The Roof Top Surf Club and the Sticky Wicket ( located in the Strathcona Hotel ) are two popular watering and dining spots for Victoria, both very successful for good reasons. We became interested because they are now making a serious entrance onto the “foodie” scene and offering oceanwise seafood.
The Sticky Wicket in the Strathcona Hotel is actually comprised of five different spots, on multi levels, all under one. Big Bad John’s, The Clubhouse, The Roof, Club9one9 and of course The Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant. Both the Roof and the Sticky Wicket have become players in the Gastro Pub market by offering sustainable seafood choices and a really great Menu, generous portions, fresh made items, reasonable price points and interesting daily specials.The food ranges from English pub fare, to Certified Angus Beef ® selections as well as fresh Ocean Wise seafood.
The Strathcona is located not too far from the harbour, it is quite easy to find if you are coming up from the harbour as its the most central point. The entrance for the rooftop is on the side of the building, look for their sandwich board
The Roof has the only patio beach volleyball in the world, according to their server.
There is some talent in the kitchens of both The Roof and the Sticky Wicket. I was quite impressed with the dishes and drinks that I had, certainly the friendly service and knowledge of Jesse and the antics, cooking and plating of the Roof Cook – Eric Holden who cooks up a storm in the out door kitchen on The Roof - a fantastic place for any cook to be. It must be pretty nice to work outside, as it can get really hot in a kitchen.The entire design of the Roof is open plan and exciting.The patio itself has a really light, friendly atmosphere and the music was lively but not too invasive. Although there isn’t a nice sweeping view of the ocean or the harbour, people watching is a good alternative and just relaxing into what feels like a beach front location in some far off tropical locale.
The Roof is a wonderful place to go with a group of friends, family or event. I saw a cluster of friends, primarily drinking and having a little party whereas seated next to me were a family with small children. The server told me that kids sometimes played in the sand on the Roof, while parents had some quiet time and dined. It seems the sandy roof top has multiple purposes. In Victoria, the law is that you must be an adult to eat in a pub. The Roof upstairs and the Sticky Wicket downstairs, has a dining room that is separate from the “bar” areas, so children are welcome. Either way you slice it, the Roof and The Sticky Wicket satisfies everyone.
The Rooftop Surfclub offers a summer inspired drink and food Menu along with the accompanying atmosphere. The roof comes complete with an outdoor patio and beach volleyball. Surf boards, large flower baskets and surf items adorn the wide open, roof top design, lending a very comfortable, beach front setting. Jesse, my server, said it reminds her of her travels in Mexico, which lead into her recommending one of my now favorite drinks – The Mexican Bulldog – A lime Marguerita mixed with the Corona each time I took a sip, its a perfect summer drink and kind of defines The Roof
Below is a recipe from Cookingstoned on youtube or you can just go to the Roof and experience it . The Roof made a perfect Mexican Bulldog which complimented the fresh sustainable seafood dishes that I had with it, perfectly
5 cups of ice, more depending on desired thickness
1 cup tequiila
1/2 cup grand marnier
1 cup simple syrup
4 bottles of Corona, ice cold
1/3 cup coarse salt
More limes for garnish
VIS recommends the following dishes from The Rooftop -The hot Crab and Artichoke Dip with in-house made Tortillas and the sustainable halibut mango burger with strawberries on the side, so fresh, so tasty, so summery.
Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip:
Hot Crab artiCHoke dip
Belle River rock crab, artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese,
tomato salsa, tri-colored corn tortilla chips $8
This luxurious dip comes hot with fresh made tortillas. The dip is made with real rock crab, and its creamy hot deliciousness left me looking forward to what other foodie delights the Roof had to offer.
We cooked up a similar delicious recipe for Crab & Artichoke dip for you in our VIS kitchen. See at the bottom of this review
My main dish was the Mango Halibut burger ( photo above ), which was so fresh, it fell apart in light delicious flakes, sitting on a bed of mango, strawberries and red onion, this burger was unique, light, flavorful and very summery. A generous side of fresh, sweet strawberries came with the burger which was a wonderful option. Both of these dishes paired well with my lime Margarita and corona as well as the great music and atmosphere of The Roof. Bill came to less than 40.00.
I did not want to leave the Roof as I had become quite comfortable, but I was looking forward to dining at the newly renovated Sticky Wicket. Saying goodbye to the cook – Eric and entourage, I headed down stairs for a tour of the extensive Strathcona Hotel, including Big Bad Johns with its smugglers den feel, and its old west signage adorning the entrance, then on through the games room of the Sticky Wicket complete with its own bar and into the main restaurant area.
