By Khalid AlSabhan
Welcome to K’s Case, where the all-too fussy Khalid (that’s me!) brings down divine judgement upon places that have a certain standing in people’s minds. In other words, I go to supposedly really good or bad college joints and myth-bust their reputation. Case closed.
The phrase “Boston dies after 9 p.m.” is a pretty fair assessment. It can be pretty hard to find places that are both open late and actually serve good food. Today, we’ll be seeing if the Victoria Seafood Restaurant in West Campus, open until 1 a.m., is one of those spots.
We’ll be going over the good, the bad and the ugly of what Victoria Seafood Restaurant has to offer. At the end, we’ll come to a verdict on whether or not it’s worth the hype.
First off, atmosphere!
I’m beginning to notice a theme with these Allston joints. Tiny storefront, huge inside — the place had a whole lounge at the very back. Since Victoria’s closes at 1 a.m., I was pretty surprised to walk in at 11:45 p.m. to an empty restaurant.
The only three people around were the receptionist, the waitress and me. The creaky doors, lack of decor, complementary tea (which was really good) and their welcoming presence made me feel like I was a guest at their house.
The menu looked older than me, and despite the name Victoria Seafood Restaurant, the selection was mostly Chinese food with a few New England seafood options. I ordered the most popular stuff: a small beef teriyaki, twin lobster with ginger and lemon and a Diet Coke.
The beef teriyaki came first served on skewers. The appetizer was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Although it was slightly burnt, the char actually brought out the flavors. It came with a sweet and tangy orange-based sauce, which was a bit strong but worked beautifully with the teriyaki.
On to the entree. The twin lobster was clearly the signature dish, given how half the storefront is dedicated to its advertisement. The lobsters were fresh from the tank, which I honestly didn’t expect, and were cooked up and served within 10 minutes. The dish was huge, and the smell alone was enough to fill me up.
The taste itself, however, was somewhat bland. The meat was cooked well, but completely lacked flavor and seasoning. I had to dip it in the orange sauce that came with the beef teriyaki to actually taste something, and even then it wasn’t great.
The price is where my disappointment turned to pain. The Diet Coke was $2.00, a fair price. The beef teriyaki was $4.75, which was an incredible deal, but the lobster… $29.95.
Lobster is famously expensive. This is Boston — people know that. Thirty dollars for two lobsters is a pretty fair price, but $30 dollars for the twin lobster at Victoria’s is theft. Even for a special occasion, I would hardly recommend going there for lobster when you’re in a port-city famous for its seafood.
So, is the Victoria Seafood Restaurant worth the hype? Answer is…
Don’t get me wrong, the food was by no means perfect, and the lobster was egregiously overpriced, but there’s so much more to the place than one overpriced dish. If you’re looking for a late night staple, I wouldn’t look past exploring Victoria’s Seafood Restaurant. Just don’t go exploring the lobsters.