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frugalgourmetVancouverSince February 11, 200770 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.1)
  • Food3 (3.1)
  • Service3 (2.8)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3 (2.8)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 70 Reviews Found
Bell's Bake Shop12211 First Avenue, #110, Richmond
Pretty . . . . Meh
Submitted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 10:59pm [Take-out]

A friend and I met in Steveston for coffee and stumbled upon this cupcake shop quite by accident, but despite already had our grande expresso beverages we were both visually enticed by the allure of cupcakes! The store looked quite cute with cupcakes lining the windows and yellow painted walls.

The cupcakes looked quite in the display case, but when it came to taste that was another story. I had the vanilla cupcake and it was bone dry, crumbly and generally pretty bland. My friend's red velvet was not much better - the cake didn't have enough cocoa content in it, although she did enjoy the cream cheese icing.

All in all for $2.75 per cupcake, I would expect a little more. I guess it's time to break out the Betty Crocker and bake our own :)

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Beefy Beef Noodle House4063 Main Street, Vancouver
Tasty Tawainese Food
Submitted Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 3:36pm [Dine in]

After going vegetarian for a month . . . I decided to break the trend in style, and with an establishment named "Beefy Beef", how can one go wrong?

First off, I think the 5 star rating system for Dinehere has changed and not for the better either. For me, there is too much range between "solid" and "outstanding" Therefore for me, 4 stars means very good and 5 stars is outstanding/excellent. Now having said that, I was pleased with the restaurant overall.

Ambiance: Modern, bright, clean,comfortable
Service: Prompt, courteous, our teas were refilled frequently
Food: Good selection of Tawainese fare - the beef rolls and juicy pork dumplings were very good. The satay lamb rice combo was tasty, and came with green sauteed vegetables and the dish wasn't greasy. The Tawainese fried noodle dish was okay, it's better at Corner 2, though. There were also many options for vegetarians also :)
Value: Good value for money spent, most dishes were $7-9 in range.

Overall: Recommended

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Closed
Saravanaa Bhavan955 W Broadway, Vancouver
Tasty Vegetarian Curries
Submitted Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 4:41pm [Dine in]

Very tasty South East Indian vegetarian curries and excellent selection of freshly made dosas, naan, papadums and puffy hollow fried balls. It's centrally located on Broadway at Oak, with a comfortable interior, and courteous service. Get there earlier on weekends because it tends to get busy. Decent value for $11.99!
Recommended!

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Closed
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant4530 Hastings St, Burnaby
Underwhelmed
Submitted Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 7:25am [Dine in]

It was our first experience with Ethiopian food and my dining partner and I were a little underwhelmed. We ordered the Lalibela platter for two and found the vegetarian dishes to be tastier and more complex in flavour when compared than the meat dishes. It seemed that they used the same base for the chicken, lamb and beef stews. Another problem was that we didn't particularly care for the injera or Ethiopian flat bread - they were spongy in texture and bland in flavor.

This is a small family-run restaurant whose care for their patrons and food shines through. Lalibela is well worth a try, but the cuisine is not really our cup of tea.

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No. 1 Beef Noodle House4741 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Pretty Decent
Submitted Monday, September 7, 2009 - 2:23pm [Dine in]

I went to this place upon a recommendation from a friend of a friend who is Tawainese. Upon reading the reviews, I had low expectations of this restaurant, located in a strip mall located across from a highschool and kiddie corner to BCIT y.

However, I was pleasantly surprised!

The restaurant itself is clean, bright and modern. It was bustling busy from the time we got there at 7 and left at 11.

The servers were busy, and we had to flag them down to order, and settle the bill - but that's typical in many Asian establishments.

The prices were generally pretty decent $8 and under range for noodle soups. And $4+ dollars for their bubble tea drinks.

My fresh fruit strawberry bubble tea was fresh and tasty, served in a large beer mug. The deep fried tofu was tasty and came drizzled with garlic/soy sauce. The special beef noodle in spicy soup with dumplings $8.50 was HUGE - the broth was flavorful, but could have used more spice. There was a decent amount of veggies, green onions and pickled cabbage in there too. My friend and I had to take 2/3 or our noodles home, because we we so full. The noodles were linguine sized in width and had great texture.

