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BonkaVancouverNoshing here, noshing there.Since July 23, 2007Favourite List (36)Try List (2)464 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.8)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service2.5 (2.6)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)

Reviews

Displaying 81 - 100 of 464 Reviews Found
Clubhouse255 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
Where Sushi meets sportsbar
Submitted Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 6:01pm [Dine in]

Craving sushi again, we chanced another spot frequented by some of our friends. From the outside in the flavours of a sportsbar are everywhere, from the multitudes of tvs to the reminders of Canuck game night specials on the walls. I still don't know what to think of the overall look of this place but I'd lean towards the end of dislike.

Despite the lukewarm welcome, the menu is typical but what we thought would be predicable dishes turned out otherwise. The dynamite and salmon avocado cream cheese rolls are the same as you'd get in any other non-traditional sushi restaurant as was the agedashi tofu. The gyozas, surprisingly was probably the best dish of the night. The chicken karaage was a turnoff using a battered crust that was mostly soggy while the chikuwa cheese ended up being some sort of fish cake tubes douced in shredded cheese. It was actually a little gross. The overly greasy okonomiyaki pancake was mediocre at best despite being fairly loaded with ingredients.

Service was tepid but sufficient but kitchen speed seemed slow altogether. It seemed a bit strange that the 2 greasiest dishes came out last and it was one of the rare times we had to doggybag leftovers.

With a line drawn between above average and below average sushi restaurants, this one stays below the line.

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Sushiyama371 East Broadway, Vancouver
Good value for middle of the road
Submitted Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 5:42pm [Dine in]

I despise going to our previous go-to cheap sushi place in Richmond now so on a whim we decided to head here mostly based on the mostly favourable comments and conspicuous signage out front every time I drive by.

The space is nothing to write home about. It oozes gloom and is somewhat depressing but very busy on a weeknight despite all of that. It seems to attract a lot of the local Main St. crowd including what I was told by my gf to be some Jersey Shore looking disciple named The Situation.

We ordered various dishes to share rather than box items. The nigiri was enjoyable as was the combination rolls. The chicken tonkatsu was sizeable, crispy and cooked nicely and rather sufficient as a meal in itself (2 pieces) but the price reflected what I thought to be a small order. Agedashi tofu was about par while the tempura was over-battered and a little on the oily side while the gyozas were deep fried instead of the usual pan fried variety. All in all it satisfied the sushi craving nicely as long as you left your high hopes at the door. It's good and nothing more.

There are quite a few people on staff and they seem to be a little disjointed though it didn't seem to affect service at the customer end. Repeated tea refills and timely dish clearing was actually quicker than a lot of other places we've gone to.

I'd say for casual and very regular sushi dining Sushiyama fits the bill, as long as you don't mind dining next to reality tv idiot wannabes.

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Corner 234008 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Decent hangout
Submitted Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 3:55pm [Dine in]

Corner 23 is a rare sit-in bubble tea establishment on the westside but at the same time we weren't expecting the world.

Typical bubble tea accompaniments were ordered: fish cake, fried tofu and green onion pancake - and they're pretty usual as far as snack foods go. They have a large menu of drinks and going with lychee slushes and milk tea is usually safe, as is here. The lychee flavour tasted a little tame, though based on the little bits floating they may very well passed on the syrup, a good thing. At least from what I remember, the prices on the drinks seem a

We had a few of the staff wait on us, but one kept speaking to us in Mandarin. Luckily we could make out what he was trying to say and a simple yes/no answer sufficed. Otherwise, service felt a smidge better than comparables but nothing worth raving over.

The space looks alright for afar, and shoddily put together up close. It has an asian-modern look to it, while feeling cheap at the same time.

This place isn't leaps and bounds great, but it's definitely better than many without going into Richmond.

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Babylon Cafe1610 Robson Street, #105, Vancouver
Only Chicken?
Submitted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 3:23am [Dine in]

My gf was hungry and we happened to go to this particular location which turns out to be the only Babylon Cafe on DH that didn't have a review yet. It's crammed in between many Korean outfits in the less traffic part of Robson.

It's a cramped space, though we saw a couple of tables occupied with families, baby and the stroller but it is by no means an elegant place to dine.

Menu board is small in which it seemed they only offered a chicken or falafel wrap (no lamb, beef?) and a few plate combinations. My gf opted for the chicken wrap. It was served up in a whole wheat pita and was pretty solid to say, though a little bland as it lacked the saltiness it needed. Little notes of the parsley sauce and onion made for a fulfilling snack but overall it tasted a little too westernized and toned down.