I was impressed by the newly renovated, grand interior of the Sticky Wicket. The place is much bigger, brighter and livelier than before. Big screen TV’s are every where and the noise level is low since there are a number of areas for customers to congregate in. There is a Games Room, a Roof top terrace for family dining and the main pub and restaurant area that surrounds a circular bar, populated by what looked to be many happy customers. Local brewing company Taps were evident, representing some of my favorites. It was nice to see the support the Sticky Wicket, Strathcona and The Roof give to local business and how they are a major member of the ocean wise sustainable seafood program started by the Vancouver Aquarium. We feature and support many local restaurants that participate in this program as we need to give back and take care of our food resources. It is an important and integral part of why Vancouver Island Style Magazine exists
The Sticky Wicket’s food was just as good as The Roofs’ but with a different Menu theme all together, more suiting to the pub theme, but there was no run of the mill “pub grub” and the service was attentive and friendly. The menu was decisively heavier then the Roof Tops, but no less delicious
They have a fantastic variety of local brews on tap…such as Saltspring Island Heather Ale and one of my favorites, the Dark Chocolate porter by The Lighthouse Brewing Co. which actually smells like dark chocolate. with a roasty dark malt, vanilla and molasses flavor. The flavor is slightly sweet
The chocolate porter paired well with the divine Butter Chicken and basmati rice that was delivered to my table. The BC chicken was cut into healthy chunks and simmered in a generous portion of tomato and cream based sauce. The curry came in silver and was separate from the rice and naan, which I appreciated, as I think many diners would. The rice was cooked perfectly, warm, light and fluffy and the dish was accompanied by eight pieces of toasted naan bread brushed with their signature herb olive oil blend, perfect for dipping. I loved this dish. Not many pub-restaurants can make a decent curry. The Sticky Wicket makes a great Butter Chicken curry.
There is something for everyone on the menu. This is the Sticky Wickets featured Menu.
Moroccan LaMb MeatbaLLs $10
Lamb Meatballs made with Local Metchosin lamb, spices, fresh
herbs, tagine sauce, chick peas, figs, carrots, tomatoes
Prawn & bLack LentiL saLad $12
Ocean Wise ™ Prawns, black lentils, spinach, watercress,
cantaloupe, Spanish onion, honey Dijon vinaigrette
strawberry shortcake $6
Sugared red lentil cake, fresh strawberries, whipped cream
bLackened rib eye steak $23
10oz Certified Angus Beef ® Rib Eye Steak, house blend
blackening spices, Jack Daniel’s butter, twice baked potato,
PaPaya saLMon $20
Wild BC Coho Salmon filet, house made papaya salsa,
steamed basmati rice, summer vegetables
doubLe decker burger $15
House made beef burger, slow braised short ribs, smoked
applewood cheddar, Guinness BBQ sauce, brioche bun. Choice
of fries, soup or artisan green salad
Another great menu item is their firecracker prawns for those who like their food with zing.8 ocean wise FiReCRaCkeR PRaWnS in a dreamy chipotle vermouth cream sauce and focaccia bread for dipping up the sauce.
A long standing, successful and traditional styled pub that is quickly evolving into a conscious Gastro Pub. Great food, good selection of local brew, good service, reasonable pricing. A staple of Victoria nightlife, this multi-faceted location has it all from a dancefloor in the clubhouse to sitting for dinner in the restaurant or placing bets on some pool/darts in the games room. The Roof Top Surf Club has its own personality, menu and drink selections, perfect for groups, families or events. Its fresh, hip, tasty and fun. I loved them both!
Pacific cod & chiPs: $3 off (all day)
cheeseburger $4.99* (add a side of fries for $3 ~ 2Pm until late)
steak sandwich: $3 off (all day)
toonie tacos* (minimum order of 2 ~ 2Pm until late)
Pasta day: 3 sPecialty Pasta’s: $12 (all day)
wing night* (order in quantities of 10 ~ 2Pm until late)
sticky wicket burger: $3 off (all day)
$7 Pizza night* (after 8Pm)
chicken clubhouse sandwich: $3 off (until 2 Pm)
49¢ ocean wise®
Prawns* (order in quantities of 10 ~ 2-7Pm)
Weekend sTeak nighTs
(fri – sat)
surf and turf rib eye steak
breakfast (until 2:30 Pm)
toonie sliders* (minimum order of 2 ~ 2-6Pm)
breakfast (until 2:30Pm)
$8 Pizza & $6 wings* (2Pm until late)
* with Purchase of beverage, some restrictions aPPly
Hot crab, spinach and artichoke dip Recipe. Chock full with 2 kinds of cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, fresh crab. VIS Kitchens re-created the Roofs version, for you
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 1/2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup coarsely chopped artichoke hearts
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 6 ounces fresh dungeness crab meat, picked over for shells (you can substitute a 6oz can of crab meat, but will not be near as good)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small skillet melt butter over medium heat. Once butter melts add spinach and cook just until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. We de-glazed with a small amount of white wine, but this is optional. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- To the spinach add artichoke hearts, cream cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and crab meat. Stir to combine.
- Butter a small casserole dish, spoon mixture into the dish. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, stir and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Turn on the broiler and cook for 3-5 minutes or until top is browned and edges are bubbly.
- Allow to cool slightly and serve with tortilla chips.