REVISIT-Cactus Club Richmond

Hey Everyone,

Jess and I recently went to dine at Cactus Club in Richmond for dinner for Xmas/New Years/Holidays. This location has its own sizable parking lot and it situated on Number 3 Road adjacent to Lansdowne Centre. Being a Saturday night, I was expecting it to be busy so I called ahead of time and booked a table, even though it was only for a table of 2. Turns out I was right and there were several others waiting to be seated already when we arrived. 

We ended up being seated in their solarium at a nice large table for 4! Even though it was a cold night, their solarium had plenty of hanging gas heaters to keep it nice and warm at each table. If you haven't been to their solarium, it's a pretty nice place to eat at with comfy cushioned chairs and large tables, several fireplaces, and a fountain in the middle. 

For drinks, normally I'd start with a mojito, but even though the drink you see below looks like one, it's actually a Brazilian! This is my new favourite drink at Cactus Club! It's got a mix of kiwi and lime for its main flavour so it's a pretty sweet drink. There's no mint leaves in here, so that's where it differs from the mojito, but the kiwi is a nice substitution here. The taste is sweet and is very refreshing! If you like mojitos, you will likely like this too. If you don't like mojitos because of the mint, then you will like this too!

We started with a Tuna Tataki, which is amazing here! We were so hungry we devoured it in a couple minutes. The tuna tataki is served on top of chopped avocado, cantaloupe, and sliced oranges, with a carrot and what looks to be radish base. The tuna tataki is cooked perfectly with a thin layer on the outside seared. Highly recommend this appy!

While waiting a long time for our mains, one server, who was not our main server, came by with cutlery just sort of threw it down as you can see in the photo below. 

Now I know we're not at a cheap Chinese restaurant, so there should be no excuse for "setting" down cutlery like this, when Jess was sitting to my left, not the right. Leaving 2 forks together and 2 knives together makes no sense either, with one fork laying on its side. She clearly had no clue who ordered what dish, so the steak knife was paired together with the other knife with no indication as to which diner it was intended for. You might think this is nitpicky, but things like this bother me, especially if I'm at Cactus Club, which I would associate with excellent service, not the likes of which should ever be compared to a cheap Chinese restaurant where they would just throw chopsticks and napkins across the table to you because they won't go around the table to place it in front of you. I could go on about more things wrong with this situation but you get the idea.

For mains, Jess ordered the Millionaire's Cut, which is a 7oz filet mignon with white wine sauteed creole jumbo prawns, served with asparagus and mashed potatoes. The filet was definitely very tender and tasted very good overall. It seemed the steak could have used a bit more seasoning, but still a pretty good steak. Jess didn't think it was very good though, as she's had better steak elsewhere for that price. The prawns were delicious as well, but for jumbo prawns, they weren't very big. Jess found the mashed potatoes to be bland, although I thought it was alright with the buttery flavour that it had. 

I had the Spaghettini + Kobe Style Meatballs, served with garlic bread, roasted tomato sauce, truffle mushroom cream, and fresh ricotta cheese. I was exited about the garlic bread as I love garlic bread, but the bread they used was more on the hard side, so it wasn't really my ideal garlic bread, which should be soft on the inside, and crispy on the crust. The spaghetti itself was delicious and paired quite nicely with the Kobe style meatballs. As you can see in the picture above, there are only 2 meatballs, but don't let that deceive you like it did to me. I thought it wasn't going to be very filling with only 2 meatballs, but they are both quite large, and the dish overall became quite filling by the end of it! Cutting up the meatballs to eat it evenly with the spaghetti actually does allow it to last until the spaghetti is finished! The truffle mushroom cream was an interesting side to this as it looked like mashed potato but tasted nothing like it. It was slightly salty and very creamy. Overall this dish was very enjoyable for me and I would definitely order it again and highly recommend it!

Due to the above being so filling, we had no room for dessert, so the meal ended after the mains. As for the service, our main server was very nice, quick to ask if I wanted a second drink, which I did, and attentive to just the right amount. The one who was responsible for the double fork and double knife setting on the other hand, was absolutely horrible! She did not speak a word to us, and after dropping off the unfinished setting, went on to clean another table. What should have been an excellent dining experience service wise, turned out to be only satisfactory because of that one person. Such a shame...damn...(in Gordon Ramsay's voice. I been watching a lot of Master Chef recently....)

Overall, Cactus Club is usually a delight to dine at, with great food, great drinks, and usually great service. This visit came across one bad server, so the rating on this particular visit has gone down for this location. Overall still a good dining experience and would recommend this location.





Thanks for reading everyone, and happy eating!
- Phil

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