Bliss Asian Bistro - ExteriorDon’t judge a book by its cover.

It was a beautiful evening so we decided to try something new. We found ourselves at Bliss Asian Bistro, located in one of the most beautiful areas of downtown Vancouver.

To get there, go north on Denman Street towards Coal Harbour until the road runs out and you can’t go any further.

The view from Bliss is very nice. If you own a yacht, you can sail up to the restaurant and keep an eye on your ride while you eat. If you don’t own a yacht, you can dream that you do. While you’re at it, you might as well pretend that you live in one of the many multi-million dollar condos in the area.

Bliss Asian Bistro - View

Bliss Asian BistroThe exquisite view is reflected inside the bistro. From the cozy dining room to the nice little patio, everything is in its place. Even the chopsticks sparkle in the sunlight.

But let’s not forget that this is a restaurant. I was hungry! Where’s my food?

The menu (page 1, page 2) reveals that Bliss Asian Bistro is an Asian fusion restaurant. I’m not the biggest fan of Asian fusion cuisine. I feel that you shouldn’t mess with the classics. It’s not like we’ve run out of ethnic foods to try: there is already plenty of variety among classic Asian cuisine; why must we create awkward new dishes that consists of a mish-mash of strange ingredients?

Fusion dishes often look really pretty, costs a lot of money, and pale in comparison to the classics. The dishes we had at Bliss were no exception.

Bliss Asian Bistro - Prawn

The above is supposed to be the prawn tempura ($12 for 6, $2 each!). It tastes okay and looks absolutely stunning, but is neither tempura nor worth its price. Not even close.

Bliss Asian Bistro

This is the Captain Crunch ($14): a fusion maki roll consisting of steak, prawn, unagi, avocado, and cucumber. The ugly white stuff you see is fried vermicelli noodles. The maki rolls tasted pretty interesting, very good actually – but the pieces are way too small. The vermicelli garnish is insulting – it’s basically uncooked instant noodles.

Bliss Asian BistroBliss Asian Bistro

We rounded out our minuscule and pricey meal with the Baked Alaska maki roll ($12) and Dragon’s Pillow ($5). Again, both dishes were visually impressive and tasted pretty interesting (so that’s what melted cheese on a maki roll tastes like… meh), but were not satisfying in the least.

An important part of good cuisine is presentation. From its beautiful locale, to its quaint interior, to its trendy dishes, Bliss nails the presentation. It has a beautiful cover. But that’s about all Bliss has. The dishes are creative, but do not taste great and are a terrible value. No substance.

5 out of 10

Bliss Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon