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desktravelerDowntown, VancouverSince August 10, 200917 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.4)
  • Food3.5 (3.5)
  • Service3.5 (3.4)
  • Value3 (3.2)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 Reviews Found
King Mahal Restaurant4051 Hastings Street, Burnaby
Good Flavours, Good Service
Submitted Monday, June 25, 2012 - 7:30pm [Dine in]

Has no one heard about the good food at this place yet? We were the only customers in the restaurant the night that we were there, although it was a Monday night so almost any restaurant would have been quiet I guess. Apparently these guys do a lot of take-out and delivery and they're busy for the lunch buffet. We started out quite unsure of the place given that it was empty, but the server was very friendly and helped us order some of their best dishes, the food was very good - especially the King Vegetable Korma and the tandoori meat, and we left very pleased with the meal. The mango lassi is the only item we wouldn't order again as it was too thin for our tastes.

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Nyala4148 Main St, Vancouver
The owners should just retire
Submitted Friday, October 21, 2011 - 11:23am [Dine in]

We used to really enjoy Nyala, especially when it was on 4th Ave. We went to the Main St location a couple of years ago and chatted with the owner since we were the only customers that night and he mentioned that his kids thought he was getting old and should close the restaurant. Well, after going last night and seeing how much the place has gone downhill, I definitely agree.

The place was packed but probably because everyone had to use their groupons that expire in 10 days. They couldn't keep up with the crowd and it took over an hour to get our food. The portions are a lot smaller than they used to be, and much more expensive, and they brought very little bread to eat with the dishes. They used to serve all the food on the big platter of bread, now apparently they'll still do it if you ask for it, but since everything took so long anyway we weren't going to wait yet again. We never did get extra bread or another pitcher of water. The sauce on the lamb tibs was nice, but all the other dishes were quite bland.

I just read some of the recent reviews and people are saying that they automatically include a 15% tip on the bill... the people in our group who read the bill didn't notice that, so we added a tip, which means we grossly over-tipped for a meal that was not very enjoyable. Well, that's definitely the last time I visit Nyala.

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Cactus Club Cafe588 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Good Experience for late lunch
Submitted Monday, September 12, 2011 - 4:03pm [Dine in]

A friend and I showed up at 12:45, which was apparently after the lunch rush and were seated within 5 minutes. The service was efficient and friendly. We both have our favourites on the Cactus Club menu, and I thought this location did a fantastic job with the butternut squash ravioli. I've had it at other locations where the sauce tastes almost like lemon juice or has started to separate, but this one was perfect. I ordered it without the prawns because I really didn't like the prawns at another location, but since that was one of the ones that tasted like lemon juice perhaps I should have tried the prawns this time. I just feel that $17 is already steep for lunch and paying even more to get the prawns isn't worth it.

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Cafe Il Nido780 Thurlow Street, Vancouver
Be prepared to eat quickly and be rushed out
Submitted Monday, September 12, 2011 - 3:39pm [Dine in]

A cute outdoor patio, relatively good food, and efficient service. But I can't recommend il Nido because the food wasn't good enough for the price point to make me overlook the faux-pas in service. The biggest issue was that they wanted us out as soon as we paid the bill - they cleared every single item off the table, including the water glasses, and we hadn't even been at the restaurant for 1.5 hours by that point. The second gaffe was the seeming annoyance of having to deal with customers - eye rolling when half the table didn't order wine or weren't ready to order or pay the first time they stopped by to serve us. As if they were doing us a favour and we should be grateful they even bothered to come by.

Anyway, the osso bucco was nicely cooked, the risotto was comfort-food, and our friend seemed happy with the lobster ravioli.

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Portobello Ristorante1429 W. Broadway, Vancouver
Decent food priced above its worth
Submitted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 12:45pm [Dine in]

We ate at Portobello because it offered an entertainment coupon, and with the discount we felt we got a fair value for money. Without the discount, though, I would have been unhappy with the value based on the quality of the food. The dishes we had were perfectly fine but nothing stellar. The service was decent and we were in and out in under an hour, but the bread didn't come until 2 minutes before the entrees, and even though I had told our server we need to be out by a certain time he didn't ask if we wanted dessert until it was so late we barely had time to process the bill. Oh well, we weren't sure we wanted dessert anyway, but we might have been persuaded if he had been quicker. I did like the wine list - not too long but with some local and foreign offerings by the glass and half litre.

