Five Corners Bistro

Restaurant: Five Corners Bistro
Cuisine: American/Seafood/Pacific Northwest
Last visited: November 14, 2010
Location: White Rock, BC (White Rock/South Surrey)
Address: 15182 Buena Vista Avenue
Price Range: $20-30

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

Food: 1
Service: n/a (see note)
Ambiance: 2
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Sister restaurant to Five Corners Cafe
  • Canadian/Euro cuisine
  • Family owned/operated
  • Local ingredients
  • Extremely slow w/bigger groups
  • Home style
  • Very cozy/family run feel
  • Casual fine dining
  • Focus on seafood
  • Tues-Sun 5pm
  • Closed Monday

**Recommendations: Honestly, I think your money is better spent elsewhere.

Five Corners Bistro in White Rock, BC is the sister restaurant to the very successful and local favourite Five Corners Cafe, literally just around the corner. I’ve heard great things about the cafe and I’ve been meaning to check it out, but I made it to the Bistro first. My guess is that they should stick to flipping burgers and hash browns.

I love supporting local family run restaurants, however this was perhaps one of the most disappointing dining experiences I’ve ever had. The food was home made and not in a good way at all. I feel really bad for saying this but I have to be honest. The food seemed and tasted like food I would make when I was in elementary… not even though because by then I would know when food is black, it’s burnt. I’m not exaggerating.

I was with a group of 10, and we ordered 3 orders of lamb and 4 orders of the same pasta as well as other dishes, and the meal took AGES to be served. There were only 2-3 other small tables. We literally waited well over an hour for the mains to come out. The server didn’t know the menu and neither did the chef. Apparently they had a new chef on board who was still learning the menu and how to cook the dishes for the first time that night… so I guess they decided to practice with our order? Word of advice to the owners, telling us that fact does not help your case.

Nothing was done to rectify the situation after bringing up the several problems we had with dinner to the server. The server was too young (so I bit my tongue at times) and overall the service was unprofessional with no apology from upper management. It was like a horrible episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Boo-urns. BOO-URNS.

On the table:

Complimentary Bread and Butter

  • Store bought bread, but it was served warm. It was one of the best things of the night.
  • The butter had garlic powder mixed in and I actually like it.

Steamed Salt Spring Mussels – 1.5/6

  • Daily appetizer special. White wine with garlic $8.95
  • They were large and plump and 2 of them were spoiled. I had one of the bad ones that was mushy and slimy.
  • The sauce was a tangy and salty garlic sauce that was actually pretty good.
  • They claim it’s a “special” to maintain quality and freshness. I didn’t even complain about the 2 spoiled mussels since it was only 2. I let it go.

Brie and Roasted Garlic Philo Bundle2/6

  • With raspberry coulis and a side salad $8.25
  • It’s a great savoury and sweet flavour, but it’s a do it at home appetizer.
  • Take a wheel of brie, top it with cloves of caramelized garlic, wrap it in phyllo and bake it. Serve it on a bed of raspberry sauce. Done.
  • I did like the salad though which had a sweetened vinaigrette and fresh berries.

Roasted Garlic Tapenade 1/6

  • Olive tapenade and roasted garlic on crostini $6.95
  • It was such a literal translation of the menu. There was no incorporation of ingredients or creativity.
  • The olives were dry and barely salted or seasoned. They did a great job with the caramelized garlic cloves, but now I’m just giving them credit for simple stuff.
  • The salad was good with candied pecan pieces and fresh cherry tomatoes.

Crab and Asiago Stuffed Mushroom Caps – 1/6

  • Baked with Asiago Cheese $8.25
  • Perhaps the most disappointing looking and tasting mushroom caps I’ve ever had.
  • It was 98% stuffed with Asiago cheese and barely any crab. The mushrooms were too small to hold any crab anyways.

Grilled Vegetable Risotto – 1/6

  • Fresh seasonal roasted vegetables, simmered with Arborio rice and Parmesan cheese $14.95
  • This was the only vegetarian main and I couldn’t believe it was a main.
  • WHERE ARE THE VEGETABLES?! Fine. I see a few diced carrots and there was a few diced green beans the size of peas.
  • The rice was hard and the risotto was incredibly stiff.
  • The flavour was buttery, but not that cheesy and it reminded me of powdered Lipton chicken soup mix with rice.

I just wanted to show proof of the menu descriptions, just because nothing seemed to match them.

Seafood Linguini – 1/6

  • Prawns, scallops, salmon & snapper tossed in our own garlic, alfredo sauce, served with garlic toast $17.95
  • This was recommended.
  • It was severely overcooked and had probably been sitting in the oven for 15 minutes at least before it was served. Even if it wasn’t overcooked, I wouldn’t have high hopes for it.
  • The 2 chunks of salmon were completely dried out, the prawns were dry, and the scallops tasted frozen although I had at least 5 of them. The snapper was MIA.
  • It’s a watery garlic and butter cream sauce made with some melted ricotta cheese and perhaps a little white wine. It was standard, but the sauce didn’t stick to the pasta.
  • The baked cheese tasted like a layer of Asiago rather than Parmesan.

Pan Seared, Fraser Valley Duck Breast – 2/6

  • Served with an orange demi glace, seasonal vegetables & roasted potatoes $19.95
  • The skin wasn’t crispy, but at least the duck meat was tender and quite juicy. I liked it.
  • The sauce was sweet and had a hint of orange taste if I looked for it, there wasn’t enough of it for the duck though.
  • The carrots were sweetened with perhaps brown sugar with some overcooked green beans and unseasoned spaghetti squash.

Again, the menu descriptions didn’t match the food.

Where are the mashed potatoes? What was that? Get a picture of the other side? Okay…

Whiskey BBQ Ribs – 1.5/6

  • Pork back ribs with seasonal vegetables & mashed potatoes $19.95

Okay, so there are no mashed potatoes. They’re roasted potatoes. That’s okay, honest mistake. I’m fine.

But I’m not fine with this kind of roasted potato.

The duck and the snapper advertised mashed potatoes, but all mains ended up coming with these “roasted potatoes”… almost every single one looked like this. It tasted as good as it looks.

  • The pork ribs were boiled first I’m pretty sure. They were dried out though and the quality was poor with hardly any meat on them. It was from an anorexic pig. It was a sweet sticky BBQ sauce, but they weren’t saucy ribs and they tasted like it was from a grade 9 summer BBQ.

Cajun Red Snappern/a

  • Pan seared blackened snapper, accented with a lemon dill creme fraiche, served with seasonal vegetables & mashed potatoes $19.95
  • I didn’t try this, but the people that had it said it was okay. The fish was not bad except the last bite was apparently very fishy tasting and they questioned if it was frozen.

Full Rack of Lamb – 3/6

  • Full or half rack of New Zealand Lamb; fresh herb & grainy dijon bread crumb crust, served with a minted demi glace. Full$26.95 Half 20.25
  • This was easily the best main out of all of them. I’m not even a huge fan of lamb, and even I thought it was better than everything else.
  • It was a good, tender and juicy lamb with a mild gaminess which I could still taste, but was bearable and nice.
  • There was a crust, but it wasn’t crispy and I couldn’t taste the mustard or any spice.
  • There was no minted demi glace.
  • I’m not sure if it was the grainy or regular mustard my friend asked for. But, the server came back with one or the other and said “I brought you some grainy mustard, but if you want regular mustard we just ran out, so I’ll have to go out to the store to buy some more. It’s really not a problem and I don’t mind though.” (My friend kindly accepted whatever was given.)



Five Corners Bistro on Urbanspoon


  • Yikes! Just looking at those pics makes me give this place a pass. Except for the duck, everything looks overcooked with the potatoes having a burnt appearance. And 2 bad mussels? Obviously no quality control in the kitchen which is unforgivable.
    I think perhaps the “new” factor may be at play here since it seems to have gotten good reviews on social sites in the past but the fact they did nothing when informed of the problems is not the way to build clientele.

  • Mijune says:

    @thesavvyboomer – Thanks for understanding! The pictures pretty much do the explaining… it’s undeniable just from those that the quality and food was not there. There’s no way they would serve that to their family… and to serve it to customers supporting your business. I felt really ripped off.

  • Eric W. says:

    Yikes! I’ll pass on this place for sure.

