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GidgeVancouverSince July 9, 200693 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.1)
  • Food3 (3.2)
  • Service3 (3.1)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3 (3.1)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 93 Reviews Found
Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana1190 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Up and coming neighbourhood joint
Submitted Monday, April 16, 2012 - 10:48pm [Dine in]

New, Italian pizza joint close by The Drive and nestled amongst heritage homes along Victoria Drive. I really wanted to like this restaurant and it somewhat delivered but didn't take the cigar.

Food: came here for the wood fire oven think crust pizza. The crust apparently takes 90 seconds to bake and it's so thin that the dough is a bit gooey on top. Pizza is uncut so you'll need to cut it yourself if sharing, or fold over like a calzone to eat it the italian way. We ordered the Margherita con salami ($13), and the ingredients were fresh and vibrant tasting. While the pizza was good (not Steveson Pizza awesome), we were disappointed with the appetizer sampler ($16). There are exactly 4 pieces per person (x 2). Each item was a bite sized deep fried morsel like arancini balls or meat ball. Tasted like they were pre-made, frozen, and just thrown into the deep fryer. Very uninspiring.

Service: we were seated right away being a small group of 2 and got seated really near the oven. It was so hot in there that they had to open the door to cool down the place. I was super thirsty and drank all of my water filled in this tiny glass. I waited for our server to return but couldn't find her in the mass of people after she had dropped off our food, tried flagging any staffer walking by, and they all looked down and avoided any eye contact. Thinking that there were 7 or 8 servers pacing about (all very busy looking of course), it was somewhat comical that it took over 10 minutes before I could have my water refilled. Our server, when she did arrive, was competent, friendly, and to the point. Some of the servers appeared quite inexperienced and maybe it's the opening month and they're still working out the kinks.

Value: average pricing for individual sized pizza ($13-16) in a dine-in restaurant. Bit of a rip off for the appeitizer and above average pricing for non-alcoholic beverages like a Limonata ($3). We had a post dinner meal for testing and bill come out to mid-$40's which is on par with similar type restaurants.

Ambiance: quaint, cozy, and very nicely appointed with trendy chandeliers. The space is an open concept with the centerpiece being the wood fired oven at the back of the restaurant and in plain view. The oven is nicely adorned with white and blue mosaic tiles. You can even sit at the bar to admire the chefs hand stretching the dough. Huge line every night and especially so during weeknights. There's a bar on the side and square and rectangular tables line both sides of the restaurant. This building use to belong to Figaro's Garden and the new owners kept the signage as a decorative homage to the former tenant. The side wall also has a 1930's ghost sign which is really cool and really brings out the character of the restaurant. Good vibe filled with diverse clientele.

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Northern Delicacy4151 Hazelbridge Way, Unit 2788, Richmond
Surly Service and 'meh' food
Submitted Monday, April 16, 2012 - 10:08pm [Dine in]

It's been over a year since I've been back and quite disappointed to see that service, food quality, and value are slipping downhill and fast. Northern Delicacy has been resting on its laurels for too long, thinking perhaps their location within Aberdeen has got it made.

Food: northern dim sum and cuisine, ordered a-la-carte. Steam pork dumplings (xiao long bao) were of average sized, made fresh (thank goodness), and juicy enough. Fried pork buns were dry and lacking in meat filling. Dan Dan noodle was horribly made and was this tasteless soupy mess - how can a northern restaurant screw up on the dan dan noodles? Other small dishes items were mediocre to disappointing. Don't know if it's because we arrived at 1:00pm and got all the leftovers.

Service: seated right away because the restaurant was only half full. Waitress came by to take our order and food took quite a long time to arrive. We had to remind several staff who kept walking past us, for simple things like vinegar sauce, extra bowl or napkins.The staff appeared very pitiful working there and it shows.

Value: expensive for what you get. Relatively small portions combined with poorly executed food makes for low value-enjoyment level.

Ambiance/location: conveniently located in Aberdeen Centre and a quick hop away if you're heading for a Daiso run. If you can avoid Aberdeen though, you should as the parking lot is horrendously designed. Restaurant decor and seating arrangement are nicely laid out. For the 'wow' factor, there is a larger than life-sized terracotta warrior manning the entrance. Tables and chairs are showing their age and the overall appearance of the place is still presentable but looking a bit tired.

Unfortunately, this place is a pass.

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Boathouse Restaurant, The8331 River Road, Richmond
Three Strikes...they're out
Submitted Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 1:18am [Dine in]

Third and last time to this Boathouse location. Was here for a birthday celebration with a group of 7.

Food: Most of our party enjoyed their meals; the ones that ordered seafood dishes like arctic char, crab fest specials fared better than the ones that ordered steaks and casual meals. My halibut burger tasted fine, with nicely charred halibut steak on a white bun. Mayo, red onions, and some pepper. Boring but satisfactory. My main complaint was that I bit into a broken plastic bread clip in my burger. More of this in the service section.

Service: Our main server was nice, patient, and was available for requests and re-ordering of drinks. She was able to rectify our friend's underdone steak but failed to remedy the issue of a hazardous plastic bread clip found in my burger. I guess she could have asked whether I wanted a replacement, but the issue wasn't the burger itself but the carelessness of the kitchen staff when the plastic clip found its way into my assembly. I was hoping that this mishap was brought to the attention of the Manager but she failed to do so and only apologized and left it at that. The burger was not comped either. Prior to the actual dinner service, our interactions with other staff were mediocre. Very insincere greeting at the door. We arrived early to enjoy their appy hour and waited in the bar area unacknowledged for 10 minutes. While sitting there, I starred at the bartender and the server (both glued to the TV screen) for a good minute before they noticed and told us that our server will be coming by soon. I suppose it wasn't his section because he proceeded with watching the hockey highlights on screen. We ended up ditching this section to join our friends when they arrived.

Value: this is a tough one to rate because "value" is always a function of food quality and dining experience. I guess if I had great food, awesome service, the value would have been spot on. On this particular night, the value was poor and I wished that I spent my dining dollars elsewhere. My halibut burger at $16.99 was fair for a seafood dinner establishment and they did have a wide variety of menu items at different price ranges. Some of their appetizer items were exorbitantly priced and their "crab fest" specials are not as good as I had remembered. For a dinner for two, including two mains, appies, shared dessert and two drinks, you'll be looking at a $120 bill.

Ambiance: the restaurant was lively and I was surprised that there were so many diners in there. We sat in the section with larger groups, birthdays mostly. Despite the good vibe created by the diners, this dated restaurant could use a bit of a makeover to bring it into the 21st century. the tables, chair, and decor are tired looking and the view of the parking lot, was...well...unfortunate. So close to the harbour front yet so far from a decent view! Free and plentiful parking, which is always a plus in my books.

Would I come here again? Probably not. I gave them three chances to impress and each time I left unimpressed and dissatisfied.

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La Bretagne Creperie795 Jervis Street, Vancouver
Don't do it! Changed Ownership
Submitted Monday, September 5, 2011 - 11:07am [Dine in]

Sad to see the french couple formerly from Brittany (Bretagne) had sold their operations to the current owner (possibly of Vietnamese descent) with no passion for food, culinary know-how nor customer service skills to successfully operate a restaurant. Upon entering, I knew that something was off as there were no customers in the restaurant and only one other couple sitting outside the terrace. I ordered a mixed fruit crepe and sugar crepe for my friend. They arrived sloppily made and very gummy to the palate. The crepe lacked a fresh eggy taste and the fruit, well, it was sliced strawberries and bananas. Value wise, the pricing is a bit higher than Cafe Crepe's. Ambiance is exactly how the former owners left it, pretty tasteful artwork on the yellow hued walls. Service is incredibly surly; we arrived and the owner-cook didn't even bother to greet us and simply said, "sit anywhere". We ordered at the counter and food was delivered at the table. Not knowing if this is a full-service or cafeteria service, I asked whether I should pay at the counter or after our meal. He quickly said, "you pay now". I left over a 15% "pre-tip", insuring against spit in my food or inedible food. Obviously the my generosity made no difference to the food quality; tip or no tip, the food was equally gross.

Overall, I was disappointed that something that used to be good and unique in Vancouver, is no longer here.Do yourself a favour and eat elsewhere, anywhere but here.

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Sushiholic3311 East Broadway, Vancouver
Well prepared maki's and fresh sashimi
Submitted Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 9:13pm [Take-out]

Only on a recommendation would we try a little unknown restaurant located in a spot that had seen so many other restaurants fail. We dd take out so can't comment on the service, but the Japanese servers and chefs seemed friendly and efficient. The decor was very nice and cozy. Restaurant was about 2/3 full, which is a good sign for a Thursday evening.

