Ceili’s Irish Pub & Restaurant




Restaurant: Ceili’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

Cuisine: American
Last visited: December 15, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC (Downtown)
670 Smithe
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3 (based on 2 appetizers I tried)
Service: 2.5
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 2.5
Additional comments:

  • Canadian mini chain pub & restaurant
  • New menu
  • Traditional UK/Irish pub food w/a couple BC influences
  • Pub atmosphere, good for watching spots
  • Good for drinks & appetizers
  • Every Thursday 7pm “Irish Dinner Party” (appie + entrée + beer $20)
  • Daily specials
  • Late night
  • Live music – dance floor
  • M-T 4pm-late
  • Friday 4pm-3am
  • Saturday 3pm-3am
  • Sunday 3pm-late

**Recommendation: Bushmill’s Whiskey Ribs, Shepherd’s pie and nachos are most popular, but I haven’t tried them.

I would never think to come to Ceili’s Irish Pub and Restaurant for the food. I know a few of my friends come here on the weekend, but this was my first visit. It’s a great place for socializing, late night snacking, drinking, and watching the game. I rarely do the later 2 activities, but I definitely participate in the first 2.

Browsing their menu, I found that a lot of items were suitable for lunch. They offer standard soups, sandwiches and burgers…now too bad they’re not open for lunch. The mains are more or less traditional UK pub items. The only thing missing was the mushy peas, beans and black pudding – which I guess is more England than Ireland. In that case the only thing missing was the soda bread and Coddle!

I guess the chef (who has been there for 6 months) heard through the grapevine that I was a “food reviewer/blogger” so he came out to introduce himself. However it doesn’t affect my review because I’m literally copying and pasting the notes I wrote for the food before I met the chef. I have only tried 2 appetizers, but apparently they were 2 of the most popular appetizers. Therefore this review doesn’t give a good idea of what the food is like overall. However I can always review the items I did try…and these Bushmill’s Whiskey Ribs are worth a mention.

On the table:

Bushmill’s Whiskey Ribs 5.5/6

  • One pound of slow-cooked baby back ribs tossed in Bushmill’s Whiskey BBQ sauce. Ribs also available in wing sauce choices. $12.75
  • These ribs were falling off the bones tender! All I really wanted was to try a bite because I had just come from dinner. (Surprise surprise) Anyways I literally tried ripping off a piece from one rib and the entire piece of meat slipped off it. As soon as that happened it wa s over – I knew I was in for a wicked good rib. The meat was so tender I barely needed to chew it. They were nice big ribs that had a lot of meat on them too.
  • It came with this thick sticky and bold barbeque sauce or glaze. The barbeque sauce isn’t made completely in house because they have a contract with ___________ BBQ sauce, which I don’t remember the name of it right now. However the chef adds his own spices to make the sauce better.I ding them .5 because nothing beats homemade barbeque sauce.
  • Part of his add-ins is the Bushmill’s Whiskey. This is a really traditional Irish whiskey and it gave the sauce this malted flavour and a nice tangy kick. It was sweet and tangy and he also cooked the sauce with some red onions. The onions got so caramelized and stringy and were disguised in the sauce. I didn’t even see them until I bit into one of the ribs with an onion latching on…it was awesome!

Country Calamari 2.5/6

  • Tender squid, light lemon pepper batter, garlic tzatziki, diced green and red onions $11.75
  • The seasoning on the calamari tasted like the seasoning you would put on Buffalo wings. It was similar to (or was) a Cajun spice and reminded me of that orange spice they would season a crispy chicken sandwich with. I could taste salt, cayenne, paprika, and some garlic powder and maybe a dash of hot sauce in the batter. I have sensitive taste buds 🙂 It wasn’t really spicy for me, but it did carry some heat.
  • What I didn’t like about this dish was that the calamari pieces were really small, so they got too heavily battered. They had a few decent pieces, but most of the time it was almost like eating popcorn shrimp.
  • The dip was a tzataiki yogurt dip but with no herbs and seasonings. It tasted more like yogurt to me.


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