Asian food served in a trendy western environment.
This is a newly opened restaurant that I noticed and finally had a chance to give it a try. I didn't quite know what to expect.
The decor is very similar to say a Cactus Club or Milestones. The servers are presented similar to what you might find in a Cactus Club. The menu however is actually asian (chow mein, pad thai, shanghai noodles, smoked salmon rolls, yellow curry, etc. so there is a little bit of many asian cultures). So what you have is something like Chinese food served by a Cactus Club.
We ordered a bunch of share plates to get an idea of the food. I thought it was all pretty good. Fresh tasting and interesting. The items were presented very well with nice touches (Wonton soup in a mini pot with a lid, etc.). You might expect the food would actually be asian "fusion" but it really is mostly just purely asian food. It is perhaps just presented in a western fashion and I would say it actually tasted better than most asian restaurants I have eaten in. They certainly seem to take more care in preparing the dishes than you get in some asian restaurants that just treat their food like slop. It's basically Earl's food principles applied to asian food.
I rarely give 5 stars for service but I couldn't find any fault with it this visit so have to give 5 for now. Of course the restaurant was a bit quiet and I think we were the server's only table. I might expect lower service when business picks up.
Our meal for two came out to $36 and it was too much food. The prices here I would say are a cheaper than Earls, Milestones, Cactus, etc, but you are getting similar quality. Pop is refillable, something you rarely see in a restaurant serving asian food. It's good value given the all around quality.
Ambience is similar to Earls/Milestones/Cactus. It's fairly dark. There is a nice lounge/bar area and TVs. The one strange thing is it shares a building with McDonalds (the same hallway in some areas), a bit strange to park in the McDonalds parking lot then go to this place. I hope this doesn't put people off in any way.
As we were eating our meal, things just seemed to get better and better. I realized a long time desire of mine was being fulfilled. I'm a pretty open minded person and I dine at different types of restaurants, but I have pretty much sworn off Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants, not because I don't like the food, but because I don't like the service, which is often terrible. I also don't like how asian Restaurants never have refillable pop. So I had always thought, "it sure would be awesome if there was a Chinese restaurant that had great service, nice ambience, and refillable pop, then I would go!". Well here it is! Hats off to the owner!
If this sounds like the kind of place you might like to try, go for it. Business looks a bit slow as they just opened, selfishly I want them to do well just so I can continue to enjoy this unique restaurant!
Mrs. C and I took some friends to try this place based in part on the previous review. It really is like an Asian food Cactus Club. The restaurant looks like an Earls (or a CC) with dark wood booths, mood lighting, a well-stocked bar, and the all-in-black servers.
Service was excellent and the place was nice and clean.
We had the Szechuan green beans and the lettuce wrap as appys, and followed up with yellow curry chicken, seafood pad Thai, chicken fried rice, and beef sizzling plate. The appy's were quite good, but the mains were uneven. For example the pad Thai was nuclear hot, and could not be finished. The curry didn't taste like curry. Everything else was quite good. I found the price to be expensive compared to regular Chinese places, but the ambiance was worth the extra money.
I think the restaurant is still going through some growing pains, but as soon as the kinks are worked out this place will be awesome.
Contrary to the overzealous and "canned" sounding reviews posted here by others, both myself and my friend were very disappointed with the East Grill. The restaurant is located in the same building as McDonald's and the decor is far too dark and trendy feeling which I believe clashes with the theme of the menu (flashlight dark!).
Anyway we opened the menu and notice that the prices were extremely high (7oz steak $19, lunch dishes at $16 ect) but we decided to give it a go anyhow. We had the spring rolls for an appetizer and I had to remove 2 hairs that had made it past the kitchen as well as serving staff's attention (even though we were the only customers in the whole place) needless to say things were not off to a good start!
The spring rolls were OK (certainly nothing to write home about or return for) but before we had even taken 2 bites our main dishes were served (again we were the only customers in the whole restaurant). I had the Kung pow chicken and my friend had the ginger beef. The dishes were quite small for the prices ($16 ea) and didn't look very appetizing (the ginger beef looked just nasty). My Kung Pow chicken was nothing special and the black bean sauce was quite flavorless and overly salty, it came with 2 pieces of steamed Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with kosher salt and no sauce which was not surprisingly bland. The only thing I would say was good about the Kung Pow chicken were the peanuts mixed in with it. My friends ginger beef was worse, it came with the same salted Gai lan and was smothered in an ugly sort of brown gravy with chunks of ginger in it. After eating most of our meals we both agreed that the food was about on par with what you would find in any mall food court but at more than double the price.
To sum it up neither of us will be returning to or recommending the East Grill, the high prices, dark atmosphere and poor food/attention to detail were just not a winning combination. If you really feel you must give this place a chance then by all means do so (its possible that we ordered the only 2 bad dishes on the menu) but I believe if you enjoy/understand good Chinese food and reasonable prices/value you will regret your experience. I am going to bet this place lasts less than one year before closing.
