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FOOD-DISCERNERVancouverSince April 15, 200719 Reviews
Average Rating
2.5 (2.7)
  • Food3 (2.8)
  • Service2.5 (2.7)
  • Value2.5 (2.6)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.5)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 Reviews Found
Yuko Maki1540 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Unpleasant experience
Submitted Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 10:55pm [Dine in]

My dining experience here is so bad that I won't even bother to be prosaic in my description, so I will just enumerate the various points:

1) walk into the restaurant .... weird musty smell --- but your olfactory organs get used to it in about 5 minutes

2) service was prompt as I was early, O order Lunch Special Box 1 with no teriyaki sauce slathered over the beef ....food came 10 minutes later...acceptable

3) The california roll was weird ...they were standing on a wet tray .... I bit into one and the faux-crab filling smelt fishy .....( eww....is it stale, was it from yesterday?!) .....it looks like the faux-crab filling was either defrosted badly so the water thawed onto the tray ?!

4) The "tempura" part cosisted of 1 prawn tempura, I spring roll, and 1 yam tempura....all very oily .....
I ate the prawn tempura and felt my mouth swimming in oil. I put the spring roll where the rice vinegar from the salad dressing remained and tried to "neutralise" the oil still oozing out from the spring roll....I was so desperate I even squeezed their 1 thin slice of orange hoping the acid from the orange juice might globulize the oil from the spring roll.

I left the stinky california roll uneaten, along with the oily yam tempura. One guy sat beside me and ordered a plate of tempura .... my stomach churned as I heard him munching on the deep fried tempura. He order a bowl of rice to go with it .......

To balance it, the waitress did come by to see if my tea needed refilling, but I was so preoccupied with problem-solving Box 1 I didn't even have time to drink the tea.

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Hawker's Delight4127 Main St., Vancouver
Delicious food, Inconsiderate eaters
Submitted Friday, July 20, 2012 - 12:22pm [Dine in]

The food is delicious, fairly representative of Singaporean/ Malaysian food. Here are some recommended dishes (Got your pencil and paper ready ?):
1) Prawn noodle (ask for no pork)
2) Lontong
3) Mee siam or Mee rebus
4) Laksa
5) Dried mee pok (ask for no pork)
6) Char kway Teow (ask for no chicken)

Watch out for Inconsiderate diners who only care about themselves though. After finishing their meals, they leave their dirty plates, cups, bowls and utensils for others to pick up after them. It is only courtesy and graciousness that we clear up the table we've used for others.
We need to remind them to clear up after themselves, return the used and dirty dishes to the receptacle.

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Earls4361 Kingsway, Burnaby
Discriminatory Service - not the first time at Earls
Submitted Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 10:09am [Dine in]

I went with my partner to Earls at Burnaby (beside Swiss Chalet in Burnaby) for an early dinner on April 21, Sat at 5.10 pm. We were seated at the top right corner of the restaurant (as you enter), beside the kitchen and wine cabinet.

The host was a male, with a lightly trimmed beard on the sides of his face. After taking the orders from us, he started addressing only my partner throughout the meal as if I wasn't there.

This is about the fourth time this has happened. You have all these waiters and waitresses dressed up who appear pretty on the outside yet have no sense of basic human courtesy or kindness.

I have nothing much to comment about the food. All I can say is, Earls now stands for discriminatory service.
My question to Earl's management is, how do you train your staff on basic customer service?

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East Fusion Food88 West Pender Street, #1021, Vancouver
Worst F&B Manager ever
Submitted Friday, June 4, 2010 - 2:29pm [Dine in]

The only reason why I go there is for a quick meal after lunch time when most establishments are closed. My favorite is their wonton noodles. But I admit the eating place can smell very fishy. The waitresses are nice but the balding manager is the worst I've ever met. No thank you, no acknowledgement, curt, impersonal. Is there someone above him who we can complain to so as to wake him up ?!

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Provence Marinaside1177 Marinaside Cres, Vancouver
Disappointing experience
Submitted Saturday, May 8, 2010 - 9:15am [Dine in]

