I was looking forward to a Saturday night oyster fix. A group of 5 headed to Oyster Boy, on Queen. We had heard that the owner was a former Rodney's protege.
The experience was very disappointing, mainly because of the service. And I usually will accept lacklustre service if the food is good.
First, the food. The oysters were fresh and satisfying. We ordered La Mallet oysters, which are like small Malpeques. The size in itself is not a problem: they are delightful. But, you need 24 of them. They were grossly overpriced at more than $2 a piece. They are each the size of silver dollar.
The rest of the food was mediocre. Crab cakes were 90% potato. Crab quesadilla were 90% rice. Tasty enough (there's nothing wrong with potato), but not the seafood experience we wanted.
The service was abominable. We sat down, and everything seemed fine. We perused the brief menu. I liked the fact that they did not have many menu selections; it indicated specialization and, therefore, commitment.
We sat for more than 20 minutes before our waiter came, and then he offered to take drink orders. He was a friendly but uncaring surf-dude-type. At least, he started out friendly.
We ordered a mess of food and drinks. We then waited for another 1/2 hour. One dish arrived, containing 4 fried oysters. We devoured them in seconds. We then waited another 20 minutes. A few dishes arrived. They were similarly devoured. The rhythm was off, but the dishes were good and we were getting hungrier as the kitchen teased us with their strangely and sparsely timed offerings. Long delays became annoying, interrupting the flow of the meal.
One of the party ordered a salad. 1.5 hours into the meal, he had not received it. He enquired with the waiter, who laughed goofily and said "Oh... I actually thought I would bring that near the end of the meal... Do you still want the salad?" My friend said he did. He got it 30 minutes later.
From time to time, we gently asked the waiter to speed things up. This is not fine dining establishment, and we were darn hungry too. Our red-haired surfer told us that the kitchen was already "really pissed off" with him. Further complaints elicited his indifferent laughter and a challenge from our waiter: "Do you want to go back there and talk to them?" I was tempted.
At the end of the meal, the final insult: Encino Man brings the bill and says "By the way, we add 15% tip to groups of 5 or more." And there it was. His unearned $40 tip. On our bill. The menu warned of no such thing. I've heard of that for groups of 8 or more, maybe 6.
We debated. We discussed the fact that it might be the team's fault, rather than just Carrot Top's. But, we decided we had to object. I explained to him that the service simply was not up to par, and we wanted to determine the tip. Please remove the Soviet-style obligatory tip. He said ok.
He came back and threw the check on the table without breaking his stride. It landed with a cacophony of discontent, as if to say: "I can serve you moneybags how I wish; afrer all, tips are mandatory".
We did tip him in the end.
This place was a disappointment. Starfish, here I come. Or, should I stick with Rodney's? I recall a recent post mentioning that Rodney's prices are unfair. Where is the best raw bar experience in TO?