Sometimes, I like to tell friends stories of food destinations I want to try, one of which is the growing trend of restaurants where the dining rooms are pitch black and you eat your meal in complete darkness. This brings me to Jane Bond, an entirely vegetarian restaurant in uptown Waterloo, which I bring up because, honestly (and somewhat ironically), it’s the closest you can come to replicating this pitch black dining experience in this town.
It’s not as bad as it sounds, and I don’t necessarily mean that the darkness is a disadvantage; in fact, some of you may like it even more because of that (it’s also true that I might just be getting too old for my age; I’m 21 but my real age fluctuates between 10 and 45).
It also didn’t bolster the mood when two female patrons decided to take their table hostage to simply chat after they’d finished their meal without ordering anything else, so we were kind of just standing there looking at them in an awkward one-way Mexican standoff; but anyway, c’est la vie.
After an agonizing 45 minutes, the two ladies finally released their vice-like grip on the table, and, to commend Jane Bond, their staff was completely understanding and apologetic.
Commending us for our patience and commiserating with us on our long wait, it also helped that we’d ordered our food at the bar while waiting (I ordered the pot pie special, consisting of cheese, potatoes, mushrooms, and carrot, along with pecan cheesecake). Service was quick and efficient, and I found myself admiring the waiters/waitresses gliding around like night owls.
Cutting into the pot pie, the puffy pastry turned out crisp and buttery, folding into itself with every slice, and was satisfactory enough that I honestly didn’t care whether or not it was store-bought.
However, as a whole, the hearty dish played it a little too safe in terms of flavour, refusing to venture into any spices or tastes that would have elevated it from its peers. Also, the salad that accompanied it was unfortunately limp and disappointing, sparsely dressed in only olive oil.
Thankfully, the pecan cheesecake that followed was rather tasty, albeit a tad tiny. Drizzled with delectable chocolate syrup on the side, the cheesecake was rich and satisfying, if only a bit too subtle in terms of actual pecan flavour. An elegant coif of coffee cream topped off the display, signaling the end to a (somewhat) healthy and refined evening.
Although lacking in any dynamite flavours, Jane Bond is a place that’s hip, happening, and surprisingly affordable if, unlike me, you can get past squinting and yelling over the table.