The Discovery Room

4.9
186 reviews
CAN$30 and under
Contemporary French / American
The Discovery Room is Vancouver Island University’s full-service learning restaurant connecting students with our community patrons. Learning by doing, Hospitality Management and Culinary Students together serve up a contemporary dining experience. By experiencing the Discovery Room, your support fuels our student’ growth and education.

Experiences

  • Gastronomic Seminar

    CA$125.00 per person

    Mar 24 - Mar 26, 2021

    Enjoy an 8-course wine paired meal for those with an adventurous palete prepared by our graduating Culinary Diploma students for $125 plus tax. Please see the Discovery Room website for the menu and more information.
What 186 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.9based on recent ratings
4.8
Food
4.7
Service
4.7
Ambience
4.9
Value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BS
BarbaraS
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We always look forward to our times at the Discovery Room. Thank you!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Jackson Hole
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Best food and value in Nanaimo.

H
Herman
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Excellent experience, outstanding food. We love the dinners by the students.

JD
JoanneD
Vancouver
7 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2021
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Great to be back, great service, food, ambiance. Thank you.

BS
BarbaraS
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2021
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always so impressed with the whole dining experience.

KM
KimM
Key West
2 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful meal.
Great creativity
Our second time going, with multiple visits to come!!!
Thank you

j
johna
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful - hope the Discovery Room is available next year.

i
itsfood
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2020
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience4

We have been to the Discovery Room a number of times both for business lunches and Romantic evenings.

It is probably one of the best fine dining experiences in the city and by far the best value. It has NEVER let me down and as a professional food photographer, I have visited a lot of places across Canada.

The Discovery Room
Responded on November 24, 2020

Thank you so much for the feedback and for your support of the students. Every time you dine with us you offer them a learning opportunity. We look forward to seeing you again! Daniel

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j
johna
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food was gourmet for sure. Our meals exceeded our expectations.

The Discovery Room
Responded on November 24, 2020

We are very glad to hear that your meals exceeded your expectations and look forward to welcoming you back again! Daniel

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H
lindaH
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food was delicious the soups main courses and it was topped off by a delicious free pear tart dessert highly recommend

The Discovery Room
Responded on November 24, 2020

Thanks for your feedback! We are very glad that you enjoyed the food and the dessert that was included with your lunch. We look forward to seeing you again. Daniel

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S
Smuggler
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything from the ambience to the service, food presentation and amazing tastes to the fabulous view—felt like a 5 star restaurant! Can’t wait to come back!

The Discovery Room
Responded on November 24, 2020

Thank you, we are so glad that you enjoyed yourself so thoroughly and can't wait to have you back! Daniel

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CS
CathrynS
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food for a great price with great service and a great view. I always enjoy a visit to the Discovery Room!

CG
ClarkG
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

As always going for dinner at the Discovery Room is a special night out. All the students try very hard to make sure your dinner experience is a night to remember. The food is perfectly cooked and always presented like you're eating at a 5 star restaurant. Can't wait until I'm able to go back again.

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 30, 2020

We can't wait to see you again and are very glad that you enjoyed yourself. It was a pleasure serving you and your guests. Daniel

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DG
DeanG
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Outstanding in all respects. Will definitely continue to patronize your restaurant. Highly recommended.

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 30, 2020

Thanks for the feedback! The students appreciate the opportunity to practice and we look forward to seeing you again. Daniel

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PK
vipPeterK
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Every aspect of the dining experience was fantastic. Thank you to all involved!

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 30, 2020

It was our pleasure. Thank you for joining us and for your feedback! Daniel

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H
lindaH
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

This is the best kept secret dining room in town. The food is always awesome being a culinary school. The menu varies from week to week which is nice- who wants to have the same menu year in year out? The waitstaff are also hospitality students who are doing their best to learn the trade, overseen by Daniel. With limited openings now, because of you know what, it can be hard to get a table.

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 30, 2020

We are a secret that you don't have to keep! Thank you for your kind words and we appreciate your support of the Hospitality and Culinary programs here at VIU. Daniel

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Going to the Discovery Room IS a special occasion. Beautiful view, lovely and relaxing atmosphere provides a unique
dining experience. The service is exceptional without being intrusive. It is a perfect restaurant to enjoy with good
friends.