I went there to celebrate my partner's birthday and were escorted to a window seat, as requested. It was a good start. Things started going downhill as the server, a 40-ish year old lady approached. She addressed her conversation to my partner completely and ignored me. Not wanting to spoil the evening, I kept quiet. To be fair, I tried to look for other aspects of the dining experience I could enjoy. Unfortunately, the mashed olive paste for spreading on the hard thin toast was salty, and so was the ciabatta bread that came along with it. I became increasingly irritated when the server kept on asking my partner how the food was and was oblivious to my presence again. I decided to assert myself and make my voice heard by asking for more bread (hoping that the next batch would be less salty but it still was). We ordered clams and mussels as starters. Although they were fresh, we bit into sand on a few occasions--suffice to say that it was horrible to be crunching on sand while eating shellfish. I liked the seafood bits on my linguini but the sauce had too much tomato paste for my liking. I must say that I prefer the seafood linguini served at another chain of restaurants (and which was less expensive too). My partner had nothing to say about about his steak dish although he commended on the fries that came along with it. The server still persisted in ignoring me and addressed her questions about the food etc to my partner. She even presented the bill assumingly to my partner, and a look of surprise showed on her face when I paid for it! Overall, it was a disappointing dining experience, and much less redeemed by an unprofessional server who is insensitive about her partial treatment of her diners--clearly underlining a training need to be educated on proper customer service in this restaurant.

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Tamarind Hill Malaysian Cuisine1440 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Excellent Intro to South-Eastern Cuisine
Submitted Monday, August 24, 2009 - 2:23pm [Dine in]

If you love the exotic yet tasty blend of spices, tropical herbs and some exotica without having to travel too far, then you should check out THNV. "3"- Solid; "4"-Outstanding

It opened recently and was quite abuzz on a Sat night when we went there. Diners tricked in while we were in the restaurant. Overall it has a nice ambience, although personally I found it a trifle dark as the walls were painted black.

As I spent many years in SE Asia, I was well-acquainted with the food. We ordered laksa (Singapore version), Gado Gado (SE salad), rendang beef, sambal green beans and Hainanese Chicken rice. The laksa was very good (95%) - the broth was tasty yet light with the savoury taste of coconut and blend of spice, prawn, chicken shreds and fresh caramelized shallots. The Gado Gado (75%) portion and the satay sauce dressing could have been more for its price. We like the portion size of the Hainanese Chicken & Rice, it will be a great intro to anyone who had not tried this dish before (80%). However, I would have liked the Hainese Chicken to be more aromatic (with sesame oil as another dimension), and the chicken to be more tender; the black sweet soy was also missing as a condiment and would have heightened the enjoyment. I felt that the beef in the rendang was too overcooked to the extent that it became soft and almost just dissolved when I chewed it. (However, my partner did not notice it). I hope it's an aberration, but just for this occasion I would rate it 70%. The sambal green beans (93%) was spectacular - I love how the green beans were coated with the aromatic belachan sambal and micro "har my" (tiny dried shrimps).

Newcomers are also advised to try the mee goreng, which I heard the neighboring table ooohing and ahhhing over.

Service was polished and excellent.

SUGGESTIONS TO OWNERS (if they're reading)
One dish which I would have liked was "black vinegared Kung Pao Chicken with peanuts/ cashew nuts" which I was drawn to in another of TH's competitors. How about Hokkien Mee, prawn mee noodles and dry wanton noodles ?

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Earls303 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Sand in my soup, Biased Service
Submitted Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 7:27pm [Dine in]

I ordered the clam chowder and had a nasty experience of grinding into sand particles when I chewed on the little clam morsels in the soup. I wonder if the clams were washed properly. One of my fellow diners complained that the waitress did not look at him when she attended our table. These 2 incidents not only happened today, but happened more than once on the occasions we visited Earls.

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Guu with Garlic1698 Robson St, Vancouver
I WOULDN'T miss my plane for this
Submitted Friday, May 22, 2009 - 9:17pm [Dine in]

A line-up outside the restaurant started at 5.25 pm on Friday, 5 minutes before it threw its doors open at 5.40, 10 minutes later than its stated opening hours.

Already the restaurant was quickly occupied with the bigger tables reserved. The only vacancies left for 2 of us was at the service area. Boy did we regret it.

Service was relatively prompt and we placed our orders quickly. The shrill and loud hollering of orders and the raucousness generated made the whole dining experience rather intolerable and uncomfortable - that said, it is typical of this genre of dining known as the "izakaya" experience.

We ordered tuna sashimi (French style), daikon salad, calamari, bamboo shoot, udon with perilla and seaweed topping, salmon cappachio and grilled soba.

The grilled soba looked quite "frightening" to me. The skin looked strangely colored and marbled. But to be fair, some parts of the mackeral (soba) tasted not bad -- the fishy fattiness which is supposed to be good for you. Uncovering the dish itself revealed lemon slices and fine whole dill twigs that was baked together with the fish.

However, the udon was the worst. Not sure what it was, but my partner said it tasted like soap ?! The udon had a starchy coating and tasted funny, like liquid detergent was used on some utensil which was not washed properly before our udon was cooked in it.

