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discerning_palatevancouverSince July 1, 200736 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (2.9)
  • Value2.5 (2.7)
  • Ambiance3 (2.9)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 36 Reviews Found
Nuba207B West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Wanted to like it more
Submitted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 6:39pm [Dine in]

I have been exposed to Middle Eastern food the last few years so was excited about going to Nuba. We were told the owner is Lebanese and when asked about the chef, the waitress only said he had cooked in a something star (can’t remember if 4 or 5) restaurant in Mexico….. She didn’t elaborate to say his specialty was Middle Eastern or Lebanese….OhhhhKaay… Let the food speak for itself. We ordered lamb kibbeh, beef tenderloin, catch of the day, with sides of roasted potatoes and taboulleh. It was hit and mostly a miss for me. The lamb kibbeh had good flavour. Nothing special about the catch of the day though, which was more reminiscent of a fish prepared as west coast cuisine. The tenderloin was done to my liking (med-rare), had a nice slightly sweet glaze to it and the caramelized onions were tasty. But is this Lebanese ‘cause it sure tasted like a regular steak. The tahini rice was not fully cooked through and was very thick and dense. I think I was expecting more of a pilaf not a failed risotto. The potatoes seasoned with thyme were too dry and boring. I know cinnamon is a widely used spice in the cuisine but neither of us appreciated it in the taboulleh. I didn’t mind the ambiance. I know it’s a popular place to hang out with it’s warm dim lighting but there was something about the layout that felt cold.

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ORU Restaurant1038 Canada Place, Vancouver
Pleasant Experience
Submitted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - 12:58pm [Dine in]

We were pleased with the experience.

For appetizers we had the Sake Kasu Sablefish and the Marinated Flank Steak Salad. We thought the fish was perfectly done nice and smooth and moist. It was favoured nicely, not too overpowering so that you still taste the fish. The salad was both substantial and light with fresh flavours. Thinking the cilantro would overpower it I started picking and putting it aside but realized it added a nice touch to it and ate it all. If the portions were larger they would make excellent entrées.

For entrees we had Korean BBQ Pork Chop with sweet potato, cabbage, kimchi vinaigrette, and the Butter Chicken with tandoor roasted chicken, rice, naan bread, mint chutney. Ok granted there could have more chicken but when you go to other Indian restaurants that serve entrées of butter chicken the portions are often small. The buffet restaurants lack the subtly in flavors and spices. The chutney was light and cooling against the heat of the chicken. For me the only problem with the meal was not enough rice or naan. There was so much yummy sauce and not enough carbs to eat it with. The BBQ pork was a large portion good for meat eaters but a bit dry. Maybe it was overdone and/or lacked the fat and marbling I love when eating BBQ pork. The side was tasty and an interesting twist on mashed potatoes.

The Mango Parfait was light and fluffy and when you hit the concentrated mango puree, it’s quite lovely. The ginger chocolate cookies were a bit of a miss. They were neither crisp nor chewy, instead somewhere in between so they could be better. Since we were in a Pan Asian restaurant had to try the Japanese Cheesecake. Don’t expect the consistency to be like the traditional western cheesecakes. This is almost cakey. The side fruit and angalise complemented the cake and added moisture to it.

I liked the airy feeling of the restaurant, nice and bright and clean. I didn’t think Ikea once. We booked based on some of the food critic reviews and I only read negative reviews about the service after committing to go so I was a bit nervous. But we had great service from the hostess who brought us to our table, to the host who took care of us during dinner as well as our waiter. They came regularly to see how we were doing but not too often. They offered but didn’t push us to order alcoholic drinks thank goodness. I think what impressed me was that they had that combination of providing good service as well as being relatable individuals. Nothing like the phony service in cookie cutter mid level suburban restaurants that are moving into the downtown business core.

Still waiting to try the ramen that I keep reading about.

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East Fusion Food88 West Pender Street, #1021, Vancouver
tasty dishes
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 9:30pm [Dine in]

I was skeptical since I heard it was situated in the mall. A relative brought some take out home and it suprisingly was quite good. I went there on a Saturday mid day to have a late lunch and between the two us, had Singapore noodles, congee and deep fried tofu (salt/chili flakes/garlic). Everything came out really well. The congee was above standard in taste and consistency (nice and silky, not to runny or thick). The tofu nice and hot, crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. The singapore noodles nice curry flavor not too bland or overpowering. Next time I'll try some other dishes. Overall impressed with this restaurant in poor old Tinseltown.