They also have an extensive take-out menu.

Recommended!

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Bistro Pastis2153 W. 4th Ave, Vancouver
A Lovely Brunch
Submitted Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 12:52pm [Dine in]

Went there for a girls get-together, brunch on Sunday. My smoked salmon eggs benedict was tasty. The smoked salmon was fresh and not too salty or smoky. I really liked the, rich, herby hollaindaise sauce. And the portion was so large that one friend took half of her eggs benny home, and the other couldn't finish hers. I hardly made a dent into my potato roesti, due to fullness! Service was friendly, attentive and professional. A beautiful, classy, sunny dining room with white table cloths. Perhaps air-conditioning should have been turned on, as it got increasingly warm in the dining room, but that was only a minor issue.
Recommended for brunch!

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Hapa Izakaya1516 Yew St, Vancouver
Incredible Value for $30 Set Menu
Submitted Monday, August 31, 2009 - 12:53pm [Dine in]

I've heard many good and not so good things about Hapa - but was never overwhelmingly compelled to go eat there. However, their $30 (inclusive of tax and tip) is such an incredible value, it would be a solid choice to take myself and 5 friends for a splurge.

I believe it was a 13 course menu, and the restaurant reserves the discretion to bring out whatever amount of food they feel happily satisfies the diners. 3-4 people shared each dish, and it was amply portioned. Unbelievably, we had to ask for styrofoam containers at the end of the night! Woo hoo - doggie bags just scream-out textbook value!

My very first impression was that the restaurant had a patio outside which struck me as kind of out-of-place for a mid/high end restaurant. Upon entering, I realized how roomy they restaurant was, which was surprising for a prime Kits location. Later I realized it was the old Urban Well Club - no wonder!

Ambiance: Dark, modern, zen-sleek. The music was relentless in the pumping out of "techno-fied" Top-40 pop tunes. Perhaps something more subtly hip would have melded better with their restaurant concept.

Service: The food came out for a large group at a steady pace, the servers were mildy attentive to our needs.

Food: Good value! Tons of variety in the set menu. Didn't care so much for the fried foods as a personal preference. The fish dishes were tasty enough, although they did serve farmed salmon. The sauces for the raw fish were a bit one-toned and on the sweet side - but presentation was lovely. Also it is Japanese fusion style, which again is not my preference.

Recommended if you like fusion izakaya food, but for full-on Japanese flavors try Guu!

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Copa Cafe4036 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Yummy Set Menus!
Submitted Friday, August 28, 2009 - 12:46am [Dine in]

Tried the French-style Rib Eye mini-set menu with Vegetables and it was quite tasty for $8.95. I had the almond milk tea which was smooth and tasty. The cafe is clean, modern and the service was prompt, courteous and efficient. The prices are a bit higher than say Gloucester Cafe, but the restaurant is newer.
Recommended!

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Corner 234008 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Worth a Second Try, Spicy Beef Noodle Soup WAY too sweet
Submitted Friday, August 28, 2009 - 12:38am [Dine in]

Popular, bustling Taiwanese restaurant/bubble tea house in the Cambie/King Ed area.

I ordered their Spicy Beef Noodle Soup. Upon seeing the large tender chunks of beef, thick homemade noodles, and a big whopping bowl of soup served with a large wooden ladle, I got excited! Only to be disappointed by the overwhelmingly sweet taste of the stewed meat and soup! Additionally, there was not enough heat or complexity in the soup.
However, I did appreciate the courteous, friendly service - when they did attend to my needs. Overall I think the servers cared about their customers (prompt greeting, saying thank-you and goodbye), its just that they need to work on coordinating and polishing their front-of-house skills.
I know, I'm being picky here, but this place shows a lot of promise! I would love to be wowed upon my second visit.

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Closed
New Yum Yai Thai Bistro1859 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Have Had better Thai
Submitted Friday, August 28, 2009 - 12:21am [Dine in]

Ordered the Sweet Basil Tofu dish and it was a bit of a disappointment due to undercooked vegetables, not enough use of Thai basil, and small portions. The tofu was a bit mangled looking also. Taste wise, it actually wasn't bad. I expected more with the $12 price range.
Service was okay in the beginning, but then became non-existent when we had to settle the bill. My dining companions seemed to like their food enough, but there is definitely better value and quality Thai restaurants out there in YVR!