  • BCRobyn says:

    Yikes… that’s one sad-looking risotto. You’re right though, it’s like a scene out of Kitchen Nightmares. I’d hate to know what’s really going on behind the scenes…

  • Mijune says:

    @BCRobyn – me too! I don’t know what was saddest… the mushroom caps, burn potatoes, or risotto… or bad mussels.

  • Inspector Stanley says:

    Ok… Enough is enough…. I may just have to make an official visit to Five Corners. How do you spell Gross? = 5 Corners….. They may have been recently inspected (September with no infractions) but being the Power Inspector that I am — i can surely send one of my associates to do a full review. (MJ – give me the green light.) This restaurant is a prime candidate for Kitchen Nightmares…. No doubt would Gordon Ramsey tear a strip off the owners for their fraudulent practice! It is now on my boycott list. MJ – Thank you for saving me my money and a stomach ache! Much rather eat at Giraffe’s!!!

  • FCB says:

    We are very sorry for the quality of service and overall experience you received that night. That is not a normal nigh at Five Corners Bistro. The restaurant will be changing drastically in the new year. New menu, new food with spotless plates, and renovations. This is not a normal day for Five Corners Bistro. We hope to see you again with a complete turn around. I guarantee you will not regret it.

    Five Corners Bistro

  • Bow says:

    Another example of hotel trained cooks…repeating old standards showing little imagination(jeez, can we get away from dijon crusted lamb and strawberry- goat cheese salad, parboiled ribs ?)cheating on the crab to save money, pedestrian food which in Vancouver would mean a swift and sure demise; whilst in the hinterlands ? Well it does look better than Denny’s…you can fool some of the people, some of the time…Slow service is ok if the place is packed and the food is fabulous, but ? Was dessert inedible also? At least they tracked your blog and apologized.

  • FCB says:

    The chef has been told not to change anything until the new year. He was classically trained at a local 5 star restaurant, and not some hotel.

  • Mijune says:

    @FCB – Thank you for addressing my concerns, although it is a bit late. I was hoping to get this sort of response that night. I still don’t think anything was justifiable, but I appreciate the apology and am incredibly supportive of your restaurant making the appropriate changes. It was an incredibly disappointing experience, and I hope that you would never again consider serving anything you wouldn’t serve to your own family. To be fair I will leave this experience in the past and revisit when the menu and restaurant is completely revamped. Please keep me posted on the Five Corners Bistro makeover. Thank you again for commenting.

  • Hi. I am the new owner of this restaurant and would like to apologize for your unfortunate experience. Sadly, I wasn’t aware of the problems you had been experiencing that night, only now having been informed of your experience moments ago. Had I known that there were issues, I would have been at your table immediately. to look after you. I take any and all concerns from my patrons very seriously and will very hard to address each and EVERY issue you’ve brought up. I wonder Mijune, you can contact me; I’d like to talk to you directly to apologize for having let you down. While we are a brand new restaurant with new staff, that is no excuse. I’m personally committed to improving our customers’ experience and a terrible review like this is the best way to ensure that this kind of experience doesn’t happen again. Again, I apologize and thank you for your valuable feedback.
    Rice Honeywell, Proprietor
    Five Corners Bistro

  • Mijune says:

    @Rice Honeywell – Thank you for addressing my concerns. Again, I really do appreciate the time you’re taking in looking into matters. This dining experience is quite recent, dated Nov. 14 so I’m not sure when the change in ownership came in. I am very pleased to hear that every issue will be addressed and again I totally support restaurants making improvements. I do accept your sincere apology and will pass it on to everyone that was dining with me this evening. I do look forward to your new beginning in the new year.

  • Thanks Mijune.

    Yes, we are serving food, you have every right to expect quality and value and for your experience and there is no excuse for your experience. As an owner of a successful business I understand the importance of delivering quality and satisfaction and that making excuses is not acceptable in a client’s eyes.

    Really, your visit’s timing could not have been worse; we had been open for a total of eight weeks and our new young chef was in his first week in our kitchen. I liken this situation to a Med student being given her final exam on her first day, having a bad “final” exam mark, and then having that mark being broadcast to every potential employer in her future career. It really hurt us … in many ways. To top it off, I was not personally there until later, as I was enjoying my first few hours out with my wife in months and didn’t hear of your bad experience until after you had left. Had you contacted me or even asked to see me before writing this review, I would have dealt with it immediately and to your ultimate satisfaction.