We ordered a Party Tray A ($17.95) which comprised: cali roll, dynamite roll, half and half tuna salmon rolls, 2 pieces each of salmon, ebi, chopped scallop, and tuna nigiri. All were well made and neatly packaged in a superior plastic take-out container. The dynamite roll contained two fried ebi's and mildly spicy roe sauce, this was distinctively different than other dynamite rolls we've had. Tuna nigiris', which I normally do not like in BC, were actually quite tasty and possibly cut from a different part of the fish which gave it a sweeter, more delicate texture. It had a nice reddish tinge, but wasn't blue fin or any of the other imported maguro's. Also ordered a appy sized tempura ($4.25) which was light in texture and came with a sweeter than normal dipping sauce. Perfectly deep fried without the usual greasiness. Had an 8 piece salmon sashimi ($8.95) and the quality grade was good; pieces were appropriately sized, and the shredded daikon, which I find normally bitter at other restaurants, was actually sweet and refreshing! How this place makes normally blah tasting sides like shredded daikon fun to eat is a secret I would like to learn. The toro nigiri was tasty and buttery smooth. Awesome steal at $1.50 each. Two other pluses worth mentioning, the ginger is yellowish colour, not the overly dyed pink stuff stuff from a jar. Also, they beautifully pipe wasabi onto each container and that adds to the overall presentation. I was amazed by the care and presentation put into our take out order, I'm curious how wowed we'd be if we actually dined in next time.

The value was very good for the quality of fish and preparation. Sub $40 for 2 (incl tax). Very excited that we have an alternative for great sushi at reasonable prices, and so close to home!

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Closed
Cobre52 Powell Street, Vancouver
Good food, great service
Submitted Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 10:55pm [Dine in]

Cobre is actually in the heart of Gastown so I'm perplexed how it's categorized as "Chinatown" in the description. It was my first visit and went with a group of gals for a night out.

Food: all of the dishes were tapas style - nuevo latino they call it. The sablefish dish stood out to me and I really enjoyed the pork belly - oh so fatty! We ordered "family style" which meant they would bring out an assortment of 7 or 8 dishes and ensured that each guest got a sampling. Otherwise, each tapas dish contained 3 to 5 pieces, perfect for sharing for a small group. The food was good, and creatively thought out and prepared.

Service: our female server was very attentive the whole evening and made effort to add some personality with her interactions with us. She was the one that suggested the family style dining and offered to split bills - which some servers don't enjoy doing. Drinks were refilled and plates promptly cleared away.

Value: for tapas the pricing is on the high side. $15 was the cost of most of the shareable plates, with some smaller items at lower prices. I don't recall seeing any mains that were on the menu, so can't comment. Drink prices seem at par with other drinking establishments. With a drink or two and a normal appetite, a dinner bill can probably run $50/person.

Ambiance: Can't comment about the main dining room upstairs. We had a larger party so got the honours of dining in their private room downstairs decked with couches and pleathered ottomans. The dining table is a long wooden table with black cushioned benches as seating. After dinner, guests can lounge over drinks on two couches and several armchairs. The private room can probably host 20 people. We could even adjust the music, which was nice.

Overall, we had a good time. I would recommend coming here for a nice evening out with friends.

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Closed
Renfrew Dim Sum Seafood Restaurant1800 Renfrew Street, Vancouver
Cheap...that's about it
Submitted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 10:16pm [Dine in]

I've been here 3 times for dim sum and can't see myself going back for a 4th disappointing experience. First off, I'm a fan of quality dim sum at reasonable prices. So I recognize and understand that something's gotta give, like comfortable seating or service, to maintain food quality while still charging low prices. Dim sum is served in steam carts, which is a rarity in Vancouver now, so for that, I applaud this resto for trying to keep the tradition alive. Food wise, the quality is spotty depending on how where you sit in the restaurant because hot, deep fried food, quickly becomes cold, soggy deep fried food by the time they reach you. Dishes like pan fried soy rice rolls and spring rolls are sub-par and poorly made. Sticky rice wraps are sour tasting (bad meat??) and much too rice filled. Steamed dumplings taste marginally better because they are able to maintain hot temperatures. One commendation is that they do not skimp on the prawns in the haw gow. Overall, I find the taste bland and boring.

Service is typical of any hurried dim sum operation. The line ups are somewhat orderly with number calling and the tea service is fast and furious. Solid but not spectacular.

