We ate at this restaurant on a Friday night in February 2016 with a friend during the Taste of White Rock week. Our dinner reservations were for 6pm. Luckily at that time of night, we got a parking spot across the street in the limited space of the pay car park there; otherwise, the next car park was about a block away. Of course, parking is free for White Rock residents.
Jan's on the Beach is located close to the wharf in White Rock along Marine Drive's "restaurant row". The restaurant is small with about 9 tables inside and a few more available outside when the weather is nicer. Inside, the gleaming stainless steel kitchen takes up quite a bit of the floor area. There is a small bar at the back used mainly as an area for preparing drinks to take to the tables. This whole evening we were entertained by a singer, when really we just wanted to chat with our friend. Sometimes we couldn't hear the other person speak due to the noise level. The feel of the restaurant is like a casual bistro (no tablecloths nor placemats) with wood floors and small tables for 2 and 4 surrounded by comfortable chairs.The contemporary white serving dishes in unusual shapes made me feel the food served would be upscale. Inside, the decor is not shabby while the patio area on that rainy night didn't look appealing.
We were immediately seated and lovely cold ice water was served in sparkling glasses. After our order was taken we were served bite-sized pieces of focaccia bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping - one piece each. The set menu I noticed was not from the regular menu items which seemed to be quite extensive for such a small place. The restaurant is open from 10am so it serves limited breakfast fare, then lunch and dinner, closing at 9pm. I noticed that similar items appearing on both the lunch and dinner menu had the same price.
The set menu offered 2 choices for starters, 4 choices for mains and 2 choices for dessert. I had the grilled caesar salad - wouldn't order that again - to start while my companions had a cup of thick tomato soup served with crackers which they liked very much. My salmon and shrimp wellington was tasty and was served with a very generous serving of mixed sauteed vegetables - cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and carrots. The puff pastry was nicely crisped and the filling was hot and cooked through. I would order that dish again. My companions both had the lamb shank also served with the same vegetables and mashed potatoes. The serving of meat was hearty, not fatty, but no mint sauce was offered and missed terribly by my hubby. On offer for dessert was bread pudding with ice cream - their own roasted banana ice cream was very good and could stand alone without the bread pudding, a bit much for me as a dessert after a filling meal. Our friend had the chocolate tarte which sounded better than it was to eat. Wine was extra but the gentlemen thought the way the restaurant pared the wine to the meal choices was unique and so they indulged. A small bowl with hot water and rolled towels were put on the table for the men to use after their lamb meal which I hadn't seen offered in other places for the same type of meal. Our meal took just over 1 1/2 hours. All indoor tables were taken so reservations would be required to ensure a seat.
For $30, a 3 course meal was a good deal. We all had dishes with foods we liked. Had it not been for the special deal offered during the Taste of White Rock week, we would not have come out on a rainy night to White Rock for dinner. We also tend to avoid these Marine Drive restaurants due to the high price of parking in the car parks in addition to a pricey meal.
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