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4015cvancouverSince October 24, 20093 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.4)
  • Food3.5 (3.3)
  • Service3.5 (3.7)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.7)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 Reviews Found
Closed
Charm Modern Thai and Bar1269 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Solid Thai, nothing special yet
Submitted Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 1:19am [Dine in]

Always looking for a new take on Thai we went looking forward to something a little different, it was but maybe we ordered wrong, it was solid and good, just not that much better than any other Thai Resto. I have spent quite a bit of time in S.E. Asia, Thailand in particular and have even taken cooking classes, besides home cooking Thai alot ( at least twice a week ), I regularly eat out. We started with the crispy Prawn Won Ton's, they were full of Prawn but a little soggy on the Won Ton around the Prawn, crispy on the edge, they were very tasty and served with a sweet and sour chili dipping sauce and were quite tasty. The Satays were whole Chicken Tenderloins done up well, no raw spots, the Peanut sauce was very good. Next was a North East Thai Style Beef Salad, here is where things started to change, the preceding dishes standard fare, the beef was medium rare grilled flank steak with a traditional Thai dressing including ground roasted rice, the beef was excellent but the dressing was a tad over salty, Maybe to much fish sauce, the flavor was there but just too salty to really savor, and I love Fish sauce, I use several bottles a year. Next up were the mains. I had the Choo Chee Sablefish, it was cooked perfectly and the presentation was good, nicely plated on a bed of Red Curry sauce with some basil.as to taste, once again the fish sauce dominated the dish, I do a version of this curry myself and I know how it is supposed to taste and this was not right at all. The saltyness completely took over from the red curry and the Kaffir Lime leaf, Sablefish is very oily and quite delicate and you can over power it easily as happened here. Normally I will use rice to cut powerfull dishes and I tried with the Coconut rice, no good here either, the normally fragrant Jasmine Rice was muted by the Coconut milk and the result was a rather gelatinous product that really didn't fit well with the dish or without it. The fish was cooked pretty well, although a few bits had broke loose and were cooked too much but thrown in anyway, but the rest was very tasty. My Wife had the Green Curry Jumbo Prawns, the Prawns were grilled shell on and then put down on a bed of Green Curry. The prawns still had their shells on when they arrived and were rather hard to peel, being in the curry somewhat made them a little slippery, the flavor was spot on with this, the Prawns very tasty and the Curry flavorful and not over fish sauced. It was a little hot for my Wife but it was right up my alley. Value was only OK, I had one double Sapphire Tonic and a Chang, no dessert,( went to Hamilton Street Grill for the pudding ), and dropped 120.00 with tip, for two that is a little steep for Thai even in Vancouver.
Was there any thing that will bring me back? I don't really know, I know I should try it again but with so many other good places around for less money I don't really think so but I might just give them another shot, I may have got them on a bad night and everyone has those.

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Hamilton Street Grill1009 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Go Back for the Pudding
Submitted Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 12:26am [Dine in]

My Wife and I were in town for our Anniversary and the first night in town we went to Hamilton Street Grill for our first dinner of the trip based on reviews read here. I should have followed the old rule of don't order anything not recommended but I have a weakness for Lamb Shanks and ordered those instead of a Steak, not a bad move but for the price, just not good enough. While perfectly cooked the Lamb lacked depth of flavor and the house made noodles were underdone to the point of still tasting of flour, the sauce on the other hand was outstanding, I just don't know how they missed on the Shanks. The Wife had the Tenderloin and it was cooked perfectly and was a great tasting cut with the Gorgonzola and Demi-Glace working well together. She had the Crab cakes and I had the Hanger steak Carpaccio. My carpaccio was decent although the squeeze bottled on Dijon Aioli was predominantly Mayo flavored as was the Preserved lemon Tartar with the Crab cakes, The flavor of the Crab cakes was excellent and my Carpaccio's flavor a tad overcome by too much black pepper, I really had to strain to taste the meat, I like the taste of raw meat so this was like they were trying to hide it, which they shouldn't because the meat was very fresh tasting and I liked the flavor of it. Another miss was the Asparagus that we ordered, it came cooked perfectly but the sauce they had on it I think was supposed to be Bearnaise but they missed the mark by a mile here, totally flat flavored, not enough vinegar or shallots, it tasted like ( surprise!) Mayo with a little tarragon. The big hit was the Gingerbread pudding with Ginger and Pumpkin Ice cream, this dish alone is worth the price of admission! It is so good that the next night after eating just down the street, we came back here for dessert, it is that good. The Ambiance was just OK, nothing great, another converted warehouse style joint with nice enough tables and booths but nothing special except the service, nice relaxed wait staff who did a great job. I had two Sapphire Tonics and in the first I could just taste the Gin, the second a little better but nothing like the pour at Bacchus. With Cocktails, 2, wine, 2 and one port and two desserts it was 169.00 before tip, it did not impress me as worth that, take off the booze and you are still into it for 125.00 with dessert, a little steep for this quality. Will I come Back? I will, I will stick with the Steak program and see if they can overcome their mayo madness. And then there is the Pudding, This is as good as a dessert as you will find anywhere, it is on the top of my list and for that alone I will come back.

