Friday, April 6, 2012
I haven't been to a Cactus Club in quite a while (probably 4-5 years); however, while in Abbotsford and looking for somewhere to eat lunch I thought the Cactus Club would be better choice than Burger King or the Old Spaghetti Factory.
Cactus Club's menu is now under the creative control of the Iron Chef slayer...Rob Feenie. Feenie a former owner / chef of two Vancouver restaurants (Feenie's and Lumiere) and now residing as the "food concept architect" for the Cactus Club group of restaurants. One might wonder what is one of Canada's most highly recognized chefs, who once defeated Iron Chef Morimoto and owned two of Vancouver's most prized restaurants doing at the Cactus Club... I too wonder...what went wrong? Regardless, of his past, Chef Feenie is still deserving of his accolades.
In my opinion, having Chef Feenie at a restaurant franchise such as the Cactus Club now allows more people to experience his culinary creativeness. Unfortunately, even having a great chef design the menu doesn't mean that a great chef is cooking your food. Case in point, my recent excursion to the a fore mentioned Abbotsford Cactus Club.
In my struggle to figure out what to order, I decided to ask our server how the grilled albacore tuna club tasted? The response: um, good... I had one today and it was really good. I don't know how to explain what it tasted like other than, good... Wow! That really sold me. However, regardless of the waitresses piss poor explanation of the food, I decided to give it a try. Upon arrival the food was well presented and looked quite appetizing. The tuna was cooked almost as described - medium rare, okay maybe a little more on the rare side, but I can't complain as I quite enjoy sashimi. Unfortunately, the sandwich was bland. I thought for an award winning chef that the food would pack some punch! Some flare! Maybe eve some flavour...too bad that wasn't the case, the sandwich was just that a boring sandwich, albeit well presented.
I have no idea what the rest of the Cactus Club menu tastes like, but if this sandwich is any idea; I can understand why Chef Feenie is now at the Cactus Club and not running his own restaurants. I do have to give credit to where credit is due though; and that is to the marketing team at the Cactus Club. Between the scantily clad waitresses and the big name chef, it is no wonder why they are so busy.
If only foresight was twenty-twenty, I would have considered a more tasty lunch option. In my opinion, if you are deciding to go out for lunch and you have the choice between the Cactus Club and say Earls: go to Earls. Chef Ruben Major of the Earls chain of restaurants definitely creates a much more flavorful and creative menu.