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Vij's1480 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver
Good restaurant but why all the hype?
Submitted Monday, July 18, 2011 - 4:44pm [Dine in]

Vij's food is definitely good, but I wouldn't rave about it like some people do. The little appetizers that get passed around are amazingly flavourful and the full appetizers and main dishes are very tasty. We got a table right away so we were fine, but I don't think I would have thought it worth a 1.5 hour wait.

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Bistro Pastis2153 W. 4th Ave, Vancouver
A great French restaurant
Submitted Monday, July 18, 2011 - 4:41pm [Dine in]

My first time at this restaurant, initiated by a http://grooster.com voucher, and I was thoroughly impressed. Food quality and flavours were comparable to my favourite French restaurant in Vancouver: Le Crocodile. Bistro Pastis is a more relaxed restaurant, although the service is still stellar. The only thing I didn't like was that the tables are quite close together and I had a hard time blocking out the neighbouring conversation. Aside from that, the overall noise level was never too much even when the restaurant was full.

Every dish we tried was fantastic: les ris de veau to start, lamb and duck mains, a couple of cheeses (good cheese but the price was steep for such a small amount), and the chocolate mouse to finish. There were so many other menu options that I wanted to try, so I'll definitely have to visit again... escargots, coquilles st jacques, foie gras.....

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Closed
RTL Regional Tasting Lounge1130 Mainland, Vancouver
Good for conversation aided by food and wine
Submitted Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 12:39pm [Dine in]

This is probably not a great place if you're really hungry, but if you want to hang out with friends and share some plates and wine it's great.

From their current BC/Greece/Italy menu we tried:
pita bread & dips - quite good
marinated olives - very good
pizza of the day - very nice crust
steamed mussels in curry - delicious broth
crab & shrimp cakes - decent typical crab cakes
lamb chops - very tender and yummy
hazelnut chocolate tart - extremely velvety & good

Service was very attentive on a slow Thursday night. I guess most of our dishes were small plates so the final bill was a bit pricey for that but still not too bad. The two bottles of wine we ordered were reasonable at $45 each, a nice rose and a good white from France. They have a good selection of wines, including lots by the glass or half-glass.

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Closed
Century Restaurant & Bar432 Richards Street, Vancouver
Good in all ways
Submitted Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 10:49am [Dine in]

A very enjoyable restaurant, although the menu isn't thoroughly Latin American (the soup of the day was New England clam chowder, for example, and one of their specialties is shepherd's pie). Regardless, all 5 of us found the meal to be quite tasty, and the decor of the room is incredible. The service was extremely attentive, which I find refreshing these days even though most restaurants aren't extremely busy, but it was a little creepy that the waiter figured out all of our names without being told. There are many enticing dishes on the menu and I definitely want to go back to try some more.

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Nuba207B West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Wonderful and delicious lunch spot
Submitted Friday, September 4, 2009 - 5:33pm [Dine in]

Tried this for lunch today with a friend and we were both impressed. The place was full but not noisy and service was good. The decor is nice and they've done a good job to get daylight into a sub-grade space.

The food is delicious. We opted for the 2-course vegetarian sampler for 2, which is great to get a bunch of different flavours, and it costs only $13/person! The waiter mentioned that their vegetarian dishes are their strong points. It started with the baba ghanooj, hummus, and taboulleh - all very tasty with nice, fresh pitas. Then came a round serving platter with several compartments: deep-fried cauliflower w/ lemon and salt (outstanding!), mjadra, falafels, veggie hushwi, and olives w/ feta, plus tahini, hot sauce, and tzaziki as accompaniments. There wasn't one item that wasn't really good. Phenomenal value and an enjoyable lunch.

