Golden Spoons Review: West Bay Diner

| 13/06/2016 | 5 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Foodie): What’s the name of that place that opened up where Tim-buc-tuu used to be? You know, the one that’s up from the 4-way stop in West Bay, on the land-side? Well, whatever it’s called, despite being across from the sea, it doesn’t have much of a view, so it better have great food.

Bayas have been waiting patiently for someone to take up the reins in the abandoned little café at the top of West Bay Road, and when we finally started seeing signs of life, our hearts and stomachs did a flip in anticipation of something just as adorable, tasty and well priced as TBT was. Hopes were high, and with a name like West Bay Diner, how could they not be?

Diner fare is the perfect menu for this location, offering simple breakfast, lunch and dinner options, at reasonable prices with easy takeaway. Sadly, the road to mediocrity is paved with boring and poorly executed food.

At first glance, it’s easy to think, “Dinner for $10.95? I’m in!” And when the food arrives, it looks ok; the portion size is decent, and it appears to be what was described on the menu. But once you take a bite, there’s something missing.  Seasoning? Perhaps. Attention to detail might be a better way of putting it. My mother in law calls it “oomph”. All I know is I tried a number of dishes over several visits and they were all … mediocre. Actually, the nachos were inedible.

The ready-made tortilla chips were crisped in the fryer before broiling the dish, which is fine, but this made them very greasy. These were then layered with heaps of shredded cheese and chopped raw white onion.

This kind of sounds good in theory except the cheese was so thick and unevenly distributed, the big piles didn’t even melt all the way through and the raw white onion just seemed like a mistake. To add insult to injury, the salsa was definitely thinned out with tomato sauce. (I had three people taste and confirmed the same.) Not off to a great start.

Starving, I stopped for breakfast one morning and had the classic breakfast. If by “classic” they mean “boring”, then it’s aptly named. Two eggs, potatoes, bacon or sausage and toast sounds yummy enough. The potatoes, usually my favorite part, weren’t bad, I guess, but they weren’t anything to write home about either. They had some seasoning but weren’t especially crispy or interesting in any way.  Everything else was equally nondescript. Yawn.

Next time, I tried the club sandwich. Again, it looks good on paper but just not executed very well. The thin sliced, soft, white bread disintegrated from the moisture of the chicken, tomatoes and mayo, despite being “toasted” on the flat grill (instead of actually being made with toast). Lucky there’s bacon and ham in there otherwise it would have had no flavor at all. And the fries were the standard, frozen kind and completely useless a few minutes into the meal, once their freshness started to wear off.

The calamari are probably the best thing on the menu. The breading is a unique, crispy, peppery blend of cornmeal and spices, while the calamari are nice thick rings, cooked perfectly.  Kudos for getting something right. Calamari is a hard one, too.

One night we tried a chicken stir-fry and a fish curry. Not surprisingly, both were exactly what you’d expect from a stir-fry and curry – protein, veggies, sauce – but neither were particularly interesting and both needed some extra seasoning to bring out the flavor. They were void of any personality, any oomph.

All in all, I think I gave West Bay Diner a number of chances to pull it together and I am thoroughly disappointed. When I’m starving on my way home, I don’t think, “Let me stop in to WBD.”  I think, “I’m sure there’s something in my fridge.”  Unfortunately, I won’t be giving them any more opportunities to make me yummy food. Four strikes, you’re out.

West Bay Diner Facebook page

Readers’ rating of the West Bay Diner:

Category: Golden Spoons Review, Good Food. Bad Food.

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m actually surprised at this review although I do admit it does look ‘off the beaten track’ so to speak. Thought I’d give it a try with a colleague and was impressed with the service (good service seems hard to come by these days!). The food was good for the price, nothing fancy but great portion, tastes good and was served fast enough for lunch out of the office.

    We’ve since been back….although will keep with the indoor seating 😉

  2. Just Driftwood says:

    I love the potatoes with the breakfast at WBD, as well as the fresh breads. I think breakfast is their strong suit. They do a pretty nice curry, too, imho. I don’t agree with the food assessment here, but I’m on board with service rating when the young lady isn’t there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We were avid supporters of Tim Buc Tuu, so likewise had high expectations for the new endeavour. Like the reviewer, we gave a few chances to prove its worth, but [now] we drive by without even glancing in the general direction. Very unfortunate as it is already on the back foot with location. It had big shoes to fill and sadly, it has failed. Only time will tell how long they can stay above water until they figure out that the chef needs to go or shut down the whole joint.

  4. Anonymous says:

    alfresco is a better choice across the street. also has one of the best views around.

    • Think of all possibilities says:

      Very true. The potato-crusted curry grouper at Alfresco is one of the best dishes on the entire island!

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