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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 121 - 140 of 464 Reviews Found
Enigma4397 West 10th Ave., Vancouver
Very safe bet
Submitted Monday, May 31, 2010 - 2:23pm [Dine in]

Another evening dining indecision brought us here. I had heard good things so I was long sold before but our evening here sealed the deal.

The space looks rather formal, but casual is more than welcoming. It's simply kept with contrasting wall art against the dark and dim setting.

The menu does have something for everyone, but it was difficult to choose since there weren't any standouts. Everything seems like a safe bet. We shared the baked brie but it was the garlic prawns and the house bread that really spoke to us. Around the table everybody ordered something different including the braised lamb shoulder, a goat cheese salad, baby back ribs and the seafood pesto fettuccine. The former two were the best prepared while the latter two had a couple of quips, the ribs on the lean side while my pasta was past al dente. A minor spoil which otherwise were fine entrees.

We had timely service without being overbearing and she showed a touch of grace that you'd normally see in more formal dining situations. We asked her for some recommendations but as we expected, even she had a hard time picking the standouts.

Though on the conservative side, this is a good bet for dates to parties and everything in between.

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Sunshine Diner2649 West Broadway, Vancouver
Pretentious, but the food is good
Submitted Monday, May 31, 2010 - 2:09pm [Dine in]

My gf and I had walked past this diner before and before long made our way here over the weekend with a friend to dine.

It was frighteningly busy but we were seated in short order. The decor was all retro, right down to the music being played but it felt showy all around from the staff to the customers. Table space is cramped but I suppose folks back in the 50's were a lot slimmer then, in which case they even have the furniture sizing down to a tee.

The menu is nice and focussed so it made choosing easy. My gf's lox benny was excellent, with perfectly poached eggs and a great house-made hollandaise. Really the only drawback was the overly toasted english muffin, which was far more crispy than it needed to be to survive under the egg and sauce. Home fries was extra but was ordered anyways - nothing memorable. Our friend ordered the 2 large eggs. His scrambles were overdone (brown) but it was nice to see they used farmer's sausage over the usual cheap links. I ended up with a mushroom burger with fries which by and large was the best overall dish. Real cheddar, nice homeade patty on a greasy bun tasted just right. Fries were light, golden and crispy. Portions look small but rather deceiving.

Service was upbeat and seemed very much retro in its own respect. We overheard a customer behind us explicitly detail to one of the servers (the same as ours) how to make a milkshake which she handled with poise.

Though there were hits and misses, the benny's and the burger itself really stood out as simply made and made well. On that merit alone, come for the benny.

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Donair King1028 Davie Street, Vancouver
For that late night craving
Submitted Monday, May 31, 2010 - 1:47pm [Dine in]

We stopped on by for a late night grab pick me up after remembering some favourable feedback. I have driven past this place regularly and it's always busy so it had to be good.

The space is small and untidy, but that's the oversight. We're talking donairs here and this is their focus. I ordered a lamb and beef with all the trimmings and waited as they prepared them. Fabulously marinated meat, tender with great flavour that counteracts with the fresh, crisp vegetables. It's particularly neat and holds together well, due in part of the toasted pita which gives it a nice crunch. For what was had, the price was hard to argue.

The two folks behind the counter and easy to talk to and very friendly and tend to go with the pace. It was a little slower at that moment so they took the time to jab with customers. Smiles all around which you don't normally see.

Despite its location, the munchie crowd picked a good one.

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Green Lemongrass1086 Kingsway, Vancouver
Honest Eats
Submitted Monday, May 31, 2010 - 1:37pm [Dine in]

A few of us primed our stomachs here before some heavy drinking later so naturally some comfort and filling food was needed. We tried the Westminster Hwy location before but the grand opening sign drew us in.

Very typical look with almost what seems to be a mish mash of decor accessories. It's not very intrusive but not particularly appealing either.

Our friend went with the pho dac biet and my gf and I shared the lemongrass chicken on rice and all of us split the spring rolls. Nicely done chicken chop with the skin on, though the grilled flavour overpowered the very subtle lemongrass taste. It came with a nice and cleansing broth to wash it down. Spring rolls were good as was the reported bowl of pho. Portions are a smidge smaller but prices coincide with their sizes.

Service was surprisingly attentive and timely, a somewhat unusual find at any asian outfit, so extra marks given.

Good appeal, good food and even good service. No reason why I wouldn't come back.

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Peaceful Restaurant532 West Broadway, Vancouver
Dan-dan goodness!
Submitted Friday, May 28, 2010 - 2:30pm [Dine in]

We came here for a late meal yesterday night and again made a trek to a restaurant we've been meaning to go to.

