This place used to be the Bo Kong, closed for a while and is now open with new owners. The menu has all of the old favourites, but with the addition of a few new items. Man, the host, is still there as are a couple of the waitstaff but there are also new servers. I believe the chef is the same.
Generally there is little or no wait, even when they're busy but we try to make reservations if we think it will be busy -- like Mother's Day for example. Service is fast and efficient and the food always arrives quickly. People won't hover over you although they may ask if you like your meal. That's just fine: keeping the service speed-oriented reduces costs (and price).
Portions sizes are large. The prices are either the same or slightly higher (by $0.50 to $1.00) compared to when it was the Bo Kong but are still very good value for money, especially in comparison to other similar places.
Some of our favourites (and popular dishes with other people too) include soup, both thick spinach and wonton, "sizzling steak", sweet and sour tofu puffs, spicy green beans, eggplant with tofu (we get it with soft tofu, not fried), and colourful chop suey. This last dish used to come in a taro nest but doesn't seem to any more, but the pieces of veg are bigger, making it easier to eat. The "chicken drumsticks" are also tasty and fun -- more on that later. Lots of choices of fried rice or chow mein.
We have tried some new dishes, such as winter melon soup, flavoured with sesame oil, sticky rice, and pea tip with veg scallop or enoki mushrooms. Pea tip is lovely -- bright green, like spinach but sweet, not bitter. It's not cheap and is a specialty item. I don't care for the taro and gluten in coconut -- quite starchy, but that's personal taste.
There's a dim sum menu. Don't know if this is just weekends but we like the regular menu better.
Bathrooms are clean and scented like coconut or vanilla (the women's anyway). Never a lineup.
The bill is printed in both Chinese and English, a nice touch.
When this place was the Bo Kong, the interior was always freezing cold, winter or summer. It's much better now, normal temp, and they even asked at one point if I was cold; I wasn't.
A lovely bonus is the free parking beside the restaurant, now monitored by security camera which you can see on a screen at the cash register. Before, the people at the grill next door used it and you couldn't get in.
As the name suggests, this place is now owned by the Whole Vegetarian chain of veggie food supply stores in BC and Alberta, head office in Richmond. We were inspired to visit the Whole Vegetarian store in East Van and picked up lots of frozen veggie foods, including the "chicken drumsticks" which you can order in the restaurant. Ginger citrus "ribs" are also highly recommended. The bags of frozen goods are often big so make sure you have room in your freezer. They have canned and dry goods as well.
We loved this place when it was the Bo Kong and still love it, maybe even better than before! Do try it, even if you're not vegetarian -- there's lots of selection for carnivores and we take friends/relatives there often, with positive comments all around. It's one of the nicer veggie options in this city.