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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 21 - 40 of 70 Reviews Found
Closed
Mon Bella1809 West 1st Ave, Vancouver
Tasting Menu, Great Value
Submitted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 12:50am [Dine in]

For $20 you get a 3 course tasting menu AND the wine pairings (A Tuesday feature) and it's worth it. Monbella is located in the heart of Kitsilano, just a heartbeat away from the beach, so geographically it can't be beat.

Service was friendly and informed, but a bit slow. We had to flag our waitress down a few times to order drinks but overall, the wait staff knew their menu and were friendly and relaxed most of the evening. The water came in cute little wine bottles with a red scooter on it.

Ambiance: Kinda loud, but I prefer plusher quieter places, so it's just my bias.

Food: Had the halibut chowder to start which was largely unremarkable except that it was too salty. The panzella bread salad has a nice combination of flavors and textures,(traditional bread and polenta cubes, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and basil) but contained too many Kalamata olives which overpowered the rest of the dish. The grilled chicken serving size was teeny-tiny, and it tasted okay.
The crepes (not on Tasting Menu) were the highlight of the evening, they came with an citrus syrup, vanilla ice cream and bananas - yum!

Overall, great value, okay food in a trendy area of town. Recommended!

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Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar1095 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Solid DOV 2009 experience
Submitted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 11:59pm [Dine in]

I arrived about 45 min late for my DOV reservation due to parking difficulties/Canucks home game night, and my friend was made to feel comfortable by our waiter. Good start! SInce she was told by the hostess that there would be a 1.5 hour maximum for DOV diners.

The Tuna tataki starter with a ponzu and mayo dressing was lovely - quite generous in their portions too.
Arctic char was nicely cooked. Really loved the bed of belgua lentil, pearl onion and vanilla butter that accompanied the fish.
Key lime cheesecake was on the tart side, but the house made maple ice cream was a good counterbalance to the tart with its sweet, creaminess, heavenly!

Altogether a worthwhile and memorable DOV experience!

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Mui Garden Restaurant5960 Minoru Boulevard, Richmond
Yummy Laksa Noodle!
Submitted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 11:50pm [Dine in]

Ordered the curry laksa noodle for lunch and it was great value for $6.50 (for $6.95 will get you a drink with your order). I really enjoyed the home-made laksa gravy, could see and taste chunks of dried shrimp and shallots and that's a "good thing" as Martha always says. The toppings included 2 pieces each of squid, fried tofu, prawns, fishballs, and half a boiled egg.

Service was friendly and efficient.

Recommended!

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Closed
Toyotomi Japanese Restaurant4121 Hastings St, Burnaby
Good Value in the Daily Specials
Submitted Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - 10:55pm [Dine in]

Quite a pleasant alternative to Sushi Town in the Burnaby Heights/Capitol Hill area. I ordered the special of the day which was one of their speciality rolls - the New York Roll: avocado, tempura shrimp (still warm!), cucumber, and spicy salmon on top for $3 (4 pieces). It was tasty enough, and nicely presented with mayo, teriyaki sauce, tobiko and green onion garnishes. Good value since the 8 piece New York Roll goes for $9 usually.

The miso soup wasn't served hot enough, but it was ample enough in volume and had mini-diced tofu, and seaweed bits. Good to see they serve white ginger and not the pink variety with the killer red-dye!

The service was friendly and attentive, we had our tea cups filled constantly. Although the restaurant does have a less than fresh odour lingering about, it is still a nice alternative to my usual sushi haunt in the area.

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Sushi Han Take-out Restaurant8180 No. 2 Rd., #182, Richmond
Great Place for Take-out and Dine In
Submitted Saturday, October 25, 2008 - 11:07am [Dine in]

I've been a patron of Sushi-Han's since my university days, so after a long hiatus from Sushi-Han when I happened to be in Richmond yesterday, I decided to revisit this restaurant which happily satisfied my tummy on those "just too tired to cook at home" days.

I was a bit hesitant because I knew that if the restaurant changed hands, it may be an entirely different experience, but my concerns were alleviated when I recognized Chef Han behind the sushi counter, and his wife working the front of house when I walked into the restaurant!

