"The Wilcox Gastropub" is relatively unique name. The hybrid word of gastronomy, the study of food and culture (according to Wikipedia), and pub, British-coined term "gastropub" refers to an establishment that serves high-quality food in addition to beer and basic finger food. And with a name like "Wilcox", it's hard to deny that the restaurant is heavily influenced and inspired by aspects of English culture.
As far as tacos go, the taste was on a whole new level: the lightly battered basa and garlicy salsa created multitude of textures, while the creamy guacamole complimented the thin layer of cheese formidably. The taco shell were small pita-like circles that were thick enough to contain all the ingredients without spilling or leaking, yet they managed to also be surprisingly soft and fluffy at the same time, contributing to the texture pool once more.
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The Catch of the Day, as told by our server, was grouper steamed in a banana leaf, accompanied by a colourful, tangy vegetable slaw. I was informed that the fish tasted a bit too heavily of ginger, as the taste of the root had overpowered the other flavours used in the dish. The slaw, on the hand, was a great side, despite the raw strips of carrot being a bit hard on the stomach.
But let's go back to addressing the star of the dish: the burger. The creation was massive for my dietary standards, but I took to enjoying every part of it. Regardless of whether it was eaten by means of simply grabbing the burger and biting into it, or by dissecting each layer using the utensils of a civilized human being (read: fork and knife), the burger was delicious. It was superb, it was phenomenal; writing this post has just made me want to enjoy a taste of it once again.
Towards the end of the meal, we also agreed to try one of their desserts, despite being extremely full. While debating between the Crème Brûlée and Baked Alaska, we were informed that the former was unmistakably the more popular of the two selections, ultimately convincing us to go through with that choice. Emerging not even five minutes after having been ordered, the dessert was seemingly plain at first glance. Cracking open an outstandingly thin torched layer of sugar, we were delighted to be enveloped in a wonderfully creamy custard with notes of vanilla bean. In fact, the dessert was so delectable, we ended up scraping the edges of the dishes to ensure that not a spoonful would remain.
We then moved on to the Rosemary and Thyme Shortbread Cookies: they did not harness the heavy buttery taste common to most major cafes, but had a prominent rosemary aroma that had been further enhanced by the light dusting of icing sugar. Alternatively, we later realized that both components of the dessert could be enjoyed at the same time by dipping the cookies into the custard.
That being said, I can honestly ceritfy that The Wilcox Gastropub indeed deserves the hype that it receives, and that I will definitely be returning to try more of their distinctive creations.
My last word of note would be in reference to their bathrooms, located at the bottom of a flight of stairs. In contrast to the polished atmospheres of the three levels of dining, the state of the washroom stalls were no different from that of a regular pub. Unthinkably sticky floors, rickety plastic-coated doors, and harsh, vividly-coloured hand soap are not wins in my book. The steep staircase also means that the bathroom is not accessible, defeating the purpose of installing a ramp at the entrance of the restaurant in the first place.