    We are a family-run restaurant, eight weeks in. My wife and four kids all work here, are new to the business and I thought I’d invest in my family with something that we can all do together (as we are one of the FEW families I know that gets along and actually all LIKE each other) We are committed to becoming a local White Rock favourite just like her other restaurant, Five Corners Café. This is not going to happen overnight. We have a talented, young new chef who is working off the previous owners’ menu. He’d been here a week and has not had time to create his own menu. While he has many great ideas of his own, it was MY suggestion that we don’t offer up anything new until the renos are done by February. For that reason, this fiasco is MY responsibility and I take full blame for it.
    However, I would humbly suggest that before writing a damning review that can seriously affect young people’s lives and careers for the sake of your one evening there, you consider the implications of your actions and perhaps contact them first to see if there is some kind of reason or explanation that might mitigate the harm you cause.
    Anyway, I can offer no excuse other than WE are that Med student with an ill-timed exam.. .. we KNOW we have a bright career ahead of us.. if only that prof hadn’t have cut us off at the knees on our first day of studies.
    I wonder if you might show this to Inspector Stanley. I’m not sure he has ever opened a restaurant and is aware of the challenges therein. You might remind him that Giraffe’s (a FINE White Rock restaurant) has had over 15 years to become what they are today. We will also get there.. I promise you that.

  • Mijune says:

    Dear Rice Honeywell,

    I am putting myself in your shoes and I understand where you are coming from. I should note that it was very obvious I was a food blogger and your staff was well informed of this fact (not by me, but by one of my fellow diners that had unexpectedly mentioned it from the moment we ordered). The server even told me that chef knew and wanted to speak to me, however he/she never came out, even though we stayed until closing. Whether or not I was a blogger, it shouldn’t have made a difference. I just expect to be treated like any regular diner. I also did bring my concerns up to staff (at least 3 times) and still nothing was accomplished. Nonetheless, I have already accepted your sincere apology.

    As a blogger, my integrity is all I have to offer to my readers. I write from an honest dining perspective at every restaurant I go to. I am very open to trying your restaurant again (unannounced) as soon as you think the restaurant is ready, which seems like it will be sometime after February. Until then, I am very sorry, but I cannot remove this post. It will jeopardize the honesty behind this entire blog and I would have to remove posts from every restaurant I didn’t like. I will write a new post for Five Corners Bistro at the re-visit and only then will I consider removing this post.

    PS: I am intentional replying publicly to keep everything out in the open. I want to ensure readers are not misguided by anything I may write in the future.

    Thank you again,

  • Inspector Stanley says:

    Openess is good! In fact, MJ’s comments (honesty) and Mr. Honeywell’s (accountability) response has now intrigued me .

    I believe blogs like this helps everyone. MJ’s truthfulness of her experience and great photography hopefully will prompt Mr. Honeywell to improve his service and food immediately. I can tell Mr. Honeywell has alot of passion to wanting to succeed. He seems very committed!

    I totally understand the growing pains of opening a restaurant (I personally do have experience in several openings both as an owner & as an employee) however, there are no excuses when someone comes to dine for an experience and is paying for it. Standards on service, cleanliness and quality are not things to compromise on. No excuses are acceptable.

    If you are not ready to open your doors than you should not do so. Taking time to properly train – will go a long ways. I know bills have to be paid and cash flow is important, but sometimes you only get one chance with customers. Once you open for business — You are subjected to criticism whether it is good or bad. I wish Mr. Honeywell all the best and I hope that MJ’s experience was just bad luck.

    I will venture out to White Rock (not normal for me) and certainly give Five Corner’s an opportunity to satisfy my craving for seafood. Honestly, i am actually excited to go and now try the restaurant out. I will have an open mind and give Mr. Honeywell and his family the opportunity to WOW me with their food and service. Good luck… Coming soon (maybe this weekend) look for the guy in a red tie.

    Thank you for reading my comments and good luck.