Unlike what another reviewer said earlier, both of us commented that the remaining dishes were NOT what we would "miss our planes" for. My intelligent palate detected the use of common Japanese mayo, and if Guu with garlic means literally sprinkling dehydrated fried garlic slivers on every single dish unimaginatively, then Guu garlic is something we can do without. To me, that was disappointing as i thought a culinary experience involving garlic would ingeniously work this wonderful stinking rose into each gastronomic piece of creation.

Price-wise, both my partner and I suspect that many of the foreign "students" who frequent this joint are the ones who could live off their parents back home.

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Closed
Sen Sushi1855 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver
Tasty, Fresh, Flavorful & at Great prices :)
Submitted Sunday, March 8, 2009 - 1:07am [Dine in]

Planned a takeout with 4 adults and 2 children. Ordered a party tray + tuna maki + salmon maki + oshinko maki + 3 spinach gommae.

It was YUM - O ! Everyone was paying compliments to the chef at home as we tucked into the food. The rolls had different ingredients - the results were tasty, textureful and someone commented that they are not the usual run-of-the-mill sushi served at those many sushi establishments plugged along the Lonsdale artery.

Sen Sushi may look very humble from the outside, but hey, service was friendly and flexible and food's great. And the total cost for all the above? only $31 . What a deal :) We have become converts.

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Closed
Dosilac132 West 16th Street, North Vancouver
Another Great Korean Eating Place
Submitted Sunday, February 15, 2009 - 12:25am [Dine in]

Situated in Central Lonsdale, North Vancouver, this is a newly opened place that served solid Korean food. Our server (the onwer) was very helpful introducing us to the dishes and was highly attentive to our needs and comfort, replenishing our drinks at appropriate intervals.

It was evident that much attention was paid to service and presentation. Nothing tacky with their serving bowls and plates. Very professionally selected and tasteful. Impeccable food. I was hesitant to order fish because I had bad fish elsewhere before (Yes !...even in these ubiquitous North American franchises starting with M, C, E and W in BC).

First our miso soups came in a nice ceramic bowl each. It was temperature-hot and had a full flavor rounded off by small slivers of spring onion. Our food arrived. OMG. My BBQ fish (mackeral) (and a generous portion at that too) was to die for ! The skin was crisp, the fish was fresh (yes FRESH !) and well-seasoned. My tastebuds tingled with the occasional rapture as my exploratory tongue found a small salty crystal which attacked my oratory cells, and a burst of fish oil played off the 3-dimensional meat and the grains of wild rice.

Then there were the Korean condiments. One of them was the soy, onion, sweet onion bud, chilli and a hint of rice vinegar all mingling to ecstacize my brain. Dip the specks of fish meat into this psychedelic sauce and voila, fireworks in my mouth!

My hubby ordered the box set with pork ribs and was hmmmm-ing all the way. We had also ordered a bowl of mixed vegetables and rice and egg in a sizzling hot ceramic bowl, with a side dish of Korean red sweetish-salty-spicy soy bean paste. Not much to say, except that we finished it, ON TOP of the bento box full of goodies that we each ordered ! (Yeah I know...we were pigs!)

Lest you start thinking it's just too good to be true - yes, it was. I left my kimchi side (in the box) because I didn't really like it (you may like it cos each person has their own favorite version of Kimchi). I also did not like the thousand island salad side (I wish it was the Korean pickled lettuce carrot salad I had at another restaurant!) But here I'm just picking at little things compared to the otherwise fantastic experience we had. We will be bringing others here and most likely would visit this hidden treasure sometime mid next week !

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Kedah House1652 SE Marine Drive, Vancouver
Value For $, Good Food
Submitted Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 11:52pm [Dine in]

When you pay $10 for an all-you-can-eat, authentic Indonesian food, don't whine about poor service.

First, my 3-stars here mean " Solid" (food rating); 2-Decent (service), 4-Outstanding (value rating). This is the first place where I tasted good Indonesian food. Coming in from a chilly 4 degree late morning, my friend and I tucked in to comforting tom yam soup seasoned just nice, after we sat down and undressed.

I loved the refreshing and fresh Gado-Gado (Indonesian salad of fresh crunchy cucumber sticks, sweet juicy turnip sticks, hard-boiled eggs and assortment of crunchies dressed with sweet, warm fragrant peanut gravy). The sambal eggs had a nice aroma which tantalized my tastebuds as I brought a spoonful of it near my sharp nose. I like the mee goreng (who thought vegetarian mee goreng would be sooooooo good ?), even the brocooli stir fry was good ! I'm not much of a meat eater though my friend said the beef rendang and ayam (chicken) were good...he went for seconds and relished the steamed basamati rice that soaked up the rich flavors.