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Japa DogCorner of Burrard and Smithe, Vancouver
Distinctive and Tasty Hot Dogs
Submitted Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 4:04pm [Dine in]

I am pleased to report and review Japadog. The lineups were too long the last two times I went and I was denied - howver, I got lucky this time and only had 5 people ahead of me.

Did Japadog live up to all it accolades/hype?

YES! The Terimayo Beef Hotdog was served nice and hot with generous amounts of tasty Japanese condiments like Japanese mayo (rich, smooth and tangy), sauteed sweet onions, teriyaki sauce and seaweed shreds. I am already a fan of Japanese food, and I do enjoy hot dogs so it was a very satisfactory eat. It's a street vendor so I grabbed some napkins and a seat in front of the Sutton Place hotel and dined on my $4.75 "fusion" street food - yum!

Reccomended!

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Baru Latino Restaurante2535 Alma Street, Vancouver
Decent, funky place just not wowed
Submitted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - 9:56am [Dine in]

Ordered 2 appies instead of a main course. Started with the braised short ribs with cilantro rice and a sweet guava mojo sauce - generous cuts of meat, very tender and the cilantro rice and sauce all tasted very well together. $13 not bad value.

Also ordered the $15 Baru Ceviche which had halibut, shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and lime juice - refreshing and the pieces of seafood weren't too tough from the acid soak. The deep-fried corn cakes underneath the ceviche were a bit oily and strange as an accompaniment to seafood. Also tried my friend's coconut tuna ceviche which I didn't like - a ceviche should be refreshing, not rich in my opinion. Some of the main courses being sent out were all of fairly large portions - which is good value since most entrees were in the $20-$25 range.

Service was friendly and attentive. The group of us had a good time at Baru's. A decent restaurant, worth a try, but not a place I would go out of my way to revisit.

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Chambar568 Beatty Street, Vancouver
Satisfying Meal
Submitted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 11:19pm [Dine in]

At the last minute, a friend and I decided to go eat at Chambar because the restaurant we did make a reservation at did not have the coveted AC during a summer heat wave. We were seated at the bar, even though we were offered a window seat at the front/loungy part of the restaurant.

Service: Bartender was excellent, she knew how to look after her guests and it was a great pleasure to see her mix up fresh creative drinks - using ingredients like vanilla and lavendar syrup and slicing up fresh fruit like lemons. Servers were professional, courteous and attentive.

Food: The tomato cream mussels were tasty. Lots of fresh mussels, served up in a tomato, onion and cumin broth. Would have liked to have tasted a bit more of the chili, but sauce was solid as made. The fries were a bit too salty. My girlfriend and I both ordered the duck done three ways: not sure the bold flavors of the sides actually worked: the beets in the orange vinaigrette was quite sour and overpowering, the goat cheese green beans was also overpowering in its piquantness, the cheese didn't seem to help mellow out the flavor, the walnut mash was interesting, but it just didn't wow me, and the walnut chunks were too large. The duck, however, was done medium and very tender and flavorful.

Ambiance: Chill, relaxed yet sophisticated. Very nice.

Recommended!

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Closed
Pearl Drops Teahouse422 Willingdon, Burnaby
Try their Matcha Milk Shake
Submitted Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 3:53pm [Dine in]

This is my second review of Pearl Drops, but I just had to say that their Matcha (Green Tea) milk shake is amazing - just the right amount of sweet, creamy, and green-tea intenseness. I am always pleased with the creative drinks they come out with.
Pearl Drops offers consistency in product quality, service, ambiance and cleanliness.
The matcha milk shake with pearls is something that I will return for!
Highly recommended!

