Yesterday was my first Father’s Day. I celebrated in what I’d like to think is typical fashion – sleeping in, relaxing on the couch and being spoiled by my wife and baby daughter. A meal out is also fairly typical for dear ol’ Dad, but what was not typical is how we ended up at Sooke’s newest restaurant – Stickleback West Coast Eatery.
We had planned to grab brunch at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort (if you haven’t been there for brunch yet, you really should, but I suppose that’s another article). But, babies doing what babies do, our little one got cranky and needed a nap, and then lunch, which took us past noon. Craving lunch rather than dinner, we decided on Smoken Bones Cookshack in Langford (we were headed to Costco anyway). But then, as we cruised down Sooke Road on a glorious sunny afternoon, I remembered that Stickleback had just opened and I’d heard good things.
Stickleback is located right in Cooper’s Cove, on the waterfront. This is the same location that housed Stone Pipe Grill before it moved ‘up Sooke,’ and Fuse, before it closed this winter. I’ve always loved this spot, but also appreciated that it’s kind of out of the way. Stickleback is an enticing reason to make the trek.
Stickleback is kind of a funny name, but it actually makes a lot of sense. In fact, the town of Sooke gets its name from the first nations name for the stickleback fish, which inhabits the Sooke Basin. It’s clear they’re going after locals – from the decor, to the names on the menu, to the prices.
Being a beer nerd, I was pleased to see lots of selections on tap from two local breweries – Phillips and Lighthouse. Drink prices are reasonable and presentation was great, from what I saw of other patrons’ drinks. The menu is large and varied, with appetizers ranging from $8-11, and mains $10-22 with an emphasis on seafood – local where available. For waterfront dining this is exceptional value in my mind.
We opted to split an order of fish tacos ($10) for a starter. They were very good – with shrimp and at least 2 other types of fish that I could tell, mango salsa, avocado in some very tasty and fragrant corn tortillas. Our little girl (8 months old) enthusiastically chomped down on a few bits of fish and avocado too.
For our main course, I had the Trail Boss Burger ($12), which had bacon, mushrooms, and cheese. The burger was a monster, and was presented very attractively. It came on a sea of fries, which, while a little cold, appeared to be hand-cut and were very tasty nonetheless. The burger itself was a tad on the dry side, but it also appeared home-made and was seasoned wonderfully.
My wife had the spicy noodle bowl – which had chicken, prawns, cashews and veg over rice noodles in a spicy-ish peanut sauce. It was also good, but the rice noodles were chopped up which made them hard to eat, and there was far too much sauce (or perhaps not enough noodles). Overall, she enjoyed it.
On the whole, it was a very pleasant experience. Service was quick and attentive but not obtrusive. The patio looks amazing and had we a sun hat for our little girl we would have sat there for sure. I can definitely see myself spending a few hours in the sun on that patio over a beer or two with friends this summer.
Stickleback reminds me a lot of Stone Pipe, which is arguably one of the most successful restaurants in Sooke. Good food, affordable prices, casual ambience. Get down to Stickleback and support this new business – they’re here to stay.
- Ambience: 5/5
- Food 4/5
- Value: 5/5
- Service 5/5
Side note: their website is fabulous, great job! It’s everything a restaurant website should be, and not this.
Have you been to Stickleback yet? What did you think?