  • Hi Mijune and Inspector Stanley, Thanks for both of your comments, I appreciate them very much and feel that a bad review at the outset in some ways will be the best thing that ever happened to my restaurant. . I know the responsibility I have to my customers and I take it seriously…Just so you know we had 23 people in last night and I canvassed each and every ONE of them for an honest response and valuable feedback and, with the exception of one woman who said “you shouldn’t use peas shoots in salads as they are difficult to eat elegantly” everyone (including the regulars from before our arrival) was very pleased, smiling as they left and saying they’ll be back. Music to my ears..
    All good.. I look forward to meeting both of you


  • Mijune says:

    Dear Rice,

    Thank you for understanding my stance. I couldn’t be happier for you and I’m glad that positive feedback is already showing. 🙂

    Wishing the Honeywell family and team the best.


  • Bow says:

    Mr.Honeywell, I appreciate your response and feel that your attitude will make the restaurant a success. It shows that you really care.

  • Jananya says:

    Mr. Honeywell’s prompt and genuine response has intrigued me and really makes me want to go to Five Corner’s Bistro for the new menu!

  • Princess123 says:

    My boyfriend and I ate at Five Corner Bistros the other night. We thoroughly enjoyed the great food, friendly staff, music and the overall experience. We will definitely be back.

  • Mijune says:

    Thank you for updating me with the recent comments. It’s fantastic to hear that things are going well 🙂

  • Salt and Pepper says:

    I am glad to hear that Five Corners Bistro is receiving some positive feedback on its food. However, I am sorry I cannot share the same response.

    On Friday, (December 10th) we decided to try the Five Corners Bistro. There was ample roadside parking and we were greeted immediately upon entering by a somewhat nervous waiter. He did not offer to take my husband’s long wool coat, which, subsequently ended up hanging off a chair and dragging on the ground. Certainly, not the end of the world, but not the best hospitality we’ve had.

    Upon being seated, water and bread were served promptly, though there was an obvious lag between this and the waiter taking our order. We learned quickly from overhearing one of the owners telling another table that the Bistro was family run, that the waiters and waitresses were the children of the family (great, lovely, love to support family run business) however perhaps the owner should consider hiring one very experienced maitre d’ that could help to train the children. For example, the waiter did not remove dirty forks after being used to eat the appetizer until asked to (again, not the end of the world but would have been nice).

    With regard to the food…I ordered the crab cakes to start, with the beef tenderloin as my main. Unfortunately, the crab cakes were awful and reminded me of microwaved fishsticks. They were soggy and I could not tell if what I was eating was crab or some “white fish” product. I would give this appetizer a 1 / 6 and advise the owners to seriously rethink it or take it off the menu. It was accompanied by a salad that was okay.

    The plate my main was served on had a dirty smear on the edge that I decided to clean off myself and ignore. The beef tenderloin was not bad. The meat was very tender and well cooked (but I couldn’t taste or see the Dijon mustard flavour that was advertised). The gravy was good, the carrots were mildly sweetened and quite pleasant. The squash (baby patty pan?) was undercooked, but I still enjoyed it. There was some very strange ratatouille mixture next to the veggies that didn’t work at all. The mashed potatoes were waterlogged, as though the potatoes sat in water too long before being mashed. They also had a strange flavour to them, which I couldn’t identify, but which I found unpleasant. I would give this entree a 3 / 6.

    Based on the first two courses we opted not to have dessert. I hope that the Five Corner Bistro can turn this around. We live locally and would like nothing more than to have another great restaurant nearby.

  • Mijune says:

    @Salt and Pepper – oh dear… I’m so sorry to hear that. I think your comments are very fair and I too felt the same way. I can see we are both really wanting to support local family run restaurants, but even still there are some standards that need to be met no matter what type of restaurant it is. I guess I can only speak from my one experience here, however I appreciate you giving all the other readers and myself an update.

    Mr. Honeywell did say that they do plan to change in February 2011, so I hope that there will be some significant changes down the road. We really are customers that just want to see the “little guys” succeed so I really appreciate you giving your constructive criticism and appropriate suggestions. Thank you for for using Follow Me Foodie as a credible source to leave your respectable comment.


  • Hi Salt and Pepper, thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry that you had a few issues with your visit last week. While I’m not going to try to make excuses for any of your complaints, I am looking at each and will be discussing with my staff the points you brought up. This is definitely a learning process for my family and chef and am proud to say that we hear many more positive comments than otherwise. However, you bring up some good points that I intend to address. As Mijune mentioned, we are changing the menu after January renovations to allow our chef more input on the kind of food he is more accustomed to creating. I can tell you that the crab cakes are now officially off the menu and while we’re at it, let’s stop using truffle oil on the mashed potatoes!
    Thanks again for your input, I am determined to improve our food and service so that we will be a place you’ll be happy to visit often.