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Screaming Mimi's123 Carrie Cates Crt, North Vancouver
Seafood Gem at Lonsdale Quay
Submitted Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 3:42pm [Dine in]

After checking out the Caribbean Fest in North Van, I wandered over to check out the Lonsdale Quay market and discovered an unusually bustling food court vendor. And it was busy for a good reason, as it turns out.
Upon reaching the vicinity of "Screaming Mimi's", the first thing I noticed were huge piles of mussels piled on top of wax papers over food trays - rustic and pragmatic! Their mussels are $8 for 1 lb, $14 for 2 lbs and $18 for 3 lbs. The mussels were plump, juicy and fresh - they scoop, weigh, and steam to order, accompanied by lemon wedges, a few sprigs of fresh parsley and olive oil/butter (?) dipping sauce. They also have clams available for steaming too.
I also tried their baked fish roll - which came wrapped in a crisp light pastry filled with salmon (or halibut) in a savoury creamy sauce. Again, quite tasty and quite filling for $3.50 per roll. Chowders, chilled seafood appies, deep fried oysters $2.50 ea, and seafood stuffed sandwiches were also available. They're also licensed as the patron ahead of me ordered a couple of O'Douls.
As it's a food court vendor, they had limited seating, I think 3 tables and a few bar-counter seats, but it all adds to its rustic/quirky appeal. The servers were friendly and efficient and even wore rubber waders to convey catch-of-the-day " freshness".
Highly recommended!

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Vivacity Restaurant8351 Alexandra Road, #110, Richmond
Great Place for Dim Sum
Submitted Monday, July 6, 2009 - 7:23pm [Dine in]

Clean, modern restaurant with attentive, courteous service - tea was filled and used dishes removed promptly. The food was tasty and had nice touches like the addition of pea shoots inside the beef rice rolls. The dumplings were encased in delicate thin wrappers and the rice noodle dish was seasoned nicely. Ample portions also. Recommended!

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Bistro Sakana1123 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Tasty Sushi
Submitted Friday, July 3, 2009 - 1:04am [Dine in]

Tasty, creative and fresh sushi offerings. Not huge rolls, but delicately made and assembled! The sampler rolled sushi plate was tasty and nicely presented. Liked the yam fries and deep friend calamari too.
Servers were attentive and friendly, the ambiance was very modern and sleek.
Decent value for the quality you get.
Worth checking out if you're in the Yaletown area!

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Closed
Section 31039 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Surprisingly good value for Yaletown eatery
Submitted Friday, July 3, 2009 - 12:57am [Dine in]

Food was well-valued for what you got - similar in price, quality and portion size as one of the casual-upscale chains. The miso salmon was way too salty. The golden beat prawns had a very tasty sauce, but no trace of dill as described on the menu. Service was unpolished - they servers and hosts wore their own clothing, so we often wondered whether the staff were nosy patrons or employees. Also, the drinks were not strong enough!

Trendy, chill place to hang out in Yaletown, food is solid not great by any means . . . but Fridays and Saturdays they have DJ's spinning tunes in house, so that's definitely a bonus.

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Ichiban-Ya Japanese Restaurant770 Thurlow, Vancouver
Definitely AVOID
Submitted Friday, July 3, 2009 - 12:49am [Dine in]

This was a decent Japanese restaurant in 2004/2005; however, when I re-visited this place after a 5 year hiatus, the food was really poor, overpriced,. They're asking $8-9 dollar for "special" rolls that aren't special at all (The "Washington Roll" for $9 was basically a chopped scallop roll with mayo and hot sauce squirted on top; the "Dragon Roll" didn't have enough unagi to even cover the top of the roll!" The seafood udon was basically a bunch of salmon slices (day old sashimi?) and mangled prawns (the criss-crossed the shrimp to make it look larger - very strange cooking technique); the soup did not contain benito and had no flavor really).

They older male server became argumentative when we wanted to cancel 2 items that didn't arrive; however, the older female server forgot to add those items in the first place (!) so he relaxed.

Ewwwy, questionable sushi, stingy with its portions, low quality ingredients, aggressive customer service = AVOID this place!!!

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Closed
Po King Seafood Restaurant5665 Kingsway, #150, Burnaby
Solid Dim Sum
Submitted Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 9:41pm [Dine in]

Solid, generous portions of dim sum. Service could use more friendliness and attentiveness. Like other reviewers have said, it is run by the previous owners of the now closed "Big Lai" restaurant near Metrotown. Can get busy during the weekend lunch hour rush, but if you're willing to "share a table" then you should be in and out in no time! Also the restaurant looks fairly new and clean, so that's always a bonus for Chinese establishments.

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