The prices have not increased since it opened over 10 years ago! I ordered the spicy-salmon roll and the avocado maki roll - which were both delicious and filling. The rolls are not enormous, but ample and rolled well.

The menu also offers lots of great deals on udons, ($5.95 for your basic chicken or beef udon), hot combinations meals ($7-8.50) as well as party trays.

Highly recommended!

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Empire Seafood Restaurant5951 No. 3 Road, #200, Richmond
Still Lovely Dim Sum
Submitted Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 8:20pm [Dine in]

The dim sum here is still lovely, and before 11 am there is a 20% discount. The lo-pak goh (white radish cake) is steamed and very tasty. The dumplings are good sized, encased in delicate and thin wrappers. I loved how the beef rice roll came with bits of chopped cilantro inside. Yummmmm! It's a favorite with the early rising, senior crowd - so go early and get yourself a table!

Worth the drive to Richmond!

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Congee Noodle King3313 Kingsway, Vancouver
Ai-ya! Ants and fruit flies!!!
Submitted Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 8:14pm [Dine in]

Update: The other reviewers are correct to report on the insect issue at Congee Noodle King. Went for their happy hour specials and the yee mein was undercooked, and I had to swat the ants AND fruit flies away from her bowl more than once!

I hope things improve, but won't be eager to drop in for lunch or happy hour as much now.

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Neptune Seafood Restaurant8171 Ackroyd Road, #100, Richmond
Quality has diminished
Submitted Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 8:10pm [Dine in]

Update: I haven't been back to Neptune in 9 months due to its decline in quality. Shrimp dumplings are small and dry; the chicken feet sauce was too sweet. The sticky rice was filled with chunks of past their due-date meats.

Try Empire across the street (before 11 am) instead for tastier, more refined dim sum dishes.

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Ding Hao Noodles House2773 Barnet Highway, #4, Coquitlam
Tasty Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
Submitted Sunday, October 5, 2008 - 7:53pm [Dine in]

Ding Hao is not your average "hole in the wall Asian eatery". The dining room is modern, clean and welcoming. During the weekend lunch hour, it is very popular with young Asian families. I tried the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup and it came with lean cuts of beef flank, shredded preserved mustard shards and green onions. The soup and noodles tasted fresh, with almost a homemade quality to them - definitely not as msg filled as other Taiwanese places - but at $6.75 for a small - the value is not as great as it's ambiance, and service.

Well worth a try if you're in the area.

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Closed
Anducci's6011 Hastings St., Burnaby
Hey, there's no line-ups here
Submitted Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 12:56pm [Dine in]

The best thing about Anducci's? There's no line-up like at Anton's just a few minutes drive along Hastings.

The tomato sauce was too sweet for my liking, the chorizo sausage was burnt, and the chicken under-seasoned. The atmosphere is trendy, with the bar as the showcase, but the tinted windows and the statues out front are tacky. Parking out back is practically non-existent, unmarked and sketchy. The pasta bowls were nice, and the take-out bags were nice looking, but if there's more substance to both the food and front of staff at Antons.

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Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House8681 10th Avenue, Burnaby
Vegan with a Spiritual, rather than Paradise Twist
Submitted Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 12:30pm [Dine in]

The first thing you notice when you enter this small family-run establishment is the broadcasting of "Spiritual Masters" on the large screen TV. To add to the kooky atmosphere of this place, there were plenty of new-agey posters trying to convert people to vegetarianism (complete with about to be shipped off to Oscar Meyers, cute cartoonish pigs saying "Thank-you!") . The service was really quite slow since there was only 1 cook and 1 server. We had to ask repeatedly for our take-out containers.

The Spicy Noodle soup was tasty! Nice undertones of lemon grass in the soup. Could have used more veggie sliced meats and meatballs though.
Deep fried spring rolls were okay, some were a bit burnt. The sweet-chili sauce seemed like it came straight out of a bottle.
Ginger chicken was quite tasty. LOVED the julienned swaths of ginger sitting on top.
Veggie stir-fry was unremarkable.
Brown rice was a nice option to have on hand.