Service was surly to say the least but nothing too out of the ordinary but I wouldn't come in and expect a smile.

Don't mind the chicken, but where's the beef?

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Joey1899 Rosser Ave, #109, Burnaby
Revived space, but getting pricey
Submitted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 3:08am [Dine in]

This is the newest incarnation of the popular chain, taking over the old Shark Club space. I like Joey's because you get the same food, service and experience at every location though I noticed all the locations sliding in the food category lately.

The space has been transformed and looks great. Music is loud so be prepared momentary yelling matches. Most of the tables around us looked like UFC goons so I imagined that this place would be packed on fight nights. New tv units surround the entire bar/lounge area making for decent views from almost anywhere.

We ordered mostly appetizers like the tandoori flatbread, ahi tuna tacos and crab dip and in return you get exactly what you expect from Joey's. The lettuce wrap was it's usual extra salty self so beware if you're sodium light. Drinks unfortunately were awful. It was disheartening to learn that our server did not know how to mix a Tom Collins considering it's an official cocktail and as such came horribly prepared. A Jack and Coke was also butchered. I swear Joey's (I'm sure as with other restaurants) has been making small price increases to menu items, offering diminishing value to some menu items that are now starting to become overpriced.

Other than those maladies, our server was as expected - not too over the top versus most of the other servers around.

Love the space, but it's getting hard to justify the prices.

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Elephant & Castle385 Burrard St, Marine Building, Vancouver
Average in the grand scheme..
Submitted Monday, November 15, 2010 - 5:47pm [Dine in]

Most places were busy Saturday night with the Canuck game on and we were hoping for a place to stir for a few hours without having to talk over the noise.

I was quite surprised at how quiet it was at E&C it almost parallelled those dive bars with the drunks on a bender slumped over at the booth. The layout provides too much seperation and you'd easily be bypassed by the staff depending on where you are seated and how attentive the staff are. The TVs are too small for the space and could benefit from multiple large screens.

We stuck with appies like the onion rings, chicken picks, pub pretzels, caesar salad and potstickers. Nothing outstanding nor would it send you to the bathroom in the middle of the night but they definitely slop on the bottled sweet and sour sauce on the potstickers which I felt did not compliment at all while the pretzels were overwhelemed with large specks of salt crystals. My gf ordered a caesar which turned out to be terrible so one could chalk it up to a one off if you're kind. Though I can't give half marks I'm tipping the grade slightly towards the mediocre point. Perhaps if we tried some of the main entrees it would've faired better.

Service was spry despite our table being situated in the corner by the entrance. Our waitress keep tabs on us all night without being instrusive and put in far more effort than we required so I'll give extra points there.

I'm game for another chance but if this experience is any indication for the lot it's another pub among the throngs.

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Ebisu in Richmond8111 Ackroyd Road, #100, Richmond
Subdued
Submitted Monday, November 15, 2010 - 5:16pm [Dine in]

Recent cravings for Japanese type tapas led my gf and I to one of the other Ebisu locations, this one in Richmond. Compared to the flagship Robson location, the sister locations never seemed to live up to the hype.

We thought we could settle in a bit into our dining only to have our server tell us before seating us that it was last call- no problem as we found out the menu was mostly recognizable. Ambiance was quiet and reserved and like many other typical sushi joints, almost a bit too sullen for dining.

Ordering our usual lineup here the food came quick and items like the chicken karaage, chikuwa cheese, gyoza, an eel roll and takoyaki met the mark though our spicy agedashi tofu was a little offputting with the overly battered octopus rings and slopped on sauce that tasted like it came out of a jar. The presentation angle was minimal here but prices were a nice surprise as we were expecting a large bill as usual but most items here are noticeably cheaper.

Service felt a little hasty at first but the staff basically worked around us and a couple of other occupied tables as best they could.

The overall experience here is far less pretentious with comparable quality in food and service so for value's sake this is a better buy.

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Closed
New Bohemian, The3162 West Broadway, Vancouver
Bringing Yaletown to Kits..
Submitted Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 9:31pm [Dine in]

We met up with some friends here to drink and nosh, avoiding the parking nightmare downtown.

The menu segways into using organic items and cross-ethnic flavours. We went with appetizer type fares like the fungi pizza, your typical yam fries with aioli, the leek and cream mussels frites and the house bread special with various basic spreads. Mussels were all uniform sized with a fantastic sauce while the pizza had a nice compliment of caramelized onions, feta and mushrooms, though the crust was a touch too akin to flatbread. The other dishes were merely average. Drinks unfortunately were lousy with awful mixed ratios. They have caipirinhas but you mind as well drink syrup. Their flower girl was all sparkling wine and no lychee while the pimm gin was at best passable. I'd stick to the beer.