S
Smuggler
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

The Discovery Room is a wonderful gem of a restaurant in Nanaimo. The food is superbly prepared and the student servers are gracious and even though they are just learning, they are very polite and efficient. Our lunch was amazing and the value for what we got was the best in Nanaimo. We will definitely be back!

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 17, 2020

Thank you for your review and for supporting our students by providing them with the opportunity to learn by serving you! We are very glad that you enjoyed the food and your experience and look forward to seeing you on your next visit. Daniel

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RE
RussEila
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

We were very impressed, right from being greeted at the door. Exceptional food, compliments to the chef. Wait staff, super friendly.

BS
BarbaraS
Vancouver
4 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Eight of us went to celebrate some birthdays. We were seated at two different tables as per Covid guidelines with one other table occupied in the restaurant. The menu choices were excellent - something to suit everyone’s choice. The prix fixe included a three course meal however we were treated with a lovely morsel of smoked duck before our appetizer course. With our group of eight, we were able to give critiques on all offerings and without exception, the presentation and taste were top notch - as per quality in a very high end restaurant. For example, I chose mussels for an appetizer (best I’d ever had), beef tenderloin for main (so tender and flavourful with interesting vegetables and mashed potatoes with carmellized onions on the side) and tiramisu for dessert. Others had vichyssoise, tomato avocado salad for an appetizer and for main, rock cod, Dijonnaise chicken and papardelle Quattro fromaggio. All reported exceptional meals! Now for price, without wine or beer (which by the way was very good and well-priced), the entire food portion was under $60 for two persons! Just can’t beat it! We would have paid at least twice that much anywhere else. Thank you, Discovery Room!

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 17, 2020

Thank you so much for your review Barbara! We are so glad to learn that your group found the experience to be top-notch and appreciate the learning opportunities that your patronage afforded the students. We look forward to seeing you again for another memorable meal. Daniel

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JD
JoanneD
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Very much enjoyed returning to the Discovery Room. Still one of our favourite places to dine. Thank you.

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 3, 2020

Thank you so much for joining us, we enjoyed the opportunity to be of service. Daniel

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VB
ValB
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

Even with directions the restaurant was a little difficult to find but worth the seek. On arrival we were seated right away. The quality linens, glassware and cutlery did not go unappreciated. Although a small menu there was plenty of variety to appeal to each pallet. We ordered appetizers of beet borsht, mussels and creamy broccoli soup. While we waited for our orders we were treated to a local mussel in the shell. Its was firm, fresh and sitting in a hollandaise sauce that I felt should have been warm for dipping but was cold and set in the bottom of the shell. We sampled each others appertisers and were particularly impressed with the depth of the flavours in the borsht. I had not had mussels since my last visit to the east coast and have to say the flavours added made them better than those I had there. Entrees were salmon on rice, beautifully presented with colour and decorations on the plate. The salmon was cooked to perfection, still flaked with the fork and was served on rice with a smoky tomato sauce which quite dominated the plate; loved the smoky flavour but maybe a little more subtle. Braised chicken presented on mashed potatoes. The potatoes we lumpy which added to the textures in the dish and melded with the flavours. The third dish at our table was spaghetti vongole. Volgole we learned meant served with clams and a light olive oil. It was also well presented, clams were fresh. A good dish to order if you are a big eater as it was very plentiful but the spagetti sauce had no piazza at all. Daniel took care of our table and all the other tables although we felt it was just us as he was always there when we needed him. With the California wild fires the view down to the ocean, that I know is there, was lost in the smoke.
All-in-all we will definitely go back soonest.

The Discovery Room
Responded on October 3, 2020

Thank you for joining us and for sharing such detailed feedback on your meal and experience. By dining with us you are creating learning opportunities for the students which we they are very grateful for. We look forward to seeing you again soon, hopefully when the view is not obscured! Daniel

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DN
DebbieN
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Gourmet food, elegant presentation. A great place for a special occasion. The seafood taco trio appy was incredible!

JD
JoanneD
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5Food4Service4Ambience4

Always a pleasure. Food was wonderful and service was good as well. Thank you once again.

VD
ValD
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Excellent service, food, presentation, all for a very reasonable price for fine dining.

GS
GS555
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

High quality, delicious food that is beautifully presented. Top notch service and all with a beautiful view over Nanaimo.

EL
EthelL
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4Food3Service3Ambience4

We enjoyed seeing all the young people trying their very best to serve us although a bit crowded with that many students.