Portions were a bit small, but hey this is boutique style Vietnamese! Would go again for lunch but probably not for dinner. Nameste!

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Bridges1696 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Comfortable Chairs, Pleasant Upstairs Patio
Submitted Sunday, June 29, 2008 - 11:47am [Dine in]

Patio in the Dining Room was great - views of downtown, the mountains and water views of False Creek. The prices were high for what you got - $30 for a spotted prawn pasta?! The $15-18 appetizers were pricey but you got a decent sized portion. One dining guest said the scallops were "the best [she] ever had". Service was fine, water glasses were re-filled promptly.

Maybe I'd come again for lunch, but not for dinner.

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Seasons in the ParkWest 33rd & Cambie, Vancouver
Incredible Views, Impeccable Service
Submitted Sunday, June 29, 2008 - 11:29am [Dine in]

We booked Seasons for a Friday dinner in order to entertain out of town guests. Seasons turned out to be an excellent choice - incredible views, along with the professional, unobtrusive, yet flowing service warranted my first (two!) 5 star ratings. The restaurant offers a view of the Vancouver/Queen Elizabeth Park skyline from all tables - the skylight in the centre allowed light to illuminate the interior of the restaurant. The beautiful, understated interior allows the natural surrounding to take centre-stage in order to make an indelible impression on diners.

The food was fine, the price was reasonable for the quality and quantity; however, it was not the most creatively inspired dishes. I was disappointed that the mixed seasonal greens salad came with what seemed like strawberries - still white/green with rawness - from California, when local strawberries - full of intense sweet flavor - are available. Also, the hostess makes the first impression and it seemed her salmon colored top and black pants was out-of-sorts with the rest of the front end staff who wore coordinated, polished outfits.

Would recommend Season as an all around #1 choice for those special occasions for all ages! For more cutting edge-dishes go elsewhere, but I doubt the ambiance would be as naturally beautiful or comfortable.

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Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub1177 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver
Yummm Burgers, Slooooow service
Submitted Sunday, June 15, 2008 - 8:50pm [Dine in]

Why did our party of 8's burger orders take 45 min? The pub is located in North Van mall and the ambiance is nice, if you ignore the video gaming booths. My jerk chicken burger was tasty, well-seasoned and the toppings were fresh. But the menu didn't have wings or other "pub grub" it was just brunch items, burger/sandwiches, soups and salads. More variety on the menu would have been nice.

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Locus, The4121 Main Street, Vancouver
Did the Locus change owners?
Submitted Sunday, June 15, 2008 - 12:58am [Dine in]

7 years ago, this funky Main Street eatery had some Ethiopian inspired dishes like cilantro pesto pasta, tasty, decadent, finger-lickin' grilled sandwiches for lunch, and interesting meats on the dinner menu. Now, it's a yuppy filled brunch place that is way too loud and way too crowded to be cool. I mean young families bring babies in their strollers (who's offspring fling spoons under our table!). The chicken clubs that my friend and I ordered contained under-seasoned chicken breasts. The salad dressing that came with the sandwich was bland. And this came at a whopping $12!!! Underwhelmed!

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Milestone's Grill and Bar1109 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Nice Patio, fresh food, reasonable prices for Yaletown
Submitted Sunday, June 15, 2008 - 12:46am [Dine in]

Went for a pre-Cirque earlier dinner to Milestones and it turned out to be decent enough experience. Both the Thai Noodles salad (is feta cheese a SE Asian ingredient? ) and 4 cheese veggie burger were freshly made and tasty, both under $12. My dining companion was pleased to see a Hefeweizen beer on tap! Prompt, - and I would say courteous, rather than friendly service. The patio had heat lamps and interesting views of yuppies and their puppies ;)

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Closed
Cru1459 W Broadway, Vancouver
Not Bad, Not Great
Submitted Sunday, May 4, 2008 - 11:39pm [Dine in]

I really wanted to give Cru a big thumbs up, but disappointingly, that didn't really transpire. Gastropod, my last fine-dining experience was just more innovative, elegant, and attentive in the service department.