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Boss Bakery & Restaurant, The532 Main, Vancouver
decent
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 9:21pm [Dine in]

This has come to be a family staple when we find ourselves there on weekends. It is much better than the Metrowtown location which has gone downhill. The house fried rice, congee, beef brisket chow mein (one of my current favorites), kimchee fried rice are solid. One family member has come to appreciate their bakery BBQ pork buns with pineapple topping (no real pineapple, just a crumb topping). It's not bad, a mix of sweet/savory.

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Guu Otokomae375 Water Street, #105, Vancouver
good for a group
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 4:43pm [Dine in]

I like the décor more at this location than on Thurlow. It’s great for a group, but there’s something about the Thurlow location that I still prefer. I think it’s just sitting at the bar, chatting, eating good food and watching the guys do there thing in the kitchen. Anyway in the Water St. venue some of the things we had were the grilled beef & vege skewer ginger/garlic sauce, yakiudon, grilled fish with miso sauce, deep fried squid with spicy sauce, and yam fries. Skip the yam fries. They had a novel idea of using different kinds of yams but they were too soggy. I always get a kick out of watching the little flakes on top of the yakiudon dance. The skewered beef was ok but nothing exciting. The sauce that was used with the calamari made the dish tasty. Next time I’ll try more novel items. Also looks like they have an interesting drink selection too.

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Japa DogCorner of Burrard and Smithe, Vancouver
novel and interesting
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 11:17am [Dine in]

With all the positive comments I was looking forward to trying these hotdogs. But I also had to be conscious of the fact, how good can a hot dog be? So with those things in mind I found that it was quite good. I had the Bratwurst Terimayo. It offered more of a Japanese food flavour than I expected making it distinctly different from regular hot dogs. Someone who had the Korokke said it was yummy. If I ask for the Terimayo again I’ll ask to go light on the teriyaki sauce. I’ll go back but I don’t think I’ll have cravings in the near or immediate future. Also the almost hour long line up is a bit of a deterrence from going again soon. If I want a regular hot dog or smokie I’ll go to the stand at the kitty corner since they are nice folks too.

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Closed
Tasty Village4735 Willingdon Ave., Burnaby
Solid
Submitted Friday, October 3, 2008 - 9:45am [Dine in]

This section of Burnaby really doesn't have much in terms of Chinese food so it's nice to have this place and the Taiwanese place next door. At first I was skeptical but the take out/delivery has been pretty decent. It's a cross between the old Chinese Canadian restaurants and Cantonese restaurants. This is a great place for sweet and sour pork which is very good. We typically also get a hot pot dish too fish or chicken, a tofu dish, and spring/egg rolls among others. If your expecting the standard ginger beef don't order it here. They actually use a lot of ginger and its very pronounced, Some of us liked it though. Finally one of our favorites has been the deep fried calimari. But the quality control is not there. Once it was so bad. It didn't even looke deep fried or the oil wasn't hot enough. Also there was barely any batter, just maybe a few sprinkles of flour dustings. So it was pretty soggy with hardly any garlic or chilies on top. I just wanted to let them know and the person was very apologetic. I told her that I just wanted to let her know for the future that the quality had just gone substandard so as to not turn any one else off in the future.

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Peaceful Restaurant532 West Broadway, Vancouver
Good Food, Service So So
Submitted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - 1:56pm [Dine in]

The food was good but the service not so good. It looks much like a family run business so it's hard to criticize but the young man who was serving us just seemed a bit out of it. When we got there he seemed disoriented and we had to wait quite a while to be seated even though the restaurant was quite empty at that point. All the food that we ordered was good so no compaints there. Some dishes seemed a bit pricey. Also we discovered when we got home that whoever packed our leftovers forgot a whole dish, which happened to be one of our favorites during the meal and there was quite a bit left. Too many little negative things made our experience less than stellar. But I still recommend giving them a try. I may not go back for a while if at all though.

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Cactus Club Cafe588 Burrard Street, Vancouver
What's the big deal?
Submitted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - 1:41pm [Dine in]

OK, so it's been a long time coming since all that anyone had to go to was the Keg in the area. There are often line ups after 2:00pm but when I went there it was quite the disappointment. My food was lukewarm/cold and I wasn't going to wait while my friend finished her meal before I got mine so I ate it as is. Also the atmosphere wasn't like a hang out, as much as the business crowd "hangs out". Instead it is a place to see and be seen. Come on, this is the Cactus Club!

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Cactus Club Cafe1530 W. Broadway, Vancouver
good food/convenient location
Submitted Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 10:30pm [Dine in]

We started with an order of yam fries as an appetizer. They are so yummy even plain as well as with the dip that comes with it, but they have to be hot. Then I moved onto the whiskey ribs and shared a Caesar salad on the side. So far this is my favorite place for Caesar salads. The server was considerate enough to split the salad into two plates without our request. It was all enjoyable and I pretty much finished my meal. I even ate all my veggies (asparagus). The only thing I would have changed was to order a substitute side over the mashed potatoes. The potatoes were much too heavy after eating the yam fries and salad. Besides, they tasted like Swanson TV dinner mashed potatoes….Now if they had been the Keg garlic mashed potatoes that might be different.

