Best Mediterranean food in Vancouver with $1 oyster deal you can’t miss! [Full review]

Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean is a hidden gem with a stellar land and sea menu! You can order from the happy hour menu AND the dinner menu at the same time. So, cheers to buck-a-shuck oysters, $5 wines, and delicious seafood and meats!

What to order

1. Buck-a-shuck (3 PM – 6 PM)

If you arrive before 6 PM for dinner, order oysters as your appetizer. It’s buck-a-shuck and pairs well with their $5 French house wines and bubbly.

We did find shells in our oysters. According to them, they do not rinse shucked oysters to remove debris since it would wash out the briny flavour. I’ve been to my fair share of oyster bars and don’t have this happen, so they might need to figure out a way to avoid that many shells in their oysters.

2. Crispy Kataifi Prawns

This is a must-order. The prawns were tender and sweet while the thing potato spirals gave the bite the perfect crunch,

3. Oven baked whole seabass in sea salt

This dish is an absolute must-order if you are dining with two or more people! It had a light and flaky texture, and the salt crust perfectly seasoned it. In fact, they removed the sea salt crust and fish bones all in front of us. It is rare to find tableside service these days.

It comes with a lovely herb sauce but the fish eaten alone is already amazing!

4. Lamb Chops

I was most surprised by the lamb chops with its beautiful char, tender meat, and sweet and savoury glaze. The lamb chops were cooked to perfect medium-rare and came with 6 pieces. Roasted potatoes and veggies were offered as side dishes.

5. Grilled Octopus

It’s great to try this once. I felt that the thinner parts of the octopus were more tender than the thicker parts. I liked the arugula salad and hidden hummus.

6. Calamari

Tip: Order this during happy hour. I appreciated that their version of calamari had less breading but still had a crunchy texture. It’s the best happy hour appetizer after oysters!

7. Spreads with Pita Bread

Don’t underestimate the spreads and pita bread! The best spread was Melitzana, smoked eggplant with paprika. The smoky heat of paprika really shined through and gave it an exciting bite. Even an eggplant hater loved this spread.

Other spreads are Tarama (smoked salmon, cured carp caviar), Tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber, dill), and hummus (chickpea, lemon, and tahini). If you choose to not go for this appetizer, you get tzatziki and hummus from other appetizers and main dishes.

8. Spanakopita

Order this dish during happy hour! It’s a nice bite with crispy filo pastry and a nice spinach filling.

9. Wine!

Their happy hour deal is $5 for wine and bubble, $8 for cocktails. They serve French wines and I recommend the rosé- its acidity helps increase your appetite.

Major tip

The best time to dine is from 5-6PM. Seriously, take advantage of both the happy hour and dinner menu. Order the drinks and oysters you want (we ordered two dozen oysters). Your wallet can thank me later 😉

Note: Pay parking is available underground and the restaurant is inside the EXchange hotel!

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