It was almost closing time so we quickly scoured through the menu and ordered. The space is long and narrow and the tables are cramped together so large gatherings aren't the best idea. Pretty clean all around until you step into the washrooms, which looked pretty scary.

My friend ordered a clear broth noodle soup which he felt was bland though he seemed to forget clear soups are usually bland. I went with the dan-dan noodles which came with a spicy and rich peanut sauce. A little spicier than I was expecting but was fantastic for soaking up into the noodles. The fresh homemade noodles had great bite and texture and made the entire bowl addicting. We ordered the fried buns and beef rolls on the side, each of which were excellent, especially the beef rolls. Again, the right amount of greasiness makes the entire dish all the better.

Service was neither over the top nor poor, just right and servers have a good grasp of english.

There were oodles of other choices to pick from so we'll have to come back, and with an emptier stomach but boy, those dan-dan noodles!

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Splitz Grill4242 Main Street, Vancouver
Lost in the hype
Submitted Friday, May 28, 2010 - 2:14pm [Dine in]

After driving around for a long time, I finally made a decision and came here with the increasingly irritable and hungry gf.

I didn't think much of it while I was there, but in hindsight it's really a ramped up fast food style joint. It's self-serve at best so expect to clean up after someone else's mess.

My gf and I went with the classic combo, a $10 price tag per combo that included a small paper tray of hand-cut fries and a small fountain drink. My gf didn't find the burger impressive at all, omitting the fact they put in bbq sauce when she didn't ask for it. I thought it awfully resembled the kind of burgers you'd find at a backyard bbq, from the handmade patty sometimes inconsistently cooked to the non-uniform toppings slapped on. I likened the char on the patties but was definitely on the dry side. The choice of toppings was a nice touch, but I don't like to stray from the minimal tomato, cheese, lettuce and maybe mayo. One thing about that cheese, it's shredded. What happened to slice? The fries were awful. Old oil and poor cooking temperatures resulted in two trays of dark brown, limp potato strings. Again, applaud the effort for going homestyle but mostly missed the ball.

If they charged anymore, it would be a ripoff. Can't say that I hated it, but I'll be moving on to the next burger joint please.

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Ichiro Japanese Restaurant12011 2nd Avenue, #110, Richmond
Finally, a great Japanese restaurant
Submitted Friday, May 28, 2010 - 1:57pm [Dine in]

My gf wanted to bring her dad for a belated birthday dinner before he had to fly back to work, so with her family, a friend and I in tow we decided to come here on part of the great reviews. It did not disappoint.

The space inside looked and felt cramped but was spacious enough. It's quite casual all around as there were many children in attendance, but luckily the food was anything but casually prepared.

We came out with a hefty bill after sifting through the menu and merely pointing at dishes to order. In the end, sashimi, nigiri, rolls, cooked items and even dessert was to be had. They have a superior starting point in the sushi rice. Every grain is identifiable without being undercooked while a mild linger of wasabi touched the background. It easily fell apart while still holding it's shape. The use of fresh wild fish made a measurable difference, especially the toro, hotate and salmon belly, easily the best we've all had. We all enjoyed the simply made deep fried fish bones while the grilled cod and it's silky, delicate flesh was so expertly prepared we had to order it twice. Even the ordinary chicken karagge was a cut above the rest. Normally we balk at the dessert options available but the creme caramel spoke to us. The sweetness of the egg custard and the slightly burnt/smokey/bitter taste of the caramel was a wonderful counter balance of taste and was a light finish to an amazing meal. Dollar wise it's fantastic value given the fact that you'll get a lot less quality for the same price pretty much anywhere else.

Service appeared slow but was actually quite brisk. Servers introduced each dish as it came to the table while empty plates were removed with haste. Our only issue was trying to overhear their thick Japanese accents over the ambient noise.

Incredible quality at excellent prices I don't think you could find a comparable Japanese restaurant elsewhere in our city. Absolutely recommend.

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Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie2539 West Broadway, Vancouver
Thomas Haas closer to home
Submitted Friday, May 28, 2010 - 1:16pm [Dine in]

I've been anxiously awaiting for the new location on West Broadway to open and finally they have. I never found the time to stop by and even on my first visit there recently, I was rushed to leave.

Its prime location is nestled in between some of the best restaurants in the city, and once inside you get a subtle dose of elegance without being over the top. Nevertheless, these subtleties echo boutique shop.