Value is paramount in the Chinese community so I think they nailed their niche market down. Med-Large dishes range from $3 to 4, with smaller dessert dishes charged at $2.75. Litmus test for value dim sum = large har gows (but tasteless).

Ambiance is crowded and haphazard. Looks like they renovated recently as the walls appear clean and newly wallpapered. The lobby area is partitioned with a nice display case. Aside from the well maintained walls and chandeliers, they've negated the reno's purpose by placing wayyyy too many tables and chairs. Get to know your dining neighbours because they're right next to your chair.

I only have so many weekends in a year to enjoy dim sum, and this resto is not worth my stomach room nor my dining dollars. I need to drive out to Richmond for better dim sum.

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Motomachi Shokudo740 Denman Street, Vancouver
Nice touches to the Ramen
Submitted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 9:39pm [Dine in]

Literally a stone's throw away from the sister store (Kintaro), I finally got to try out Motomachi for the first time. My initial impression was how it reminded me of tiny ramen-ya's in small town Japan with its lit lantern signage and dark exterior wood paneling. Esthetically more pleasing when compared to Kintaro, and with equally good ramen to boot too. The soup base is not as rich and heavy as Kintaro's and depending on what you order, there seems to be an emphasis on organic, healthier ingredients. I ordered the spicy chicken ramen and quite enjoyed the spiciness and complexity of my soup broth. Tons of shaved spring onions. Pretty flower ordained the food tray on which the huge bowl of ramen was served on. That, plus real black chopsticks and matching chopstick holder! Yes, I'm a sucker for esthetics. Also ordered gyoza's and these were tasty and long-ish in shape. Four pieces served instead of the usual 6.
Service was very efficient and friendly. The waitress came by several times to refill on water and cleared the trays promptly. It was a slow evening and the servers displayed no hurry to rush us out the door after we were done with our meals.
Value was fair....for ramen anyways. I think each bowl was about between $9 to $11, which is still awesome value considering the volume. For a nicer, more comfortable dining experience, I would definitely consider Moto over Kintaro.

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Little Billy's Steakhouse6785 East Hastings Street, Burnaby
Nice Birthday Dinner
Submitted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 9:07pm [Dine in]

First time visit and joined a few friends for an intimate birthday celebration. Menu selection is wide and varied and primarily focuses on Greek, Italian, and standard American fare (i.e. steak). I ordered the evening special of braised lamb shoulder and was not disappointed by the portion size nor the flavour. Meat texture was very tender and moist. Hubby ordered the ribs and he seemed to enjoy it. We shared the mac n' cheese appy and I found it only average. My main came with potatoes, rice pilaf, and greek salad. The rice pilaf was surprisingly good, not oily and salty and fragrantly flavoured. The freebie pita bread was warm and freshly made...yum. The only knock on my food was the poorly made drink - a shirley temple. Who can screw up a shirley temple??

Service was solid and a non issue. The restaurant was about 50% full on a Sunday evening and they were adequately staffed. The server didn't go above and beyond, yet the basics were covered like doling out usual service checks and coming by for drink refills, etc. She observed good timing and seemed pleasant.

Value was fairly good too, considering the portion size and quality of food. Strictly looking at price though, it's very close to prices found in trendy downtown resto's and I'm not sure if it's reflective of this neighbourhood. Don't get me wrong, North Burnaby is a middle class neighbourhood and I'm sure the socio-economic make up of the residents can fork out the extra dough to enjoy a nice meal. Comparing plate to plate, the value is there but on a whole, and if I was looking for that "night out" experience I may not frequent this place often. The newly revamped Little Billy's seem a little out of place on Hasting Street. We dropped about $80 for two mains,1 appetizer, and two drinks, tips and taxes. Reasonable but not awesome value.

Ambiance was comfortably modern and cozy. Bar on the side and rectangular and round tables set in a long room. The chairs were covered in patented leather (dark brown?) and the tables were topped with glass, although there was proper table linens. The decor is upscale (for the burbs) but not snooty or pretentious. Guests that night were comprised of groups in the 40+ age range and other respectable looking people.

Overall, a nice first time experience.