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Phnom Penh Restaurant244 E Georgia St, Vancouver
Decent
Submitted Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 9:26pm [Dine in]

I guess I was expecting to be wowed but ended up being mildly satisfied with no major complaints. The interior relatively clean, service was solid and the food was decent. As the dishes came one by one I dutifully made my way through them, all the while quietly looking forward to the chicken wings with such expectation I could hardly contain myself. Finally the wings were the last to arrive and they were supposed to make the rest of the lunch worth while. Well, they were good. The price makes them especially a good value. They are quite tasty but they have a strange sweetness to them like they added sugar to the coating or something. I’ve had better, namely my moms. I guess she’ll have to teach me how to make them. They have a relatively large menu so I’m willing to go back again to try other dishes but I probably won’t go out of my way anytime soon.

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Closed
Babylon Cafe716 Robson Street, Vancouver
Love the Shawarma
Submitted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 11:27am [Dine in]

OK, I guess it’s not fair to penalize a place for being too good. I resisted putting on a review in for quite some time but this place really satisfies. I don’t get there as often as I would like but I love the chicken shawarma. The combination of taste and texture just keeps you eating and eating and eating....Yes it's busy but the taste and value are outstanding.

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Red Sea Cafe670 E Broadway, Vancouver
Delightful
Submitted Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 4:05pm [Dine in]

This is a hidden gem along the east Broadway strip. If you didn’t live in the neighbourhood or aren’t in the know you could easily bypass this one. The place is small, clean and comfortable. The service is prompt and friendly. There was plenty of food for the four of us even though we got the vegetarian platter for 3. The nice thing about our platter was that we were able to try most of the vegetarian dishes offered by the restaurant, all of which were good and all had their own very distinct flavour. They do offer meat dishes as well which I’m sure are good and would like to try another time. So it’s great for vegetarian and meat eaters alike. If you can I do recommend getting the platters so you can try a variety of items, plus it’s fun. We went Friday and it’s nice to see it busy with an eclectic group of customers. Oh, it’s affordable too.

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Closed
Rare1355 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Rare Dine Out Night
Submitted Friday, January 25, 2008 - 4:05pm [Dine in]

Dine Out at Rare was a great overall experience, from the food, service, to the atmosphere. We had read good reviews about the restaurant despite past stories of slow service (that was a couple of years ago) so we decided to go with Rare. On the contrary, the service was friendly, attentive and prompt. Water constantly filled and napkins folded. Also, despite the fact that a member of our party was a bit late we didn’t feel pressured at all to hurry.

All were satisfied with our meals. While not quite as intricate and subtle as West, we all felt that the flavors of the appetizers and entrees were remarkable. A couple of people felt the cheese was their favorite desserts, the spice cake was a bit to strong for me but the carrot mousse was innovative. I was satisfied with my chocolate trio, especially the dark chocolate tart. The Cornish hen was moist and just the right flavor with the mole sauce, probably more subtle than the shortribs which were falling off the bone and full of flavor. The person who ordered the tuna quite liked her dish and even liked the beans on the side even though she typically doesn’t like beans. I don’t think I could get enough of the wild mushroom tart, which was a highlight for me.

But I think the overall highlight came in the form of the little surprises in between the dishes. I had read briefly that other people experienced something of the sort but I didn’t read in detail so as to not expect it for our meals. They initially brought us this tiny square savory fennel cake before our appetizer, then later a little concoction of lemongrass/grapefruit to cleanse the palate, and finally a crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and ever so light macaroon. There is no doubt in our minds that this was a close to perfect dine out night.

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Closed
Saltlik1032 Alberni St, Vancouver
steak nightmare
Submitted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 7:34pm [Dine in]

I've had a number of steaks in the last year at different restaurants and I always ask for medium rare and while they range in doneness they have fallen into the category of medium rare. I have never had to return one until Saltlik. I cut into the first peice, not bad, then the second piece was pure red with no visible grains showing whatsoever, it was rare through. I pondered over whether I would try and make myself eat it because I had a bad feeling if I brought it back they wouldn't do it right. I couldn't eat it though so gave it back and when it came back it was well, well done. I ate it because I just didn't want to wait around some more while everyone else was pretty much done their meal.

Another person at the table didn't care for the way they cooked her ribs and doused the leftovers with some ketchup or bbq sauce when she got home. The other person who had a fish dish liked her meal which made me think well that's something but then next I saw her she said she was sick as a dog that night.