Despite the busy evening our server was fairly on top of things and checked up on us several times.

They are a smaller space so other pattrons tend to co-exist around your table area depending on where you sit. Music is loud and really drowns out normal conversation.

The New Bohemian very much parallels a chain type operation but is just quirky enough to fit into the area. It's one place to be seen.

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Pho Tam Restaurant10302 135 Street, #10, Surrey
Damn good pho
Submitted Monday, September 20, 2010 - 9:57pm [Dine in]

This is my first visit here in over a decade. I dragged my gf and her growling stomach along into one of the seediest areas in Surrey. It looks exactly the same, but worse. The ceiling is littered with water stains, the windows are streaked with towel strokes, the tables and chairs are poorly wiped down and seating is cramped together, but we didn't come here for that of course.

My gf picked up a pho dac biet while I went with the lemongrass chicken on rice and we split a few spring rolls. Food came fast. The broth looked clear but had great body and depth and was easy if not absent of MSG while the many cuts of flank and brisket were of decent quality. The grilled chicken was juicy and plentiful and sat on a large bed of rice. The only sore point were the rather lousy spring rolls. The unminced pork filling tasted exactly like potsticker filling while the outside rice wrap lacked the blistered, crispy crunch and instead offered a mushy texture. Value is high here folks.

The speed of the staff is some of the fastest I've had at a pho joint so don't expect much.

Despite the doom and gloom area, the pho here stands above the crowd.

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Fatburger255 W Broadway, Vancouver
Just good..
Submitted Monday, September 20, 2010 - 9:36pm [Dine in]

I watched this location spring up but never had the foresight to dine here until this past weekend. I remarked at the conspicuously displayed "last great hamburger stand" slogan across the windows to my gf upon entering and made our way to the small outdoor patio area once we placed our order. The space is small but spotless and the staff are constantly running around making sure the tables are kept clear.

We ordered the mushroom burger, a bacon and cheese and shared the fries, drink and onion rings. Even our burgers were neatly assembled and wrapped tight in foil. I likened my bacon cheeseburger far more it used real cheddar and had thick, crispy bacon. The patty felt ideal for an operation like this and I didn't mind the bun at all. The mushrooms were bland albeit plentiful but overall it was average. The fries were excellent far better than most burger and fries combos I've had while the battered onion rings were good but a little greasy. Value is a little blurred in my mind as it presents itself as a higher end fast food joint but also with the accompanying higher prices.

The service is about a half notch better than self-serve if you dine in, as they do bring your order to your table along with a condiment tray.

If this is what burgers and fries use to be like back then I appreciate the nostalgia.

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Garden Villa Seafood Restaurant127 E Pender Street, #200, Vancouver
Brings you back
Submitted Monday, September 13, 2010 - 9:46pm [Dine in]

Another weekend gone by with another dim sum outing, this time at an unassuming 2nd floor restaurant in Chinatown. We came in the late afternoon so naturally few tables were occupied. The floor to ceiling mirrors on one wall had me think the space was larger than it was and the not so tidy and worn furniture spoke authenticity all the way.

Apparently they are the traditional cart service but instead we had to order off the menu I'd imagine due to our late dining time. Menu is small but the usuals can be found. Shrimp dumplings were good but the chicken feet, actually a little bland for chicken feet was average as was the beef rice roll while the best dishes were the bean curd filled with minced pork and beef stomach. The harder to find spring rolls with minced pork and shrimp were quite good despite the fact they re-fried them. Portions are ample and my gf and I came out filled to the brim.

The waitress pushing the lone cart on the floor really tried to push us with the day's leftovers but otherwise the service was basic at best. I imagine this restaurant attracts a lot of english speaking patrons as they mix english and native tongue together so folks worried needn't be.

Garden Villa brings back some of the old taste I remember eons ago.

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White Spot4129 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby
What once was..
Submitted Friday, September 10, 2010 - 4:30pm [Dine in]

I figured it was worth another try at another WS location which brought us here. Like every location the decor cater to the conservative and these days it seems to look more dated. A unusually upbeat hostess brought us to our booth.

Our food had it's good and bad, mostly the latter. My gf's mushroom burger was far better than ones we've had at other locations with an unusually larger patty which we haven't seen in ages. Her fries however were awful. Have you ever had a cold boiled potato? That's what she received and those remained untouched. My chicken alfredo came with ultra dry pieces of chicken on top of a gloppy, lackluster pasta with not enough of the bland sauce. The garlic wedge on the side was similar to the packaged frozen stuff at the grocery store. We hoped dessert would fair better with our apple crumble. It came underheated making the normally crunchy topping resemble more like stovetop oatmeal.

