Up until recently, I had been a regular visitor to this establishment STRICTLY for the musical entertainment FURNISHED by the hired karaoke company. For the last few months, that had also gone "downhill" owing to the poor amount of clientele going to this establishment on the weekdays.
If you wanted to order something to drink or eat, you had to wait for a long time to be served. If you ordered something nonalcoholic because you were driving; and went to pay the BILL, you suddenly found that, instead of a small amount for a pop or, even water; you were served with a bill for $10 which the owner gave to you saying that this was the minimum rate, and that "everyone knows that". I should mention, however, that nowhere listed in the menu, on the walls/doors, or even on their own website is this mandatory "minimum rate" put in writing.
Although the service by the waitresses was adequate, the service by the owner, however, leaves much to be desired, as she is more interested in looking at her text messages on her cell phone then she was dealing with her customers. Any tips given to her employees, however, made their way into her pocket at the end of the night.
$10 MINIMUM ENFORCED WITHOUT NOTICE?!?!?!! -- My friends and I came there for the karaoke one night recently, to celebrate my girlfriend's 30th birthday. However, I found that the service there was HORRIBLE. Not only did my friends and I wait a very long time to even be asked for our first round of drinks, because of the owner and the waitresses servicing this party they had for dinner there; but we barely got service all night. We can only assume we offended her by asking for non-alcoholic drinks, since we got no offers for refills either. We didn't want to order food since we had already eaten prior to attending this cafe, but it's not like we got menus offered to us, anyways. Also, when we went to pay our bills, we were demanded by the manager/owner to pay $10 minimum each even though we were both driving and each had non-alcoholic drinks!
There was NO sign inside the establishment, outside on the door, nor on the menus, (or on their website -- I've checked) stating that there was a $10 minimum per person.. and there was no way that the service deserves a $7 tip on a $2.50-$3 bill for a drink!! We were humiliated and disgusted by this service, by the demand by the owner/manager! Personally, I am surprised that this is a demand when there is no way the service deserves this type of tip enforced when we barely got service at all, and we didn't want to order food.
I overheard others claim that they go through the same treatment there constantly, and rumor was going around the patrons I spoke to, that the owner puts all the tips her girls make, into her pocket instead of letting her waitresses have them when they work hard for it (unfortunately, they didn't work all that hard in our experience that night)...They told me that the ONLY reason they attend Java Jazz is for the amazing karaoke, which I can see why.. The karaoke company hired, MirMor Karaoke, is awesome. The host is fun, inviting, and has a huge selection.
My friends and I loved the karaoke that was there, and will definitely attend one of their other shows. However, based on our experience by the restaurant staff that were there that night, unfortunately there is no way I will go back to that establishment again for any reason.
Had a coupon for this restaurant that we've never tried before and I was skeptical, having never tried Filipino cuisine. I opted out of something new and into the chicken penne, while my boyfriend ordered a Filipino dish with chicken and coconut milk. The dish that I had was unique for itself and very delicious. I am not a huge fan of cilantro so I didn't enjoy the garnish however that is just personal. My boyfriends chicken dish was incredible, the next time we go I will be ordering that! For dessert we ordered cheesecake, also outstanding. The desert menu was impressive and I am eager to try one of the traditional Filipino desserts next time.
The waitress explained everything to us that we asked even though she didn't always know the English word. She was very friendly, prompt with drinks and dessert and made the evening enjoyable. The man playing the piano for the restaurant created fantastic music and was very friendly, greeting us as we came and left. Our total bill without the coupon would have came to $40 with dessert and drinks so I was pleased with the value that we got for our money.
