The act of eating is a simple one that occurs on a daily basis for most of us, and yet it is one of the most meaningful and complex things that a person engages in throughout their lifetime. Eating can be a means of curing a broken heart and an expanding waistline, celebrating a joyous event, attaining one’s nutritional needs, or heightening the pleasure of a discreetly romantic moment. There are many foods out there that are considered to be aphrodisiacs, such as chocolate, red wine, strawberries, and most notably, oysters. These delightful morsels of sweet and salty heaven are generally consumed during the more relaxed and luxurious moments of life. According to my research, they are also loaded with zinc, a key component in the production of testosterone. If you don’t know, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone produced primarily by the testes that has been linked to an increase in one’s sexual drive and desire (#scientificbiddy). In short, you will see the girls moving in and be put in the mood. Recently, as the number of Buck-A-Shuck specials increased and the weather in Vancouver began showing signs of the belated arrival of summer, I decided to make my way down to Oyster Vancouver with a friend and a stranger. Their hour is distinctive for running for an extended period of 4-7pm from Monday to Saturday, but it may sometimes vary in price and hours; I believe they’ve sporadically had 50 cent/oyster and all-day Buck-a-Shuck features.
Located on Howe Street in the Old Stock Exchange Building, Oyster Vancouver is relatively hidden given its placement. Note that you can impress your date further by offering to pay for parking on the street adjacent, which, given the speed the oysters are shucked at, could’ve paid for another dining companion to join you on this sensual happy hour. Of course, not all such couples are looking to be joined by others.
The interior of Oyster was romantic, cozy, and capable of putting one in the mood – for seafood, of course. The restaurant is incredibly small and could probably seat around 25 at best. As you can see from this photograph, the restaurant features dim lighting, candles, and red leather seats.
To begin our orgy of oysters, we ordered a dozen and a half of the Effingham, which were on special. They took their sweet time in arriving, which may be a technique employed by the restaurant to minimize the number of oysters that they had to shuck for a buck, or a testament to the fact that only one person was actually shucking them. The oysters came with a selection of succulent sauces, including cocktail sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tobacco, a sauce of the ponzu variety, and a sauce featuring mirin and chunks of garlic. In addition, they arrived on a bed of ice and were accompanied by lemons and freshly ground horseradish, which I appreciated.
The little shellfish critters were plump, only slightly briny, and went well with the array of sauces. The oysters themselves are shucked at the bar upon order and immediately brought to the table. The freshness and skill of shucking was evident in the smell, taste, and lack of shell bits in the meat, which made it easy to slurp up these bad boys in a graceful and elegant manner.
We later opted to order another dozen, as we had thoroughly enjoyed the previous dozen and wished to further prepare ourselves – for another meal afterwards, of course.
Ultimately, this excursion to Oyster Vancouver was well worth it. The Happy Hour prices and quality of the oysters served here makes this a suitable and classy choice for when one has a hankering for some fresh oysters and for endangering one’s own gastrointestinal well-being. The dim atmosphere, remote service, and quieter choice of music establish this an ideal place to take one’s sweetie (and by that, I mean the subject of one’s sweeting), or romantic partner of choice for the evening.
Conclusion: Andy slurped a lot.
475 Howe St.