I was in a hurry, so even with the lineup which gave me some time to decide, I quickly decided to just grab the double baked almond croissant. Unfortunately in my haste, I completely neglected to ask for a re-toast, and I don't remember the counter person asking either. Nevertheless, it was still delciously guilty when the first bite penetrated the flakey exterior with the equally fantastic filling waiting to melt in your mouth.

Service was not quite as brisk as the other location, despite what appears to be the same system implemented here. It took a little while before I was acknowledged and it was definitely one step slower here but seems many of the patrons here embrace the dilatory pace.

For a dose of heavenly desserts and pastries TH is now closer to home, but I think I'd prefer to hop over the bridge instead.

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Closed
Golden Star Seafood Restaurant2163 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Inexpensive, delightful
Submitted Friday, May 28, 2010 - 12:51pm [Dine in]

Early morning hunger pangs called and so I brought my mom here before she started making breakfast. I've passed by here countless times before but finally giving in and it was made all the better when I found out they do accept non-cash form payment, always a plus.

Amongst the crowd of mostly early morning seniors, the room itself wasn't over the top. It was certainly better than a lot of places but still mundane and spartan.

We ordered quite a few dishes off the order sheet for the two of us - all the dim sum standbys. Portions are plentiful and the price can't be argued. The quality is there too given the prices but I found the taste to be milder on nearly each dish (even the soy sauce poured over the rice rolls were mild), but likely to coincide with the throngs of asian seniors eating here and their milder palettes. Not a problem.

Service is another usual suspect whereby minimal service is provided, but they are quick to respond to callovers.

Seven tasty dishes for $24, can't go wrong here.

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Golden Day Cake House2086 East Hastings St, Vancouver
Average baked buns
Submitted Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 4:24pm [Dine in]

I was slowly making my way to pick up my gf from work when I decided I've had enough and needed something to snack on. I pulled in here after remembering the reviews on here.

It's a typical small asian bakery so visual appeal is low on the list. It's all functional without being obscene. I quickly gawked at the display case and found what were few choices left, so I went with the bbq pork bun and the ham and onion bun. The bbq pork bun was decent, and likened the fact that the meat wasn't the overly red-hued variety, and also included bits of fat. The bun itself was decent, but you could tell it's freshness was starting to go. The ham and onion bun was a letdown. It was strongly flavoured with the onion undertones but the bun was overbaked, resulting in a darker exterior that was a little hard in spots and the little bits of ham turning into a hard, crusty annoyance between the teeth.

The lady seemed nice enough but at best expect over the counter service.

Not particularly impressed with what I had but perhaps deserving of a second chance.

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Steamworks Brewing Company375 Water Street, Vancouver
Good overall standing
Submitted Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 4:12pm [Dine in]

It was a sunny Friday evening and a few of us were looking to soak in some patio time, but after being balked at a few places we settled for whatever was available.

This is another usually happening place, with multiple levels of classic architecture and a good buzz. We weren't able to get any patio seating but were close enough to the action.

We mostly sipped away on classic cocktails and a few noshing dishes: dry ribs, nacho plate, garlic fries and a pepperoni pizza. Predictable fare that neither bored or woke up the tasting palette - it resembles Boston Pizza in terms of selections and delivery. Cocktails were quite good and given the location it's more suited for drinks and food as an afterthought.

There are a swarm of staff going every which way, so it was a little hard to get our server's attention. The staff did a much better job shuffling us to a different staff member while we were waiting for a table rather than the service we received once we got there. It's fairly chaotic in there so I won't chew out our waitress too much but don't expect to get immediate service.

Broken down to each individual part, this is an average competitor, but as an overall contender it's a great place to sit and sip.

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Costco Restaurant9151 Bridgeport Road, Richmond
Better than expected
Submitted Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 3:59pm [Dine in]

We were saving our stomach to do a little grab and go after sweeping through the Costco aisles for a few items. We weren't expecting much in terms of food considering the choices, but low and behold it's actually a little better than you think.

We grabbed the Angus burger combo and a hot dog. Good sized patty which was at best frozen and reheated with an unmelted piece of sliced cheese smacked up against it along with the proper looking accessories: tomato, lettuce, onions, ketchup, mustard and pickles. Honestly, assembled it's about the same as the burgers you'd find at your own bbq. Hot dog was boiled and shoved into a bun which condiments available at the trolley station. Fries were pretty decent and with the prices in mind, you can easily pay more for the same quality elsewhere so there's great value here if you don't mind fast food.

