DC7ABEA1 A5DB 488C AE12 33432BA3EC58

Free Bird Table & Bar

Today I was I invited to the new summer menu launch at Free Bird, as a plus. Here, as eye and arm candy to @dennispang. I have never been, but have driven past, so was exited to try their food today. And even more so walking in and noting the festive vibe.

I didn’t know what to expect, but was not anticipating a mingler with an open bar. Your options here were between free flowing red or white wine, and/or either of their two new cocktails. The latter of which were very hot weather driven.

The Bourbon Cherry Lemonade was the boozier of the two. More dark fruits and spirit than lemonade.

If you are looking for something more refreshing, I would advise going for the Watermelon Mojito. The citrusy zinger made sweet with a kiss of watermelon. An easy sipper that also complimented the food to come, more.

I was surprised to learn that the restaurant has held this space, as the lobby restaurant of the Executive Hotel for over 4 years now, opening just before the pandemic. Their first location is in Squamish, BC.

We were one of the firsts to arrive, which is just the way I like it. This ensures all photo and videos you take of displays or set ups are as intended, which was the case for the hot food bar.

I had high hopes for the build your own chicken and waffle station, but those were dash after one bite. I chalked it up to the sitting in wait under the heat lamp. Although found the passed around food just as lack lustre.

The waffles were doughy and hard. At least the were cut into smaller squares, so that you didn’t have to commit to a whole to learn that you didn’t like it. They were gently drizzled with syrup, but not enough to offer any flavour. This station needed a self serve bottle of sweetener.

The tater tots were much better and probably my favourite dish. Crispy nuggets that you pop into your mouth, the kitchen can at least deep fry.

The sauce on the side was like a barbecue but unbalanced, swinging more towards tangy than smokey or sweet. I would pass on this.

The second heat lamp was keeping a handsome fried chicken, ribs, and stewed greens platter warm. I would dismissed on the latter, given my dislike of the texture of stewed and wilted green vegetables. Just looking at it makes me want to gag.

The fried chicken was disappointingly not crispy. I took a bite and the bone broke in two, within my hands. The chicken was overcooked, but from what I gathered the seasonings were well done. I would like to try this one fresh, and not at a larger scale event such as this.

Similarly the ribs were uninspiring. Overcooked and mushy with no flavour. I took a bite and was not interested in going back for more.

The fresh shuck oyster station was at least solid. Although that doesn’t involve any cooking. I did find it odd that after each oyster was shucked the gentlemen behind the table would dip it into a bucket of water, to almost clean it? I was curious to know what he was washing off? The vinaigrettes were at fragrant enough to mask anything that would be unpleasant.

Most of the food was passed around by very courteous staff. Although that may be because there was a table of Freebird managers and executives in attendance, and seated for the night.

The Crispy Cajun Chicken Sliders were much better than the fried, dark meat chicken pieces above. It was at least crispy, but over breaded. I was left looking for the actual chicken between the bun and the breading. I was also missing some sort of mayo-based, cream sauce to soften and add moisture. Plus some crispy vegetable or slaw for freshness. This was not a complete bite, but much better than the mini sandwich below.

I wanted to like the Smoked Brisket Sandwich, it had so much promise. However, the corn bread loaf literally crumbled under pressure, making it a clumsy and unreliable base. Just as well, as its sweetness ran too parallel with the that of the brisket sauce. Here, I was once again missing a sauce and some slaw. A nice spicy aioli and some pickles would have done wonders offering acidity to the corn bread. The brisket itself was a miss. The cut used in my serving was far too fatty to be palatable. It had an awful texture in the mouth, too concealed and blubbery that it had me winching.

The Shrimp Salad Po’boy was the best sandwich of the three. It was fresh and light with a complimentary sweet buttered loaf. Pretty neutral with cream and salt, I could have used some black pepper and paprika or chilli spice. Although as a hotel property restaurant, the goal is to make food that serves the populous and those who would stay at this hotel property. In that case this would hit the mark here and for the following.

The Pulled Pork Taquitos were pretty good. The pork was a little ashy, but at least plenty of it was wrapped around a curl of fried tortilla. The crunch was there, but only one dip of tomatillo salsa was not enough. You were left hanging with the rest of the taquitos, once the server walked away.

The Smoked salmon mousse felt like an elevated offering. Although the mousse itself was far too salty, and the texture like it was blended flaked canned fish. And the cone was pre-made and not fresh; and you could tell. I think it is the same generic brand I have seen at other restaurants, doing something similar. It was hard and dense and not complimentary to the mousse that was at least whipped smoother.

The Beet Hummus was nice. I would have liked it over a slice of cucumber or in a cup to dip with veggies, as it was well done. A gentle sweetness to the familiar chickpea classic. Instead the base “tart” was a scoop. Like the cone before, this too was made ahead of time and allowed to sit. The texture was dense and hard, like you are eating a wooden spoon. Another unappetizing vessel that took away from what the bite was trying to showcase.

The Bruschetta had a crispy and hard crostini bottom, and this would have been a better base for the two appetizers above. Here, the issue was that there was not enough tomato and balamsimic to top it. So it felt like I was just eating plain toast.

Honestly, this party has steereed me away from returning anytime soon. Everything looked right and sounded good on paper, but it just didn’t match up in taste. However, I will take this with a grain of salt knowing that functions such as this deserve grace. There is the need for a fast turn around and large quantities of food, and therefore you ought to adjust your expectations accordingly.

I would like to see how they do on a regular service. After all, the drinks were solid and the vibes well cultivated. They had live music tonight and the band was excellent, setting the ideal tone with their sexy bluesy covers.

There there is also a pool table at the back, where anyone can pick up a cue and play for free. After we gave up on eating, we actually got two games in.

Free Bird Table & Bar
5991 Alderbridge Wy, Richmond, BC V6X 4C5
(604) 279-5598

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top