IJ
IslandJoan
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

Daniel does an excellent job of managing the restaurant and ensuring guests needs are met. We appreciate that the wait staff are students and are learning their jobs. One suggestion is to encourage them to slow down and not be in such a rush with their communications, getting the bill paid, etc.

Overall, a good experience and we'll certainly go back.

The Discovery Room
Responded on February 23, 2020

Joan, thank you for sharing your feedback and I am so glad that I could help to ensure that your needs were met and that you had a good time. Thanks for reflecting back your experience around timing as it’s really good for the students to understand how their approach is received from the guest’s perspective. We’ll be focusing more on that in the course and look forward to seeing you on your next visit. Daniel

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L
Lyny
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The service was great and we enjoyed the dining. Would have preferred a window table, but that would have been the only change. I think there was negotiating going on at next table, so that is why it was a bit noisey.

F
Fan1
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5Food4Service4Ambience5

Great experience. I love watching students learn. The soup was fabulous, it was a cold night. We brought our own wine and the server struggled with our screw top bottle. That was amusing. The bread was fabulous too. I had paella and hubby a lamb shank. It is terrific quality for Nanaimo but we always hate the entrance as it feels like going into the dishwashing kitchen entrance and the washrooms were out of order too.

D
sheilaD
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fabulous meal! Loved the atmosphere and the view too!

CH
CherylH
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

The food and service are always excellent. I have never had a bad meal at the Discovery Room. It’s my favourite restaurant in Nanaimo. High quality meals that are very reasonably priced.

M
Marzy
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This is a very special place. The students are courteous and anxious to please. The food was well presented and very tasty. This is better than any restaurant I have ever dined at. We are from Thunder Bay Ontario and do not have a dining room that compares to the experience we shared here. We definitely will come back and will tell everyone how wonderful this was.

IC
IreneC
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great food and dining experience. Student servers doing a fine job.

TE
ThomasE
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Stellar service, attention to detail, cuisine, and vista over to The Mainland all made for the most perfect of dining experiences.

JD
JoanneD
Vancouver
8 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Everything was wonderful. Always a great experience.

EB
EileenB
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The food, dining experience, ambience, view and the courtesy we received was fantastic. This is a great facility that we are very proud to have in our area.

Highly recommend.

DV
DebbieV
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Christmas music would have made our dinning experience more festive! Everything was fantastic. Special thanks to the incredible instructors and students who prepared our delicious meals.

RM
RalphM
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Fine dining at a fraction of the cost! We are bona fide fans of the Discovery Room. Two visits here in the past couple of months, and we have another four nights booked.

Menus change weekly, with four of five appetizers offered, the same number of entrees, plus a selection of desserts. On a recent visit, I had a venison tartare amuse-bouche, smoked duck breast with fresh mango and peas three ways complete with pickled cherries, a tenderloin steak perfectly cooked with a morel mushroom sauce and vegetables, and vanilla panna cotta. Evertything is beautifully presented and perfectly cooked.

A limited but well thought out selection of wines is available, all with about a $10 surcharge over liquor store prices - $30 to $35 will get you a very decent bottle of wine. Bring your own special bottle, and they'll charge $10 corkage. Cocktails are also available for a very reasonable price.

Service is always friendly and attentive, but the servers are young students learning the trade, so it's not fair to be overly critical of their efforts. An instructor is always on hand keeping a watchful eye on everything, so all is good.

A true find! Highly recommended.

MT
MichaelT
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Very pleasantly surprised as I hadn't been to the Discovery Room in a few years - which brings me to my only on-going gripe. The lunch schedule make it very difficult for many/most faculty to take advantage of the opportunity to dine at the Discovery Room. The 11:30- 1:30 block inevitably conflicts with scheduled courses, faculty meetings, office hours. When I did have a possibility of dining, it came at a moments notice and upon calling, found reservations full. Perhaps I was not persistent enough. I am now "retired" and teaching only one course, thus I am able to dine with you, though even then it took until nearly the end of the semester to coordinate schedule's with my colleague and hustle up the hill (a bit late) to my class. On a positive note, I do like the ability to reserve on line - vastly superior to the previous phone message system. One suggestion - begin a half hour earlier, at least for a couple of consecutive days of the week which will help faculty fit the Discovery Room into their life.

FAQs

The Discovery Room is rated 4.9 stars by 186 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.