Cafeteria style service so be ready to order because if the cashiers can wait, the hungry behind you won't. There are tables set up for dining in but we took to the parking lot instead.

A close-by alternative for those who balk at the samples at the end of the aisles.

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Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The1121 Alberni Street, Vancouver
The Keg standard upheld
Submitted Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 3:41pm [Dine in]

We know the Keg chain to be one of the front runners in consistency in town, so next on the list was to tackle the Thurlow location for a belated, last-minute birthday meal for a friend. This location is always busy, the atmosphere is always alive as is the decor but even for our walk-in, the wait was barely 10 minutes long.

We dabbled around with the shrimp cocktail, crab cakes and cheese bread before going into our entrees, my gf the sirloin, our friend the sirloin and crab combo and me the prime rib. The steaks were all cooked well, but all of our meat lacked some flavour and was not quite as tender as one could hope for. My prime rib was memorable of Keg's house special and I would be tempted to say to stick to that only.

We were quite happy with the service besides the one blip where our waiter was too quick in clearing our plates when some of us were not quite done yet.

Beyond the atrocious parking I would come back here.

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Olympia Pizza3205 West Broadway, Vancouver
Surprise, surprise!
Submitted Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 3:27pm [Dine in]

Another night and another dine out the choice was easy to go with Greek. My gf had come here before and complained about the food, but that was a while back and it was worth another shot so I hauled her here with another friend.

We went a little overboard on the ordering and started with the taramasalata, hummous and the calamari while our server brought us an extra order of pita. Fabulous starters especially the tarama - a light, fluffy spread nearly as good as we've had out. Shuffling the appetizers aside, our friend went with the lamb chops while my gf and I shared the roast lamb. Portions are hefty which coincides with the slightly higher prices, but the food did the talking. The lamb was bone-in tender and not overwhelmed with herbs, but it also had the right amount of fattiness throughout which melted in your mouth and bite for bite, the best roast lamb we've had to date. Our friend's chops were perfectly cooked, but we preferred more char on the outside; a personal preference. All the sides were admirable and not thrown together.

Our server was cheerful, full of zest and was completely on the mark all night. Timely checkups coupled with some friendly, but unforced small talk made the difference.

The ambiance was a little mulled, good for a quiet evening experience. Space is tidy with some charm good enough for a date spot or for a casual night out with the family.

Oh the lamb!

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Biercraft Bistro3305 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Lesser of the two
Submitted Friday, April 30, 2010 - 2:10pm [Dine in]

Our friend, my gf and I finally made our way to the Cambie location recently. Great decor and more stretch room in between tables though the music was a little blaring.

Menu appears to be smaller, but we managed to wrangle in the standouts. This included the fantastic orleans mussels with its staunch, bright, spicy kicks that required lots of additional bread to sop up all that good stuff. The Korean short ribs had a wonderful char with sweet undertone hints while the ribs itself had the right amount of lean and fat. The fish tacos were a welcome rendition to cooling the palette but there were misses to be had. The poutine was at best ordinary as was the cheaply assembled charcuterie plate. Black forest ham? Come on. The tre leche cheesecake was a silky smooth and creamy finale that would be a must get. Like the other Stellas they have a vast assortment of Belgian beers.

Our server was very friendly but at times off the mark AWOL and then magically appearing.

Though this Stellas isn't quite up to snuff compared to its Commercial Drive sibling, it's a welcome addition to Cambie Street.

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Kirin Seafood Restaurant350 Gifford St., New Westminster
Venue, venue, venue!
Submitted Friday, April 30, 2010 - 1:51pm [Dine in]

I met with a fellow colleague for an afternoon dim sum lunch. Much to do with upper echelon fixtures like Kirin are their pretentious decor and slightly non-conforming dishes made to impeccable execution.

Their space is fantastic though the vibe isn't quite up to par. As a venue for large gatherings like weddings a location like this would be on a considered list.

We ordered a combination of the usual must-haves and a couple of more exclusive dishes. Both the shrimp and scallop dumplings lost much of its appeal as it came out just barely warm, with the skin near a rubber-like texture. Chicken feet were the only standout dish. The deep fried shrimp dumplings with consomme, the rice roll with crackling rice and the pork dumplings could all be easily duplicated but their versions are slightly different where other restaurants wouldn't take the effort to.

Service is surprisingly slow minus the teapot refills. Considering the order sheet format it would've been nice to have our dishes come out as if it came off the steamers post-haste.

I can't imagine that there would be an abundance of dim sum restaurants in NW, nevermind in this Queensborough area so it's a good enough choice if you're not willing to trek into Burnaby, Vancouver or Richmond but it's safe to say that dim sum is not their strong suite.