(If you want to try an amazing example of ginger beef and other Chinese dishes give the Red Chili on Lonsdale a shot)
Word of mouth brought me and my friend to East Grill - and I agree, it is a great place!
We had a chance to chat with the general manager and he clearly has a good vision for the place - so it sounds like the restaurant is in good hands. He also was our server and was attentive, real (none of the b.s. small talk you often encounter at some of the nearby popular chains) and sharp.
The food was amazing. Started with the fried sushi roll (not sure if this is what it's called, I forget) but it was prawn and crab sushi with a light batter and fried - OMG yummy! I tried the Shumai, very tasty and presented wonderfully. Then we had two more appys. The gyoza - enjoyable, and the tom kha kai soup, which was exactly how I was hoping it to be and more (and again, the presentation - fantastic). We then shared the black cod dish. The fish was cooked to perfection and the plate was arranged well and was very flavourful.
We got so stuffed but still wanted to try that Tiramisu Cheesecake that caught our eye on the menu. It was INHALED in seconds.
We were so pleased with the experience and got the "cherry on top" with our bill. All that food, with a pear cider and a large pellegrino was under $70!!!!! I found that to be amazing value for the quality of food, service and ambiance.
So pleased to have another good spot to enjoy in North Vancouver - and one that is open late!
Yet another rainy day in Vancouver, with no ambition to cross the bridge.
My friends and I knew we wanted a good meal, and some good drinks! What's a hungry group to do?
Well we decided after hearing from some friends about a new asian restaurant, we would give it a go.
The location was a bit weird, but easy enough to find. We were told "Just go to the McDonalds on Marine".
Not the greatest lead up for a meal, walking past a 'Mackers' but as soon as you walk through 'Easts' doors, you forget all about it.
The restaurant has a warm and welcoming ambiance, with a decor reminiscent of Cactus Club or Earls. The staff were very welcoming, and we were allowed our choice of seating.
After flipping through the drink menu, we ordered our first round of martinis. OMG! They were amazing! Especially the Lychee Martini that my friend ordered. Wow!
My friends and I decided that splitting some appies would be the best way to get our feet wet. We ordered szechwan beans, crispy sushi, lettuce wraps and edamame.
The beans were really good, though a little salty. They were crispier than ones I've had at competing restaurants which was a nice change!
The crispy sushi was really unique, with a salmon and crab centre. My only complaint was that their were only 4 pieces, and 5 people.
I didn't indulge in the lettuce wraps, as they contain beef, but my friends said they were really good. I loved the crunchy noodles that were served with them.
Finally the edamame was, well.... edamame. A generous portion, and not overcooked as in some cases.
We agreed that the food was really good, and that we would definately be back for a full-course meal.
East Grill seems to be a great addition to the North Shore. It is a unique blend of modern decor and music, with terrific asian cuisine. A welcome change to the usual cold and sterile decor of other asian restaurants.
A note of interest to those fellow Robson Street lovers- though we were seated in the restaurant, the lounge looks like a good substitute for a night overtown. It has great lighting, large TVs, good seating, and a well stocked bar! And if those martinis were anything to go on, we will be working our way through their drink menu!
Decided to come here since we spotted this place while we drove along Marine Drive. It's location was not prominent given that it melded with McDonalds.
The interior design reminded me of Moxies and Earls -- gave me the impression of eating Asian food inside a western restaurant.
The menu was relatively simple but not surprising, though it had scatterings of a few improvised dishes.
Here's what we ordered (for 2):
- Lettuce wrap: served on a big plate . The lettuce was washed and crisp and still quite wet (i had to shake off the excess water). The portion for the filling was kinda small and I had to consciously skimp as I filled my lettuce. While the flavor was great (tasted the wok heat), the duck meat filling was quite greasy.
- Crisp sushi roll : I thought it was innovative, though not necessarily scrumptious. Vaguely reminded me of an upscale version of fishcake . My partner made a face when he ate it. I was neutral about it and wouldn't order it again.
- He ordered yaki-udon with beef. He said it was not bad but left 7/8 of it for lunch the next day because he was full by then.
- I order shanghai noodles with seafood. I thought my dish was pricey at 14 but I think the serving and the use of shrimps, cuttlefish, small scallops and various vegetables made up for it. It was flavorful but I'd go for good old hawker food (in other south-east Asian eateries anytime).
East Grill found and placed itself in a niche for diners who want a place with decent service and food. Ambiance-wsie, I wished it had a more tasteful Asian decor rather than one which reeks of a western dining experience.
Would I come back again. Perhaps, if I crave asian food in a western restaurant.
Went to East Grill for dinner with some friends and all I have to say is I am so happy to have a place like this in my neighbourhood. I usually go downtown for good Asian style food but now I don't have to.
We ordered Lettuce wraps, spring rolls, crispy sushi and thai chicken bites and a chicken Pad Thai. We shared everything and had a bottle of wine to wash it all down. The wine list was great as was the food.
I have never had lettuce wraps or sring rolls that were this good. The ambiance is ok but not to much colour. I will be back once football and hockey season start so that I can check out the big screen TV.
I highly recommend you give this place a shot.