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Al Porto Ristorante321 Water Street, Vancouver
A nice Italian restaurant
Submitted Friday, September 4, 2009 - 5:14pm [Dine in]

I've been here a few times in the last 4 years, on weeknights and weekends, and finally this week for lunch. I always enjoy the meal but am surprised that the place is never more than half full. I think locals consider it more of a restaurant for the tourists. I have found it quite consistent, with good food, usually decent service, and nice decor.

I was spoiled with extremely good gnocchi in Niagara the first time I tried it so I'm quite critical and Al Porto is one place that does a great gnocchi. It's just a shame (to me) that they only serve it with tomato-based sauces. I prefer a mushroom cream or cheese sauce, but that's just me. They make all their pastas fresh and I've enjoyed each one that I've tried. I have also enjoyed the duck and yesterday I tried the veal milanese and that was also good. The chocolate ganache torte was velvety goodness for dessert, just enough to be satisfying.

Service has always been decent on our visits, but never outstanding. The male waiters are always friendly and a bit talkative but seem a bit over-the-top to me, like they're trying too hard to make you feel good so you'll tip well. Yesterday the waiter was doing that to me but almost completely ignoring my uncle, to the extent that when I ordered my dessert he walked away from the table without asking if my uncle wanted anything! Other than that he was good, though... noticed when he took our drink order that the bread hadn't arrived and brought it right away, and our waters were topped-up regularly enough. On our first visit we were given a fabulous recommendation on a red wine, just like a previous reviewer. This is a place to linger a bit as the kitchen isn't super speedy with each course.

The prices aren't cheap, but the food is always good so I'd say the value is solid. It's cheaper than somewhere like Il Giardino, which it should be because it doesn't have premium inventive dishes on the menu. And for dinner you can get 2-for-1 entrees with the Entertainment book, repeatedly throughout the year, so you don't have to wait for Dine Out for better value.

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Closed
Vallarta Grill, The102 Water Street, Vancouver
Bland and never busy
Submitted Friday, September 4, 2009 - 12:50pm [Dine in]

Chose Vallarta Grill on a Saturday night because 4th Avenue was closed around Las Margaritas. The waiter was very nice, friendly, and fairly efficient, and one person in our group of 7 who had to eat quickly was able to order and get his food in record time. Drinks were kept topped-up or re-ordered as needed.

The food itself was quite bland for the most part. The people who ordered enchiladas said they were decent, and the fajitas were fine - hard to make a mistake with those! The quesadillas were small and had only cheese and chicken... not even served with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole on the side. The 3 other dishes were unimpressive.

It's unfortunate because the decor of the place is very Mexican and enjoyable and the staff is nice. I walk by the restaurant every day and it's never very busy at all, maybe 1/3 full when they have live music. La Casita, at the other end of the block, is much busier, although I've tried there as well and I can't say the food was any better. Service at La Casita was definitely worse. Perhaps if you make careful food choices, Vallarta Grill can be a pleasant dining experience.

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Closed
Cannery Seafood House, The2205 Commissioner Street, Vancouver
Great Special Dinner
Submitted Monday, August 10, 2009 - 7:04pm [Dine in]

We finally had a chance to try The Cannery and we were not disappointed at all. The ambiance is really nice and the service is extremely attentive. The waiter was a big help in choosing wines to go with our meals - he suggested specific wines in our price range for each dish and for the most part the matches were excellent. He got a little confused about who was having which wine at which time so we had to remind him a couple of times. The appetizers were eaten happily - lobster bisque for the other 3 and I can't remember what I had (it was good but didn't stand out). My entree on the other hand was spectacular - Salmon Wellington. Mmmmmmm :) The recipe is on their website so I'm going to try it at home, but I'm sure it's hard to get the salmon cooked just right. They cooked it perfectly on the night we were there. The others all went for a white fish, which was either the halibut or that night's special. Just like my appetizer, they thought the fish was good but not extra special.

For dessert I wasn't something rich even though my meal was really filling, but the waiter persuaded me to go for the lighter mousse strata. It was good, but not what I was looking for. My husband liked it since he likes lighter desserts. The other two had the sampler and were quite pleased.