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Green Basil4623 Kingsway, Burnaby
Westernized Thai
Submitted Friday, April 30, 2010 - 1:37pm [Dine in]

Our group of 3 decided to try something more ethnic one evening and decided on the competition across from Metrotown.

Upon entering there was an immediate feeling of westernized influence from the decor. We hoped for the best and picked the usual dishes. The spinach dish with chicken and peanut sauce was gelatinous and excessively oily as was the over-abundance of crushed peanuts found inside the sauce. The green curry had amazing aromatics and taste but was highly salty, even if served over rice. Best made dishes where the pad thai and fried rice which for all purposes are typical of what you'd find elsewhere. We finished off with a somewhat disappointing fried banana with ice cream - note the ice cream was the best part. Prices border on the steep.

Service was fairly informal though timely water top-ups were welcomed.

Overall the food did ok by us but was hardly memorable. Definitely not a place I would feel confident in bringing other dining companions.

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Thai Son Vietnamese373 E. Broadway, Vancouver
Look for the Banh Xeo
Submitted Friday, April 30, 2010 - 1:18pm [Dine in]

I put the kibosh on my gf's dinner options one night and instead came here. I had heard good things before and with dime a dozen pho joints it was worth at least a trip.

Furnishings are mundane yet clean but through and through you couldn't mistake it for anything else but a noodle shop.

We split the grilled lemongrass chicken on rice and the somewhat hard to find banh xeo, a delicious savoury-type crepe made with coconut milk and filled with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts to be wrapped with lettuce, basil, mint and fish leaves. While the lemongrass chicken hit the comfort zones exactly the banh xeo was excellent. You could taste the hint of coconut milk through the crispy crepe and using uncooked bean sprouts made all the difference in freshness. Portions are ample as both of us came out packed to the brim.

Service is all about efficiency, prioritizing table clearing over chit chat; no complaints here.

With no pho experience here it's hard to justify top marks for food but considering the tepid experiences I've had with banh xeo locally when I could find it, this one easily sits at the top. Will be back.

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Cumpari Gelato & Caffe535 North Road, Coquitlam
Flash in the pants
Submitted Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 6:36pm [Dine in]

A friend suggested this place after bypassing our usual choices for something different. By sight as we entered it seemed like all would be well and thensome but the highs peaked once we dove into our desserts.

Brightly lit display cases showcase their offerings of desserts from panna cotta to tartlettes to cakes to gelato and even some savoury sandwiches. I found it suspicious that they do not advertise prices on most of their delectables, which is pretty much unheard of. Perhaps most of us chose wrong as the panna cotta was the best of the bunch, a smooth but somewhat runny consistency though hardly out of this world. Next in line was our chocolate mousse cake which was good but lacked moistness while the maple cake was a dry, crumbly mound surrounded by puff balls and with an overpowering maple/rum hit. Our friend thought his Italian cheesecake was terrible for cheesecake and he is by no means picky on desserts. Prices are in and around the $10 range, which if the quality was there I wouldn't mind but where they are lacking of which what we had.

Service is merely over the counter at best with first-come-first-serve seating but it was nice to have the staff clear empty plates and cups from occupied tables.

Good use of space with a nice distance between the display case area and the seating - hard to believe this use to be a Burger King. Neutral colours are easy on the eyes and it seems they are prepping for a 2nd level area.

I would definitely be willing to give this place a second try, especially since they seem to be open late but I'm not holding my breath. Their desserts taste like coffee shop chain offerings with the boutique look and price.

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Joey507 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Chic from the norm
Submitted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 6:51pm [Dine in]

Bar none this location and the other Joey's down Burrard are all about harnessing the DT vibe. This location is even more devoid of the original Joey Tomato enterprise flavour but it's all business, literally.

While menu is the same, the food doesn't quite measure up to the usual JT standards, but just slightly though - the theme here makes me wonder if they're more focused on the lounge food and specificall, drinks aspect rather than full blown entrees.

Based on their location they ride on the coattails of business sector luncheons or nightcaps. Fantastic room design with comfortable, cushy chairs but not exactly the best type of seating for a meal. I tend to find the music playing here more blaring than grooving.

Service is of chain-grade quality but there is a definite lack of table service talent from the servers and they tend to act a little pre-occupied with other things going on than waiting on their tables. They meet all the requisites for good service, but barely.

Great spot of swirl a drink or two with a bunch of people, thus leaving those strictly here for a dining experience a little overwhelmed.

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