Service: Waaaaay too laid back, someone was late in greeting us at the door. Servers wore their own clothes, which contributed to a bistro type feel, but they just didn't look sharp or snappy. No one offered to take my jacket.

Ambiance: The restaurant is narrow, but amply cushioned by thick bench wall-seating and lighting covers so the acoustics were of a tolerable level. The front door felt like entering an apartment complex - black steel framed door with a matching pleated door handle- largely unimpressive first impression. Also the wine glass was dusty and my water glass had a chip in it! Overall, the dining room was comfortable, albeit lacking a bit in polish.

Food: Tried their $42 Prix Fixe Menu: Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with caperberries, truffle aioli was quite good. The beef was buttery soft and was a complmentary constrast to the sharpness of the caperberries and parmesan shavings. Very nice. The lamb loin was served a bit cold - the cold basil pistou with port reduction just didn't jive with me. The baby green beens and roasted cauliflower was nicely done. The spatzle had a weird rubbery texture - left most of it on my plate. The creme brulee was not the best I ever had, needed more vanilla bean and the caramelized topping was too thick.

A nice relaxed restaurant with adequate food and service, but nothing to write home about either.

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Closed
Hot Plate Bistro, The1205 Madison Ave., Burnaby
Underwhelmed - could make this at home, but a cheapish substitute when you don't feel like cookn'
Submitted Saturday, May 3, 2008 - 4:05pm [Dine in]

Underwhelmed - could make this at home, but a cheapish substitute when you don't feel like cookn'
Service: Friendly, neighbourly. Server seemed to greet regulars often and even chatted a few of them up. Service was a a bit on the slow side (20 min). Portions could have been 30% increased. The lunch menu looked enticing.

Food: 2 egg + meat special for me was okay. $4.95 Not bad. The whole wheat bread was not grainy or substantial. The bacon was lean and crisp and the potatoes were nicely seasoned. Friend's mushroom and cheese omelet was smallish in size, sure didn't look like there were three eggs in it!

Ambiance: Totally agree with another reviewer that eating here is like eating in someone's kitchen. My clothes smelled of cooking grease afterwards. Otherwise the decor lended itself to a cozy and relaxed environment.

For a few bucks more, a breakfast bowl ($8.99) at the White Spot is both more filling and tasty.

Bottom line: I could make this at home, so I would default to the Hot Plate when I'm feeling lazy in the kitchen.

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Kent's Kitchen5659 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Quality Chinese Take-out on the Cheap
Submitted Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 10:51am [Dine in]

Kent's Victoria Drive location is the place to go for to satisfy a craving for tasty but greasy Chinese food. 2 dishes over steamed rice goes for $4.25 or something ridiculous like that, and the staff literally jam stuff your styrofoam container so that it can barely close properly - so a plastic bag is a must, which they supply.

The quality is better than ones in Asian mall food courts, T&T, and many other Chinese "to-go" places.

I had the stir-fried rice noodle with honey-garlic ribs, and broccoli beef for $5.75. Had enough food to last 3 meals.

Recommended binge food for your next greasy/deep fried/sodium, "flavor-enhancer #1105"-ed craving.

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Bella Pizza4624 Imperial Street, Burnaby
Great Takeout Pizza
Submitted Saturday, March 1, 2008 - 12:12pm [Dine in]

We ordered the Gourmet Vegetarian and it was delicious! Fresh chunks of tomatoes, whole leaves of spinach, thin slices of onions, artichokes, a sprinkling of feta and a nice thick layer of mozzarella to top it off. The owner/operator was especially helpful on the phone when I asked for directions to his place. 10% for pick-up orders too! The crust was just right, not greasy or burnt. Well worth the $16 for a medium Gourmet Vegetarian. Could have finished two of them, easily! As for ambiance, the place was a bit austere (but it's a pizza parlour), but the waiting area was comfortable (magazines were available) and more importantly, the kitchen looked clean, and well-prepped.

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