A Worldly Chef and a Fresh Menu Revamps Vic’s Steakhouse

left: Broiled AAA Canadian Beef Filet at Vic's Steakhouse. right: Broiled AAA Canadian Beef Filet, Pacific Coast Bouillabaisse on the new Menu at Vic's Steakhouse in Victoria. Photos courtesy of Vic's Steakhouse

He was the personal chef for the Sultan of Malaysia. He has cooked at state dinners and events for Jimmy Carter, Yasar Arafat and other presidents and prime ministers. He was the attending chef to Prince Charles and Princess Diana and has even offered his creations to Michelin Star Chefs like Albert Roux and Edouard Loubet. Yes, Chef Glenn Monk has an impressive resume that will energize his latest venture as the head of F&B and Executive Chef at Vic’s Steakhouse and Bar at The Harbour Towers Hotel and Suites.


Chef Glenn Monk. Photo by Ellie Shortt

Born and raised in North Vancouver, the move back to British Columbia a couple months ago seemed like a natural return after decades of international travel and experience. Even though he has only been back a short while, Chef Monk seems to already have an innate understanding of Victoria’s pulse and people. He recognizes a clear appreciation for thoughtful cuisine framed by an overarching tone of laid-back island life, a stark contrast to the bustling and intense environments of places like Bangladesh and Kuala Lampur that he has recently called home.


However, it’s not just the BC blood in him that recognizes the wants and needs of his potential patrons. Part of this talent is due to the immense practice he had living in a variety of cultures, climates and landscapes, adapting his own techniques to suit the environment. Be it learning about local growing techniques in Acapulco or gaining knowledge in the Chinese-Malay fusion “Nonya” in Malaysia, Chef Monk is a culinary chameleon, affording him a strong position in the international cooking community.


The duality of his approach is highlighted in Vic Steakhouse’s new menu. First released on February 10, the menu is a combination of simple and exciting, with innovative additions accompanied by the traditional favourites Chef Monk enjoys making and Victorians enjoy eating.


Along with “Classic Comforts” like the Pacific Bouillabaisse and the Blue Buck Beer Battered Fish & Chips, patrons are offered a  “choose-your-own-grill-adventure” whereby they are introduced to a variety of Canadian AAA beef cuts as well as lamb, Berkshire pork chop, Tandoori chicken and the daily fresh catch. All are served with the restaurant’s signature slow roast Roma tomatoes and crispy onions as well as a choice of add-ons like roast-garlic avocado mash, three cheese macaroni, truffled steak fries, or side sauce like Chimichurri.


For a more casual dining experience that still shows kingly quality, Chef Monk has included a burger section with fresh ingredients like made-to-order hand-sculpted patties. Recognizing the recent burger boom in this town, “The Burger Works” section on the new Vic’s menu takes you on an international tour with such creations as the Kamikaze Burger with a soy-orange honey glazed sockeye salmon patty, pea sprouts and a tangy hoisin mayo. Chef Monk proves that it’s more than the toppings that make a burger special and infuses his Grand Tuscan angus beef patty with oregano, rosemary, garlic and aged pecorino cheese. The Santa Fe burger kicks it up a notch with Ancho chilli and southwest herb infused Angus beef along with Monterey jack cheddar cheese and chipotle Baja salsa, or you can keep it “simple” with the chopped Kobe steak James Bay burger, which comes with the familiar fixings of lettuce, tomato, red onion and dill pickle.


If a colossal steak or a behemoth burger seems a little intense for your Vic’s visit, Chef Monk has also included a friendly “Combo Card” so customers can choose a “light lunch entrée” with one side for $10 or two sides for $13. Lunchtime regulars such as chicken wraps and pulled pork sandwiches are given Chef Monk’s special touch and are offered with the usual suspects of side salads, soups or fries.


If your meal isn’t complete without a sweet bite, Chef Monk’s  solution is his $5 tapas desserts. Try a few or just grab a couple guiltless nibbles from one – it’s hard to say no when Nutella crème brûlée, white chocolate bread pudding, fruit crumble and flourless chocolate cake are priced this reasonably and served in actually bearable portion sizes.


Though Victoria is lucky to have this great Canadian chef return to our province, you might be wondering what has anchored Chef Monk down after so many years of international travel and success. “I was impressed with the people at Vic’s” he says with a smile, adding that “this is a great team, a passionate caring bunch, and I couldn’t be more excited to call them my staff.”


Vic’s Steakhouse and Bar, 345 Quebec St Victoria, BC (250) 480-6585




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