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Fish House In Stanley Park, The8901 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver
Delightful Dinner
Submitted Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 11:15pm [Dine in]

In absence of the Cannery, we went to the Fish House to soak in some westcoast seafood goodness. Party of 7 adults for a birthday celebration and our meal did not disappoint. We started with some appies to share. Notable mentions were the sizzling cast iron mussels and salmon frites. The chorizo sausage really added the punch to the mussels. The salmon frites were fun and very similar to popcorn shrimp. The aioli dip added the real flavour. Hubby and I shared the $75 Seafood Cornucopia which came with king crab legs, lobster tail, scallops, prawn skewer..and oh yeah, a salmon or beef steak. We substituted for sablefish and were quite pleased. For two people this was definitely a seafood feast. Sable fish was well prepared and the scallops were monstrously big. The overall taste was lemon butter sauce. Very fresh seafood.

The service was attentive and professional. Our server made the extra effort to make it a memorable night for the birthday girl. Management gave the kitchen a heads up to present an extra "amuse bouche" between the appies and first course. The cream cheese filled salmon rolls were to die for and would be a hit if they added this to their regular menu. Desserts were solid but not particularly different or interesting. We ordered the creme brulee and some minty-chocolate cake for sharing.

Ambiance wise, the fish house is a mix of traditional and old country rose for the 'seasoned' folks. The building is old and the reno's are aligned to the heritage facade and history. Tables were spaced apart and perhaps it was due to the clientele, it was eerily quiet that evening. I prefer a lively atmosphere so knocked off a star rating for ambiance. The bathroom area in the basement is clean but felt dank and had a musty smell to it. I think during the summer, the patio would look gorgeous overlooking the park.

Value wise, it's comparable to the other seafood houses in the downtown core. Most seafood entrees hovered in the high $20s range. Good selection of fish and they did not skimp on the quality nor portion size. They had a decent selection of moderately priced wine. We ordered a locally produced pinot gris for $50 something. You're not getting the best value here but at least you're getting a wide selection of fish, some locally sourced.

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New management
Sushi Nara5755 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Fits the bill
Submitted Friday, July 2, 2010 - 10:21pm [Dine in]

Small, nondescript sushi joint located amongst the vegetable markets and other small eateries along Victoria Drive. Long and narrow, the place fits about 30 or so patrons with no sushi bar. We came here two months ago for Mother's Day and it was busy so can't comment how busy they normally are. The usual Japanese fare along side Korean dishes are on the menu. Food wise, sushi was of decent size and solid, albeit unforgettable. Some of the maki rolls were doused in heavy sauces which camouflaged the subtlety of the fish. Ironically, I did not think they did a good job on the jap chae and I was disappointed considering that they are Korean operated. Service that evening was slow and ineffective. They were probably understaffed and couldn't deal with the unexpected flow of customers. Our order took longer than normal and no one was around to respond to simple requests for extra tea or napkins. One of my biggest peeves, the tea was luke warm when served and it was not green tea. Value wise, the pricing is reasonable for the portion size and will satisfy those who appreciate quantity over quality. Ambiance looks fine and establishment looks new with new tables and chairs. Cheap and cheerful is how I would describe it. Not a bad choice if in the neighbourhood but not a place I will go out of my way for.

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La Grotta Del Formaggio1791 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Lives up to the hype
Submitted Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 5:17pm [Dine in]

Don't have much to add to the previous reviewers but just wanted to say that if you haven't tried La Grotta, that you should at least make a pit stop during the summer to enjoy their well made panini's or italian styled sandwiches. Their use of fresh, premium ingredients is what sets them apart from your usual fast food chain operations. Their staff are great, couldn't give them anything less than 5 stars for excellent, efficient and customer oriented service. For a gratuity-free environment, they really take pride in what they do. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the line up was about 15 minutes long. Waiting for your sandwich to be made was quite enjoyable because you can browse through their deli selections, jars of condiments, olive oil, and plenty of specialty food items from the old country. Although a full-sized fully loaded panini can set you back $12, it's shareable between two people and comes with specialty toppings that other places don't even think of offering like artichoke hearts or spicy havarti cheese. Hubby and I shared a half-sized for $6.50, and it's plenty for a hearty snack. They don't skimp on the meat! Giving it 3 for ambiance to neutralize the scoring since it's not really a restaurant, but a old fashioned deli in the heart of the Drive.

Recommended.

