for a regular meal on any day or night and just order the things that interest you for a cheaper price rather than a full set course. And definitely the place is not as fancy as you perceive it to be. Mind you, the environment is still pretty nice, and I think maybe at night everything looks a bit grander, but it’s also a fine casual dining place as well. The desserts were subpar for me. Would I come back? Probably not for licous and not that interested in returning for the food after this time. But by all means, it’s not a bad restaurant at all! I would just put them more on the average level given my expectations (which may have started a bit higher than expected unfortunately). I think they would need to keep up a bit with the more modern food palate and better presentations that restaurants are focusing on nowadays, in order to stay relevant and fancy.

We Dine On,

Restaurant: Rosewater
Winterlicious: $23 Lunch // $38 Dinner
Reservations: A known but not a very popular restaurant for licious, so they still had openings especially during a weekday lunch.
Recommended Attire: Casual / Business Casual


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