We were there this evening at Java Jazz. It was our first time to try it out after my husband craved for Filipino food... We were not disappointed at all! The owner Salve Dayao was a most gracious vivacious host who not only made us feel welcome instantly but also entertained us with her stories of their singing travelogue around the globe. And the food was excellent! Although we wanted a little bit of light to shine down on what was on our plate to better appreciate it with our eyes, our tastebuds were not disappointed at all! We were gustatorily satisfied with her version of "Crispy Pork Binagoongan" topped with a special kind of coconut sauce, sprinkled with green onions, diced tomatoes as well as cubes of slightly green mangoes--OMGoodness, just glorious! Her "Beef Oxtail Kare-Kare" and her homemade shrimp paste were such a superdelight to my culinary senses as well! It has been a while I appreciated Filipino food this good--twas so heavenly my husband and I forgot all about our rice-fast and devoured the last morsel of this delicately prepared aromatic rice.
Highly recommended! (and this does not even include the rhythms of the live jazz music played by their wonderful musicians!)
The service and food is good and there is no cover charge for great live music. I see some reviews mention this and that but they have to take into account that normally the cover charge would be something like $5 to $10 for such live quality music. Yes it's true many of the musicians don't get paid because, as I know some of them, they didn't ask to be paid and they are there for several reasons, because they are practicing new material and\or they are retired and just enjoy getting together and playing with their group, or sometimes you get new up and coming performers who want to practice their craft before headin out on the road...etc. I have always had a great musical experience there for sure.
Great place to relax after a busy day and unwind to the live musical experience. Depending on where you are sitting, you can actually reach out and touch the muscians! :)
I have always had a good time and good service.
Being a Filipino, I was very excited to come into this restaurant and try what they had to offer. Unfortunately, I was let down right at the beginning of my visit when a rude staff member approached me, and said I had to sit in one specific spot with my friends, or they wouldn't serve us and we had to eat elsewhere. We were hungry, though...so we did as we were told.
The food selection was an abhorrence. I ordered something that look like it had been frozen for a year or two. The only good thing that came with my whole meal was the rice. It was cooked well, and very aromatic. Wish I could say the same for my side dishes.
The drinks weren't so great either. It had gotten to the point that the Coke I ordered was flat, and when I asked for another one, (I was willing to pay for it) the server flared up at me and said "those are all the drinks we serve here!" My friends and I rolled our eyes, knowing that this was the first - and last time we'd be eating here.
The only other thing I can commend them on, aside from the rice, is the fair Filipino ambiance. It's subtle without going too overboard, but it still reminds me of Philippines. So...all they have to do is renovate their food, their staff, their drinks, and just MAYBE I will return for another meal - or, at least a cup of coffee.
The music is mainly jazz vocal favorites. Salve has a powerful, professional voice and a huge repertoire. Guest vocalists are always interesting. Ed is a magician on the piano. Talented guest pianists and others often sit in. Food is great too! No cover charge. Reasonable prices for food and drink; welcoming, friendly, music-filled atmosphere. A wonderful place to spend an evening.
I suppose a restaurant can't be everything at once. I have been to places where I really love the food but then I have to get out of there in less than an hour because it is noisy or whatever reason. I have never been to any place that is outstanding in every aspect. There are places I won't bother going to because parking can be a nightmare. So all in all, a little jazz bistro having survived for seven years in New Westminster may well have something going for it.
Java Jazz Cafe and Bistro is the perfect mix of a cozy atmosphere, jazz music, friendly regulars and an easy going ambience. It really is one of a handful of places where one can spend the entire evening listening to good music over a meal, some drinks and perhaps some coffee and dessert. Parking is not a problem and you don't pay downtown prices either. One can have a decent conversation over the din of the place. I love the food there and the staff are always friendly and accommodating. There few places I would rather spend a Saturday evening.
Went here for the first time the other day...
I had the calamari to start, which was pretty good......my entree, the curry chicken & rice was actually the same size as the appy calamari...also pretty good but I don't think it was worth what I paid for...had the mango juice to drink...I was expecting a nice cold refreshing drink...but it was probably from a can and was kinda warm...
WARNING:prices on the menu might NOT be what they charge...someone in our party noticed that everything we ordered was almost a dollar more then what was on the menu...when we asked the waitress what was going on she said that they raised the prices but didn't have time to re-write the menus...we obviously complained and they gave us the original prices...