In all it was a very nice dining experience with impressive service. I wouldn't say it's the best restaurant in Vancouver since Le Crocodile and Il Giardino had food that was a tad better all around, but definitely a place I would consider returning to for a special occasion when everyone wants seafood.

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Italian Kitchen1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver
There are better Italian options
Submitted Monday, August 10, 2009 - 4:52pm [Dine in]

My first visit to Italian Kitchen in Sept '08 was really good, but my second visit a few weeks ago was bad and I don't plan to try again. In both cases the service was horribly slow and unapologetic, and even weird. On both visits one person at my table was so frustrated with the service that she/he got up to chase down the server! But the similarities were only in the service.

The first visit was with a group of girlfriends. We ordered a bunch of bruschetta to start and we all loved it, especially the mushroom one. Eventually the wine appeared and it, too, was to everyone's liking. We all had different pasta dishes, but each of us was extremely happy with the flavours and how it was cooked. We had brought a special birthday cake with us and the servers couldn't figure out how to cut and plate it for us, but they managed to bring us plates and a knife so we could do it ourselves.

The second visit was just me and my husband. The service was at least as bad but seemed worse because we didn't have a lot to talk about to fill the time, and we were very hungry. We ordered a bruschetta appetizer to share, which helped to placate our empty stomachs but had very little taste. The pasta plate for 2 came next (after a loooooong wait) and none of it lived up to the previous experience. The spaghetti and meatballs were more bland than the sauce you can buy in a jar at Safeway, the spicy dish wasn't spicy at all, the cheese sauce was not cheesy, and the creamy sauce tasted like a basic white sauce with no flavourings and too much flour.

Maybe it was an off night, but since several reviewers have posted similar comments I think it has probably just gone downhill since September. Maybe the Glowbal group let it slip when they turned their attention back to Coast and moving it to it's new location on Alberni.

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Flying Tiger, The2958 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Large Portion Tapas, Great Value
Submitted Monday, August 10, 2009 - 3:54pm [Dine in]

I coerced a friend to try this place even though he doesn't like tapas restaurants. He finds the portions are small and prices are high so they're just not good value for a big eater like him. The Flying Tiger is different. Portions on some dishes are almost meal-sized, and others are smaller but still significant, and all at the same prices as other tapas places. The flavours of everything we tried ranged from quite good to spectacular. The drink list is quite extensive, and service is quite good. The kitchen was slow, though, especially on my second visit. Even ordering extra crepes for the pulled duck or papadums for the indian plate took a long time. Go in with the mindset of having a lingering meal and you will enjoy it.

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Yummy & Friendly
Submitted Monday, August 10, 2009 - 3:30pm [Dine in]

Good quality, served by extremely friendly people, at great value for Gastown. Sometimes I stop in for a morning muffin - huge muffins in a variety of flavours, brushed with maple syrup on top. They are among the best muffins I have sampled from Gastown coffee shops, and at just over $2 for a muffin and coffee it's by far the best deal. They recently changed their coffee supplier to a much better product, too.

Oh, and not to be overlooked, they have a superb selection of ice cream. I also sampled a simple maple cookie that was surprisingly delicious. They have many other treats that I haven't tried yet, but based on how good everything else has been I wouldn't hesitate to try anything they make.

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Chill Winston3 Alexander St., Vancouver
Poor Service, Snobby Crowd
Submitted Monday, August 10, 2009 - 3:17pm [Dine in]

Despite reviews of poor service, 4 of us decided to have dinner there on a Friday evening because of the large patio. While the food was good, it didn't stand out enough to make it worth the wait. We were seated right away, but there were incredibly long absences by the server. Maybe instead of 2 hostesses there could have been an extra server instead? Or maybe it was just that one server, because the other half of the patio seemed to have decent service. To top it off, the diners at some of the other tables were rude to the point of interfering with the enjoyment of others, simply by talking loudly about people at other tables in a negative sense - I guess they were unable to contain their displeasure at the slow service. Plus, panhandlers like to hang around and harass diners around the edges of the patio. All in all, not a pleasant experience, and the food isn't good enough to warrant a repeat visit.

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