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Closed
Le Gavroche Restaurant1616 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Consistently great
Submitted Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

My Wife and I went back to Le Gavroche for our Anniversary dinner last night and was once again reminded as to how a restaurant should be run. From the time we walked in until we left we felt like longtime customers who ate there every week, not a couple of tourists up for a few days, the staff was warm and attentive, never far away to top up your glass or clear your last course and always courteous. The Ambiance here is so nice, one reviewer called it Country French and I think that is spot on, The house is warm and inviting with intimate tables positioned so that even though sometimes close you are not being bothered by your neighbors. The wine selection here is arguably the best in Vancouver with a wide ranging selection including a 1924 Rothschild for $8500.00! While we are never going to be in the market for something like that, we do enjoy nice reds and Manny excels in finding some outstanding values in wines from Portugal. We had a Van Zeller Douro for $70.00 that came highly recommended and it was just what we were looking for. We have dined here three times now and every time we tell Manny what price range and he always has something perfect for your range and never oversells you, This man knows his wine and could easily sell you up like less scrupulous wine stewards always try, but he cares for his customers too much and genuinely wants you to come back so he sells you what you are looking for.
On to the food, for Appetizers I had the superlative Steak Tartar, If you have a yen for raw meat, this is your dish, prepared tableside, it is as good as it gets, the meat was very tender save a few small pieces of connective tissue that got by. This is not meat run through a grinder, it is hand chopped and anyone who has broken down a piece of meat knows how difficult it is to get out all of the connective tissue, That is why inferior places run it through a processor or grinder. That said, the flavor of seasonings and of the meat is perfect, They ask you how spicy you want it and prepare it accordingly while you watch, and in my case drool. I had the table prepared Caesar salad while my Wife had a Belgian Endive, Stilton and candied pecan. I am a Caesar fan from way back and just love this one, once again they ask you how much garlic or anchovy you like and in my case, I like bold flavor so a whole clove of garlic and a whole filet go in and it was perfect, the Romaine was sweet and crisp and the dressing was by far the best I have had in a restaurant . The endive salad was also superb, The slightly bitter endive was offset with a sweetish dressing and the contrast of flavors with the Stilton, dried apple and candied pecan was incredible, you could have just that and be very, very happy. For our main course I chose the smoked duck breast and Five spice confit which was so good, the duck breast was cooked perfectly and the confit melted in your mouth, it was served with a plum jus , a sweet and sour cabbage and a stuffing like fried cake that was just incredible, especially paired up with the duck. My Wife went for the Tenderloin with the Crab topping and it was melt in your mouth tender and so very tasty. All of our dishes were plated beautifully and the portions are very generous compared to other French places I have been. We finished ourselves off with the Chocolate Souffle' , it came out perfectly and we savored every bite of it just like the rest of the meal.
I have eaten at several high priced Celebrity chefs restaurants and Le Gavroche's service, quality and value have equaled and surpassed every one. You will never find one of the celebrity's making your Steak Tartare, Caesar or Crepe's Suzette at your table and they will always try to sell you up on wine. For our money Le Gavroche will always be our top destination for French in Vancouver.

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