July 10, 2015

Westward Ho! at the University Golf Club in Vancouver

It was a smoky summer evening in Metro Vancouver last Sunday. Hot, just passing the thirty degree mark, and forest fires on Vancouver Island, and north of the Lower Mainland, covered the city with a dusty haze and a camp fire smell. It's rare to see this kind of pollution in Vancouver; we usually send our smog into the valley and keep our skies, and the air, clean and fresh. Not so on this night.

We are off to Point Grey, UBC and the University Golf Club, and more specifically to their dining establishment called Westward Ho! Public House and Grill. Long and dumb name. On the positive, its patio overlooks the gazebo garden and, through the smoke, the 10th tee.

The University Golf Club has been around since 1929. It's a traditional course with long, narrow fairways and towering old growth trees. The club house offers the feel of a private club, and it's popular for weddings, gatherings and meetings throughout the year.

We're here because we've heard good things about the quality of  the Westward Ho! Public House. By appearance, it's a typical golf course sort of pub. The menu is casual, with some nice touches, and maybe because of the club's banquet rooms, there are some indulgences too. There's a daily, or more accurately, a weekly fresh sheet and there's the potential to have expectations exceeded; in season halibut or salmon for example.

We had a wonderful shrimp croissant, which was tasty and nicely presented. The fries were crispy and the Caesar salad was better than expected. Available Sunday nights is the prime rib roast dinner, with the usual accompaniments. It proved to be an excellent value and delicious.

The burgers that went by to a table of German tourists, in town for the World Cup, looked fantastic.

Dessert items, not unlike many pubs, included apple pie with ice cream, which was a nice way to end the evening and the ice cream was better than the average. Oddly, no espresso coffees are available here, only the standard drip. In a city obsessed with coffee, it seems odd to find a place like this without an espresso machine. Maybe golfers don't like espresso drinks?

The wine list was adequate  and prices were not unreasonable, though the selection could stand the addition of a few more BC wines.

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All in all a wonderful experience. Good food, great views and an excellent value. This is one of those places that seems to be off the radar, perhaps because of its remoteness in relation to the rest of the city. It deserves better.

Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

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