Service was disjointed with our server but he showed up enough to refill drinks and checkup.

I was disappointed as it was what I had expected but your mileage may vary.

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Kam Wai Dim Sum249 E. Pender Street, Vancouver
A glimpse of the good ol' days
Submitted Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 8:37pm [Dine in]

My gf and I made the most of a long weekend by getting some late afternoon dim sum. Few dim sum places are left in Chinatown and really this was the only one we saw open without driving around so we bit the bullet. Immediately upon entering we were broadsided by the oatmeal bland interior with bench seating, square tables, dim lighting and a rather somber mood.

We ordered a half a dozen dishes all usuals. The skin on the dumplings are a little chewy though the chicken feet were fairly spot on. Fried dishes faired less favourably. The ends of the spring rolls were burnt while the bbq pork pastry was stingy on filling. The green onion pancake was something else though. An alien donut construct filled with green onions was not what you'd expect and it also wasn't very good to boot. The price for a shadow of what could have been? $17 and change tax included is pretty inexpensive these days. Another plus is the acceptance of debit and credit cards. Another plus still? It's available until 5pm.

They took another page to cater to westerners with the entire staff greeting and speaking in english UNLESS you spoke first. Service is brisk though kitchen speed slows things down. One strange thing is that they do not ask your tea preference, you're getting Jasmine tea. I'm not sure if you could request another variety.

It satisfied the need for dim sum, but barely. Good for a late day venture.

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Cinnzeo4700 Kingsway, #1155, Burnaby
Tooth decaying pleasure
Submitted Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 8:21pm [Dine in]

Cinnzeo cinnamon buns are one of those that actually smells better than it tastes, not because it's unappetizing but because of the insanely rush of sugar to your head when you bite into one of these. They tend to underbake these slightly so sometimes it's actually a little too doughy but I find they try to find a happy medium between soft and moist and doneness. A dash of cinnamon is an understatement it's literally layered through and through and you'd want to wash it down with a cup of tea or milk. They are expensive and are priced near novelty desserts.

The part timer staff there do ok but I've been subjected to the long lineups as they tend to bog down a little as customers pile in.

Mall setting so not the best spot to enjoy them, but at least they have some seating available if you don't care about the wandering foot traffic.

Bring a toothbrush for afterwards..

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Cactus Club Cafe7320 Market Crossing, Burnaby
Just OK..
Submitted Monday, August 23, 2010 - 2:36am [Dine in]

I met up with a colleague for a lunch and meeting to sign some transfer papers - this was the place chosen for convenience. Space and vibe are on the mark as per usual Cactus Club standards so nothing new here.

We ordered a shortrib sandwich and a prawn and scallop spaghettini with a couple of drinks. My colleague lucked out and his meal faired well while my Collins was awfully made while my pasta, of which I have had before at other locations was executed with marginal effort. An ultra bland sauce rather familiar to the canned Hunts variety ruined what would've been a satisfactory lunch. Seafood portion was cooked well as was the pasta but they could've let the pasta rest a few minutes before serving. A notch down to the usual predictable quality.

Service too was unusual. While the hostesses happily acknowledged us our server disappeared for long stretches and did not check up on our meal as well as neighbouring patrons. Not too busy in her section either. Another notch off the norm.

Hoping that experience was an exception and not the rule.

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Maxim's Bakery4800 Kingsway, #161, Burnaby
Plateau
Submitted Friday, August 20, 2010 - 1:02am [Dine in]

Luckily with their store hours syncing with the mall my gf and I were able to do a quick stop by for a fill me up. While Maxim's is well known for their buns the space where they display their creations are hardly worth commendations but they're also far from grundgy.

Service is more or less self serve as the buns are individually wrapped or sits in self-serve cases. For whatever reason (including this trip) customers tend to rummage through each bun, seemingly looking for the "perfect" one. This sort of system tends to present the rude and fastidious but I digress.

The buns are mooncakes are still good but many bakeries these days have equal if not superior quality. I usually avoid the weiner and tuna buns as the turnover is low and they tend to sit until closing ensuring less fresh bites.

Perhaps out of convenience or name brand I still make the ocassional stop here..

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Bella Gelateria1001 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
I second the notion
Submitted Monday, August 16, 2010 - 12:57am [Dine in]

My gf and I have been passing by this place a few times now and after reading the more than glowing review here we headed down during a midweek gratification.

I needn't say much about the space and the service. You get exactly what you expect (perhaps even a little more) for the area so even fussy patrons should rejoice.