The entertainment is pretty good...the night I was there they had this really cute young girl sing a couple of songs...her voice was very mature for her age...Salve, the owner, is also a singing teacher and has some of her students perform @ the restaurant...
I'd recommend this place for the singers/band, but probably not for the food service...
Have never tried the food, so can't vouch for that, but it smells good and that's an encouraging sign. I love the ambiance and the family band aspect of it and have always found Salve to be very sweet. I've never had any issue with the service. Granted, I don't go there very often, since I live in another city, but it's always a place I go to when in town for long enough.
This is a place where you can have the best of times or the worst of times. Usually you have interesting music (if you like old fashioned vocal jazz stylings and reasonable piano) but everything else is hit or miss. I have had a nice dinner with friendly service that was attentive. I have also had a friend have his credit card number suddenly being used for fraud right after a dinner there. I too have been turned away at the door for unadvertised private parties that seemed exclusively Philipino,(once it was a fundraiser for missionaries!) been unable to get service at the table because no one showed up to serve or had a waitress who had never been trained because she was substituting for someone who had an exam to write the next day. On the other hand we have had the owner keep the club open for an extra hour while doing a set solely for our table of 4 on a Tuesday night! So if you are wandering around New West on a weeknight and craving live music and are willing to roll the dice a little, try it. Don't save it for anyone you have to impress though!
Well if you like Filipino food, then the place would probably hit the spot. I am a fussier eater, so most of the items on the menu don't tempt me that much. However, neither does Sushi, Indian food, etc... so judge accordingly.
I HAVE had deserts there and coffee... and THAT was just fine. The place is like one's living-room. some couches, some chairs and small tables. The service has always been fine for me and I have been there a number of times.
The music has ALWAYS been fantastic and the fact they allegedly don't pay their performers (according to a previous and unsubstantiated review) is not relevant as the performers obviously WANT to perform there. Some have been doing so for quite a while so take THAT for what it's worth too.
There has never been a cover charge to listen to the music and i have NEVER had a bad experience there. Will I return? Absolutely.
One time, my friend visited the restaurant, and found that the restaurant was closed for private parties, but there was no sign on the door to indicate that. When my friend opened the door, he was told in an unfriendly manner that they were closed for a private party. This is a Filipino restaurant located in New Westminster, yet they make little effort in extending themselves to the community as a whole, a place welcome to people of all ethnic backgrounds. Non-Filipinos often feel out-of-place.
There was another incident where my friend made dinner reservations for 5 people. It was an important event for them, but only to discover that when they got there, the reservation was never taken and a table was not available. The restaurant owner was made aware of this, but nothing was done about it - not even an apology. My friend was shocked! Unbelievable.
After visiting the place for the 3rd time in a span of about a year, got the notion this is a fly-by-night resto. Food left a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing special nor extra ordinary as far as thirst quencher is concerned. Even my soda pop ain't got "spirit" on 2 occasions. The musicians were fine, except that they'll be better off IMO if the female owner realizes that her crooning time has been gone long ago. She should stop singing and just attend to serving her clients in a non-musical way.
I thought Philippinos are musically inclined, but it seems some might need an appointment w/ their audiologist.
Even though I'm not a fan of Filipino food, the Italian dishes, coffees, cocktails and deserts are excellent, as is the wine selection. The music is always excellent; Salve (the singer/owner) has a very soothing and unique voice. She's also usually willing to relinquish the mic to any brave patrons. I like that it's family run, and if you go there a lot, they tend to adopt you, sing your favourite songs and call you by name. The service is very friendly, if sometimes slow, but Java Jazz is always where I go when I feel like relaxing.
By the way, the performers aren't paid, because they own the place.
A group of us visited this place recently, and I must say that the service is unacceptable. Water refills take forever for your tea, and coffee tastes stale. Service was so slow that I felt like getting up from my table to serve myself some hot water for my tea.
They offer live music, which is good, but I don't think any of the musicians are paid there (of course, this is not the musician's choice to play for free). Not only do they treat their customers poorly, they treat their musicians poorly. The owners of the restaurant (who happens to be musicians too), should be ashamed of themselves.
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