  • Mijune says:

    Welcome back Mr. Honeywell,

    Thank you for personally addressing the concerns my reader has brought up. I am so happy to see such great communication from a business owner. I really believe that you do care and I am even happier that you value the feedback whether it is positive or “negative” – I would like to call it constructive though. Salt & Pepper really did bring up some great suggestions. Again, I really appreciate your replies to everyone.


  • Michael says:

    Hi Mijune.. How would you feel about a follow up of Five Corners Bistro

  • Mijune says:

    @Michael – Hi Michael! Yes I did a little research and made the connection a couple days ago. I had no idea!! Now I feel really bad after tweeting with you over Twitter a few times 🙁 You’re a young chef and I love your enthusiasm to improve and learn. It’s a trait of a chef who has lots of potential in this industry.

    I understand that there have been changes made and I feel it would only be fair to do a follow up. I am a believer in second chances. This will be hard post to approach unbiasedly now, but as long as I’m honest and state all my biases prior, I think it’s appropriate. Honesty is my format, so if you’re game… so am I 🙂

  • Michael says:

    Hey Mijune
    The review was really hard on all of us, so I think they may need some encouraging. I do love your honesty, however, and have nothing against you at all. You wouldn’t such have a successfull food blog, otherwise! Jeremy Ball (jeremysball on twitter), came in for dinner two weeks ago and wrote a great review, which helped us greatly on Urban Spoon.. So maybe chat with him about his experienceand let me talk to Rice and the gang, to see how they feel.

  • Mijune says:

    @Michael – Wow, I’m honoured. Thank you so much Michael. I really respect restaurants and chefs that work on improvement and I’m always trying to improve my blog as well. I just support that idea of doing better overall. We all make mistakes, but I believe in change for the better. I will check out Jeremy’s post too. Of course I understand how uncomfortable this situation may be for Five Corners, but I hope we can approach it openly, honestly and with a fresh start.

  • Michael says:

    I spoke with the team, and we’re all very excited for you to come back and see the changes we’ve made. Feel free to contact myself at 778 866 7183 or the restaurant 604 538 5455!

  • Mijune says:

    @Michael – aw that’s sweet Michael… I’m happy we can approach this with professionalism and I will contact you shortly! 🙂

  • Vivian says:

    Oh my! I am just reading this now and my staff party is going to be there in about 2 hrs!! Now I’m very hesitant about trying anything. Hopefully I will have some good news to report.

  • Mijune says:

    @vivian – :(… well they did changed chefs since I went… but my chef was also quite young and still learning. I haven’t been back since, but updates are good! Let me know Vivian!

  • Vivian says:

    Sorry to report but the food was Mediocre. There were a few items listed on the menu that were not available: couscous salad, bistro crepe dessert, and poached pear dessert. The French onion soup was very tiny for $6/$7. It had a small slice of white bread topped with cheese floating on top. The rest of my party that ordered it was also expecting gooooy melting cheese over the bowl but were disappointed when they saw the soup. I had the crepe special with chicken and cartelized apples. The cream sauce sitting on top of the crepe was not that appetizing; it was clumpy. There were 3 thin slices do apples sitting on top as well but none inside the crepe. Chicken was too salty. For dessert I had the chocolate hazelnut bread pudding. I was looking forward to this so much but ended up being served cold hard bread pudding.

    Still lots of room for improvement!

  • Mijune says:

    @vivian – aww vivian! :(… well thanks for the report back. I’m sure the owners will find them useful comments. I heard the cafe is much better and perhaps the restaurant is just a big project that needs more attention. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I haven’t gone since the change in chefs and now I’m still hesitant after your comment. I really hope they improve.

  • Mijune

    Going there on Friday for a friend’s birthday dinner. Will let you know the experience. I hope this finds you well and you and your parents are settled in Richmond

  • Mijune says:

    @Michael – Hello there lovely!!! Please let me know how it goes and I do hope you have a better experience!

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