That the food was good got validated as more and more people (of asian/ south-east asian origin) trickled in. We also spotted a few caucasians eagerly heading to the buffet table and relished each single bite of the yummies they brought back, with smiles and happy faces. Really, they have just visited Indonesia with this gastronomic experience!

I'm not sure why the other reviewers whined about the poor service. We found the 1 male server friendly and obliging, though not an excellent server. Given that this restaurant runs on a cost concept, they have pared down the staff to '1' to reduce the cost and give its customers value for money. As long as you are not a "high-maintenance" customer (like us hee hee) , you will leave happy and satisfied, and ready to come back again for another satisfying meal. (PS I'll be bring my hubby and his brother and family next time for sure.)

oh...another thing, my standards of hygiene are quite high and am glad that the restaurant and its cooks look clean. :)

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Closed
Azia990 Smithe Street, Vancouver
Good place to entertain
Submitted Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 5:11pm [Dine in]

My friends, my partner and I were warmly greeted by the male host. he said you guys look hungry! ....oh really ?! We came in from the cold rain of course we are.

We were seated and the menu arrived. I must say they have very fancy and cheeky names for their dishes. Well I guess this is one way to differentiate yourself from other pan-asian restaurants. We guffawed and laughed at some of the names, much to the annoyance of some of our neighboring patrons. Sorry ! sincerely ! I glanced around and noticed that the patrons are more the yuppy types; otherwise they are quite well-dressed.

My friends ordered Thai curry, Indonesian satay, Veggies in sambal sauce, Malaysian hot wings, sake seafood yakitori and beef.

I actually liked the hot wings . They were crispy crunchy and the sauce was syrupy robust sweet yummy. The seafood yakitori was clearly soaked in sake first before grilled. Nice shrimps I thought.

Now the food was of reasonable standard, though my friends and I commented that the prices were steep. I guess it was the sort of place where you can go to indulge once in a while. Service-wise, our young asian waiter was professional and pro-active although he was quite busy. Some of my friends thought he was quite cute too :)

That night, my partner and I went back. I slept within the hour I got back and was woken up with a horrible heartburn at 1 am. My partner told me he had a heartburn as well.

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Naam, The2724 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Don't know why this place is buzzing
Submitted Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 4:59pm [Dine in]

I've taken an interest to vegetarian food so was quite intrigued when my friends suggested Naam for Saturday brunch. We arrived at 1 pm and the place was abuzz.

We were seated in 6 minutes and I wasn't too sure what to order as I'm not crazy about brunch. I had visited Naam website and was hoping to order the Asian Shitake Mushroom Noodle soup although I was a bit scared about shitake mushrooms imported from China as mushrooms can contain a lot of pesticide residue if not washed properly (I don't want to drink soup loaded with pesticide!!!).

In the end I decided the order the Special House Brunch or something like that. It was a huge plate. I didn't enjoy it. I felt the food was dry and tasteless. Perhaps it would have been better if I had slapped on margarine on the pancakes and soaked the margarined pancake in syrup. Then the large chunks of potatos were quite dry. Shaking salt and pepper only made them saltier and pepperier, you know what I mean ? No taste.
I had wanted to go vegan (and not order eggs) and have the scrambled toufu -- luckily I did not today cos I can't imagine how horribly tasteless that would be ! Despite specifying overeasy eggs, one of my eggs was too cooked.

Another little thing.....my mother-in-law had also sagely advised , "Judge a restaurant by its drinking glasses/ cups and plates" On that account, Naam failed. The plastic water cups were stained brownish or yellow, especially when years of different peoples' lips left their marks at the rim of the cups and were left their traces there for the next customer. I placed my lips carefully over the rim of the cups to make sure there was minimal contact.

Would I come back again ? Well, why not ? I only had brunch so perhaps its lunch and dinner menu will redeem itself.

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Thai House Restaurant116 W Esplanade, North Vancouver
Best Thai ? Must be kidding
Submitted Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 4:35pm [Dine in]

Sometime ago, I decided to do take out. I ordered Pad Thai with shrimp. At over $10 for a pad thai takeout it wasn't cheap.

The worst part about it is when I ate the pad thai. Simply disgusting. The rice noodles felt as if they were fried with tomato ketchup squelched out from a bottle. To add more insult, the 'shrimps" were thawed and frost-bitten little tiny prawns probably bought at some cheap wholesaler or megamarket. What does frost-bitten tiny prawns look like ? well, they look white, taste soft (not tender) and whiter still though coated with red tomato ketchup. They have no taste when you eat them, except the tomato ketchup. Even McDonalds fries with ketchup taste better.

