13483 72 Avenue, Surrey,
A girlfriend and I had planned to visit over a meal on Friday night and decided to give Bistro 72 a try in Newton. Recently opened in November, Bistro 72 is below the Old Surrey Restaurant on 72nd Avenue just West of King George, and is the younger, upscale cousin to the more traditional dining upstairs. I had previously enjoyed Old Surrey Restaurant’s food, but didn’t exactly feel at home in the atmosphere. With the Bistro, they have answered the call of the younger generations in the area who are looking for a more modern experience.
Upon entering Bistro 72 around 7pm for our reservation, I was pleased to find that many of the tables were filled and seemed to be enjoying their meals. We were greeted in an adorable reception area by a pleasant waitress and were promptly seated. You can tell lots of thought was put into the aesthetics of the restaurant – there were plenty of charming details, like the bar being clad in wood wine case lids, and the use of classic hexagon tile on the floor. Despite being downstairs, the space had lots of light flowing in from skylights and glass entry doors. Table tops were a very pretty faux marble, with continuous bench seating on one side and shabby-chic wood chairs opposite. Round tables for 4 were placed on either end of the restaurant.
As we reviewed the menu I was impressed on two accounts. One, the pricing seemed very reasonable, and two, there was an excellent mix of light and heavier dishes, with some nice starters to choose from. After what felt like a few too many minutes, we were approached by our server and ordered our glasses of wine. I had the Road 13 Rose from Oliver, BC. It was a light and refreshing. Soon dropped off to our table were the most delicious, perfectly crispy homemade potato chips, provided complimentary and in place of bread with your meal. After some negotiating with ourselves and each other, we ordered the $9 Bruschetta to share, I had the Seared Ahi Tuna and my girlfriend ordered Salt Spring Island Mussels in the curry cream sauce.
Shortly after ordering, a local performer named Ranj Singh began his scheduled performance, playing guitar and singing soft background music while we enjoyed our meals. I love that Bistro 72 features musicians on Friday and Saturday nights at the restaurant. You rarely see live music at restaurants and it’s a definite treat.
Our bruschetta appetizer was light, fresh and full of flavour. The bread it was served on was toasted, but soft and chewy on the inside. I commented that I would have preferred a crunchier bread, as it wasn’t firm enough to eat with your hands, but my date said that she preferred it a bit softer and was glad they did it the way they had.
We gobbled up the appetizer quite quickly and as the waitress was taking away our empty plate, she commented “Has anyone mentioned that the kitchen is out of mussels?” Uh, no. “You’ll have to order something else, I’ll get you the menu.” This was unfortunate. I don’t know at what point they ran out, but when we ordered 30 minutes prior, I am sure that mussels were still available in the kitchen. If they were out at that point, it took much too long to be told, and others were served their mussels who ordered later than we did. I question whether, since we had an appetizer and the waitress wouldn’t have rung in our mains yet, my girlfriend was “penalized” in a way because we ordered something to start. Too bad. In place of the mussels, she ordered the Crab Cakes.
The Ahi Tuna, coated in black and white sesame seeds, was cooked very nicely, and the miso soy glaze was delicious! I wished there was a bit more dressing on the greens though. Although I was impressed by the price tags when first viewing the menu, for $15 I felt the salad that accompanied the tuna could have been larger, with some more goodies in it rather than just plain mixed greens.
The Crab Cake dish was also enjoyable. Again, for $15 more salad would have gone a long way, but the cakes were light, fresh and perfectly crispy on the outside. The dipping sauce served with them was full of flavour and a great accompaniment.
Overall, a nice experience at Bistro 72. We observed what I believe to be few growing pains in the slow-ish service and lack of communication with the kitchen, but the food was good, the service was friendly and the atmosphere was appreciated.
3.5 out of 5 stars. Look forward to dining here again in the future.