You know when you had gelato or sorbet that was absolutely stunning? With rich texture and balanced flavour? This is better. Knowing we couldn't walk out with every flavour under the belt, we opted for a scoop of dulce de leche and a lemon basil sorbet. The caramel worked together with the remarkable smooth texture without the assaulting sweetness and you'd think basil and lemon would clash due to the basil's pungent aroma. It doesn't. The basil is a complimenting undertone which made the combination that much more refreshing. On texture alone each individual sorbet ice crystal melted on the tongue so seamlessly much like mist evaporating into the air. Selection is ample with other unique flavours like strawberry vinaigrette which are much more than second string toss-ins. Portions are fair and doesn't leave you feeling heavy so you could squeeze in multiple scoops if you please.

The best gelato and sorbet in the city. Highly recommend.

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Shiro3096 Cambie Street, Vancouver
One glaring element
Submitted Thursday, August 5, 2010 - 1:59am [Dine in]

We're looking for dinner one evening and decided to hit up Shiro. It's unassuming from the street and easily missed but I've heard good things about the quality so in we went. First thing we notice was the cramped, small space, but it was filled with cheerfully noisy Japanese people. Perhaps a good sign?

We tried to go across the board on the menu, but ended up with the usual helpings of rolls, cones, tempura, nigiri, salad, karaage and soup. The quality of the fish is there, as was the sushi rice. Tempura had one of the nicest coatings of batter I've seen, while staying crispy far longer than expected. The chicken karaage was nicely seasoned while the salad and miso soup was all the same. What killed the meal was the awful nori used for the rolls and cones. The texture was chewy, chewy, chewy - like gnawing on a piece of cellophane. Shame since otherwise would've been a fine meal. Stick with the nigiri.

Service is pleasant from the waitresses but kitchen speed is slower so hungry fiends be prepared to wait for your food as it gets the royal treatment. The sushi chefs acknowledge and thanks everyone leaving which is great for ambiance.

We enjoyed the staff's company and much of the food, but boy, that seaweed..

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Sandbar Seafood Restaurant1535 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Mismatched experience
Submitted Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 1:00am [Dine in]

Splurged by the recent sunny weather the 3 of us decided to catch some outdoor rays upstairs at Sandbar. It's another great looking space at Granville Island but the views from the covered outdoor patio aren't exactly earth shattering depending on where you sit - we mostly had views of underneath the bridge and the practically filled space felt a little clausterphobic but I digress.

The food was hit and miss. We started off with the salmon carpaccio which appeared to be filleted halfway and then thinly sliced through the boneless fish. I've never seen it prepared like this before and was difficult to fork without breaking it up into little pieces. The grainy mustard did little to entice. Our two, tiny medallion crab cakes were, on the other hand quite good but rather appauling given the size and price. Our friend's black cod entree was slightly underdone, but retained much of the buttery texture while my arctic char was completely overdone to the point where nearly every piece needed coaxing to stay on my fork as it hit my mouth. The blanched spinach from my gf's spinach salad was unusual, while the ahi tuna on top lacked the high heat sear and was a little offputting in taste. Desserts luckily faired well all the way through with the cheesecake and belgain pudding. We enjoyed their signature cocktail "under the bridge" but felt it was watered down. Prices are certainly steep for what you get.

We had a fantastic server as he was on top of everything including reporting back on the backlog in the kitchen. He was pleasant without being forceful and the transitions from clearing plates to serving drinks and topping up waters were seamless. One thing to note would be the disorganized front hostesses and their strange notice system using a flag-on-a-line rig to let you know your table is ready.

The food rates closer to a 2.5, but I should've gotten the steak instead.

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Teahouse Restaurant, The7501 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver
Country club ambiance
Submitted Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 3:14pm [Dine in]

We met up with some friends for an evening nightcap. The restaurant was dying down so we went with nibblers instead of full on entrees.

The space is elegant and the surrounding views are amazing, whether you are taking to the water views or the foliage. We opted for the patio outside but there doesn't seem to be a poor choice anywhere you sit.

The food was pretty typical of the genre, ordering a bruschetta that was fairly mundane, the fried squid which was thinly battered and perfectly cooked but frightening for in price for regular dim sum attendees and the thin crust pizza which was neither mouth watering for forgettable. The house bread was something though, with a thin, airy and crispy crust. Great spot to sit and spit.

Our waiter was a pro and took to us more casually than expected. Might be a little strong for some but nearing closing he brought the game all the way to the end.

The ideal spot to bring older family members or to just take it easy in quite solitude and let the ambiance pass you by.

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