Best Thai food ? Not my experience.

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Haru Sushi2041 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver
Smelly and dirty restaurant
Submitted Saturday, October 11, 2008 - 3:44pm [Dine in]

My partner and I decided to go to this restaurant to settle our lunch when the Thai place nearby we wanted to go was closed for the day. We were assailed by the dried fermented smell of stained soy sauce on the tables when we went in. Then we were seated outside the kitchen.

I saw the blackened, soiled and dirty curtain that shielded the kitchen from view and had a gut reaction to leave the "restaurant"...the smell of old dried soy sauce still lingered where we sat. I pointed out the dirty curtain to my partner and he was appalled with the dirty kitchen floor that peeped out from beneath the dirty curtain. I dreaded to think of the kinds of food that was prepared in the kitchen.

The food came. At about $6 for a teriyaki box, it was fairly priced. But our tastebuds could not taste anything beyond the corrupted images of the "restaurant" that haunted us while we ate. Even as my partner asked for a glass of ice, I wondered about the hygiene of the ice cubes. Both of us left our meals unfinished.

The surprising thing is...the restaurant is not empty, but the clientele certainly don't look nor sound like the type who would be too concerned about the standard of hygiene of this place. We'll save ourselves future unease and won't visit this place any more.

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Closed
East Grill1227 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
for Yuppies ?
Submitted Saturday, August 2, 2008 - 11:53am [Dine in]

Decided to come here since we spotted this place while we drove along Marine Drive. It's location was not prominent given that it melded with McDonalds.

The interior design reminded me of Moxies and Earls -- gave me the impression of eating Asian food inside a western restaurant.

The menu was relatively simple but not surprising, though it had scatterings of a few improvised dishes.

Here's what we ordered (for 2):

- Lettuce wrap: served on a big plate . The lettuce was washed and crisp and still quite wet (i had to shake off the excess water). The portion for the filling was kinda small and I had to consciously skimp as I filled my lettuce. While the flavor was great (tasted the wok heat), the duck meat filling was quite greasy.

- Crisp sushi roll : I thought it was innovative, though not necessarily scrumptious. Vaguely reminded me of an upscale version of fishcake . My partner made a face when he ate it. I was neutral about it and wouldn't order it again.

- He ordered yaki-udon with beef. He said it was not bad but left 7/8 of it for lunch the next day because he was full by then.

- I order shanghai noodles with seafood. I thought my dish was pricey at 14 but I think the serving and the use of shrimps, cuttlefish, small scallops and various vegetables made up for it. It was flavorful but I'd go for good old hawker food (in other south-east Asian eateries anytime).

East Grill found and placed itself in a niche for diners who want a place with decent service and food. Ambiance-wsie, I wished it had a more tasteful Asian decor rather than one which reeks of a western dining experience.

Would I come back again. Perhaps, if I crave asian food in a western restaurant.

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Coral Court Szechuan Cuisine137 E 2 Street, North Vancouver
Best Veggies ever tasted !
Submitted Thursday, May 29, 2008 - 2:21pm [Dine in]

As promised, I went back to order more take-outs. The head waitress knows I'm hooked ! In the last 2 occasions, I ordered:

a) Garlic shrimps
b) Szechuan String beans (not spicy)
c) Eggplant with chillin and garlic sauce (not spicy)

b) and c) are incredibly good...., and after eating it, you won't even notice that you missed meat ! What with factory -farmed cows and chickens being fed petro-chemicals, your body severely needs a detox. These veggies are not only the tastiest I ever had, but they are good for yer !

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Closed
Deuce Restaurant1617 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Not the place for dinner
Submitted Friday, September 7, 2007 - 8:58pm [Dine in]

Small portions but big prices. For the crowd that wants to fit in.
This place certainly gets a big profit margin considering the small morsels of food served at big prices. I won't be going there for dinner again.

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Closed
Prima Taste Restaurant570 Robson Street, Vancouver
I CRIED when the first spoonful entered my expectant mouth
Submitted Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 7:07pm [Dine in]

I had lived in Singapore for 30 years before transplanting myself to Vancouver. For years I craved the savoury and south-east asian flavors that uniquely belonged to Singapore, because of its modernity and ability to fuse cosmopolitan flavors. Anyway, I got really excited when I heard that this new restaurant opened. I had been disappointed many times by establishments flaunting the "Singapore" brand of food like a whore yet making a shameless association of their ridiculously -perverted versions of the real thing. TEARS ROLLED DOWN MY CHEEKS and dripped into my soup as the first spoonful of Hainanese Chicken Rice entered my mouth...My only complaint is that the condiments of chilli, dark soy and ginger were too little.

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