The service was good though. I may consider going back for appetizers if more than a few people wanted to go but I would never recommend this place.

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Cheshire Cheese Inn123 Carrie Cates Court, #218, North Vancouver
So so, definitely disappointing
Submitted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 1:04pm [Dine in]

It just wasn't as appetizing as I remember. I had the Toad in the Hole and the whole dish was bland, dry and lukewarm. I know English food isn't considered as many as the most tasty but I always found the Elephant Castle's food quite good and comforting. I think I might have given it a passing grade if it had been hot. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for heavy heavy food that just sits in your stomach like a big rock.

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Liberty Bakery3699 Main Street, Vancouver
Nice little neighbourhood place.
Submitted Monday, September 3, 2007 - 1:51pm [Dine in]

I don’t go as often as I used to but I still have my favorites. For the panninis there’s the vegan, turkey pesto, and ham and swiss. Then there’s the standard black bean lime soup, lots of flavor for vegetarian (I think vegan). Also it’s nice to get the pitcher of lemonade if there are two of you or more. Finally there are all the baked goods that are very good too. Things that stand out for me are their lemon bunt cake, almond pastry, and anything and everything with buttercream…. The prices may seem a bit pricey but relative to other pastry places that serve the same types of baked goodes it’s not bad. One of these days I may splurge and spend the money to buy the bread they make panninis out of. The caveats include the inconsistency in service and the last time I was there it seemed like they were slowing down on their inventory turnover. I can kind of overlook the service since they are family run and that goes a long way for me. But the last time I was there it seemed like they didn’t have the inventory they used to in the pastry section and maybe it wasn’t quite as fresh perhaps because of decline in foot traffic? In any case, for now I will go back.

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Fung May Chinese Cuisine4500 Kingsway, #2301, Burnaby
fresh hot food.
Submitted Monday, August 27, 2007 - 11:05pm [Dine in]

I wanted to give a review for this little food fair stall. It's partial since we mainly get the fried rice and congee (my comfort food). The ingredients and dishes we get are fresh and hot. The congee has always been piping hot and tasty and even better than some sit down places. The fried rice freshly made and the BBQ pork is not chewy and dry like some places. The best part, no wait, maybe 3-5 minutes tops which I gladly wait for freshness. I've never tried any of the food in the trays but I've seen plenty order from them. I'm not sure but they may have raised the prices a tiny bit but for fried rice, congee, and donut it was $10.00. Why wait in long lines and get poor service in places like The Boss or Maxims?

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Han Ju Tofu Hot Pot4500 Kingsway, #1218, Burnaby
Used to be better
Submitted Monday, August 27, 2007 - 10:21pm [Dine in]

We started going here a few years ago and it used to be really good. I’m not into the hotpot but those that ordered it would get the seafood hotpot. They really enjoyed the amount and variety of seafood. I used to get my favorite pork on rice with napa cabbage, spicy tofu, and egg as side dishes. Since then we noticed it has steadily gone downhill. I can only guess it must be new owners/management/cooks. We recently went back and still confirmed, my pork dish isn’t as moist as it used to be, the tofu not as silky, the egg overcooked, and the cabbage replaced with baby bok choi. The hotpot has steadily declined in the variety of ingredients and had a ton of noodles, hardly any seafood and only one mussel in the whole dish. It’s not the place we crave to go to anymore, but now once in a blue moon if we want to give it another try. It's still ok but given the relative decline in quality, I can't help but be disappointed.

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Green Basil4623 Kingsway, Burnaby
Attention to the Details
Submitted Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 5:10pm [Dine in]

I was pleasantly surprised with Green Basil. Not what I would typically expect from a Thai restaurant let alone one on this strip of Kingsway. First of the décor isn’t the cheap or cheesy look of many Thai/Asian restaurants, not that there’s anything wrong with that look. This one was had a warm almost sophisticated feel. It was also very clean….Now onto the food.

We had the tom yum gai (hot and sour chicken soup), calamari, fried noodle (pork), lettuce wrap, yellow curry ostrich, yellow curry lamb, kale with what tasted like a hint of shrimp sauce, and a fish dish with a chili sauce. The dishes that stand out for me were the soup because it was so full of flavor, nothing subtle about this soup, the lettuce wrap and the curry. The dishes just seemed to be made with a little extra care than the typical Thai restaurant, even the one way down on west Broadway that has the great reputation.

Finally the excellent service is just not what you would expect in an Asian restaurant. They are very attentive servers, will provide suggestions, always making sure you have clean plates and full glasses of water. I'm definitely willing to go back to try more of their other dishes.

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