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Lam Hoa Quan5073 Victoria Dr, Vancouver
Solid across the board
Submitted Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 10:37pm [Dine in]

Massive bowls of pho served where you can order your usual #1 (special, dac biet) or pho tai (rare sliced beef) for about $7. It was so massive that I couldn't even finish it, which is rare for me. Soup broth is pretty flavourful and of course is laden in MSG. Ample meat slices too. The store front is easily bypassed if driving by, so keep an eye out for the sign. Simple square/rectangular tables and chairs and there isn't too much of the requisite neon lighting often found in Vietnamese restaurants. No blaring music. No loud, rambunctious kids running around. The service is expeditious and for those who are non-Vietnamese speakers, do not distress, two of the servers speak perfect English! With sooooo many pho options lined along Kingsway and in the Victoria Drive vicinity, this family owned restaurant is a safe bet. Free parking in the back (another plus!).

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Shiro3096 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Dinner not as good as lunch
Submitted Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 10:14pm [Dine in]

After a great lunch experience a few weeks back, I was excited to revisit Shiro's for dinner but was mildly disappointed. The dinner menu did not offer many options for bento boxes and some of items (donburi's) only seem to be available for lunch only. So we ordered a-la-carte and got a bit of everything. It was a packed house, which isn't bad for a Sunday evening. We were promptly seated and offered real green tea (that's a plus).

Food: Items we had were tempura, buttered squid, several rolls, and spicy agedashi tofu. Taste was generally good, but it lacked a 'wow' factor. I think the rice was too moist and the seaweed wrap was too chewy. Sashimi was very good, wild salmon. Unfortunately, out of the 5 pieces, two were tiny slivers, most likely end of the cut. During my lunch experience, all 5 of my sashimi pieces were uniformly sliced, albeit on the thinner side. Agedashi tofu was stingy (4 squares) and drenched in a semi-spicy watery sauce, which lacked any real flavour. We fared much better with the rolls, but once again not awesome, but not poor. The tobiko were mixed in the rice, which is a nice touch. The kazu roll (the everything roll) was big but lacked any harmonized flavour, perhaps they forgot to add mayo or something?

Service: female servers were nice and efficient. Plenty of tea refills and dishes were cleared in a timely manner. Pacing for food was good and our check came when requested. Solid service, no complaints there.

Value: Pricier than your average sushi place where you're paying at least a 20% premium. Some items held better value, e.g. spicy scallop roll ($4.50), appy salmon sashimi ($5.75); whereas items like the agedashi tofu ($5.25) or kazu roll ($8.75) are better AND cheaper elsewhere. Such a disappointment compared to their lunch menu's where you can get a teishoku set for about $9 and receive 5 pc sashimi, beef teriyaki, rice, tempura, salad, miso soup, and a mystery daily special (chicken karaage that day). Much better value for lunch.

Ambiance: close seating quarters and very tired looking. For a Japanese operated restaurant, I was a bit surprised to see the back rooms and kitchen a bit disorderly (not dirty though). The front of the house seemed clean and the tables and chairs were functional. Meets the casual, mom n'pop restaurant standard.

Overall, I would consider revisiting for lunch but I'll pass for dinner. Too many options offering better for less.

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White Spot7519 Market Crossing, Burnaby
White Spot Upscaled
Submitted Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 11:10pm [Dine in]

Food is your standard WS fare with a few added specialty items like butter chicken. Several members of the group had the Nat's Hearty Breakfast while I ventured out of the norm and ordered the turkey open-faced sandwich. Turkey was moist but it was placed on a burnt piece of toast and then drenched in gravy. Great taste, bad texture. Overall food is pretty solid and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. Yam fries were good and not overly done.

Service: initially service started off badly because we waited almost 1.5 hours for our table, while witnessing groups who've arrived later get seated before us. Something must've gone wrong at the host section. When we finally did get seated,the server was very apologetic and passed on some freebie appies on the house. Throughout the meal, we received prompt and excellent service from the server, busser, and Manager. The great part was, we didn't need to complaint. They automatically acknowledged and amended the service error without us even needing to say a word! Now, that's service.

Value: I'm torn here. For eons WS offered excellent value for comfort food. You used to get an entire meal under $10. Now, with their move to upscale their menu, the food is about the same but you're paying 30% more. In fairness, restaurants have to change with the times and this is the direction that the industry is going so you cannot fault them. For burgers and comfort food selection, the pricing is still reasonable. Now 15 bucks for a stir fry? I think I'll pass.

Ambiance: Wow, can't believe those modern looking chandeliers are hanging in a WS. Plenty of natural lighting with wall to ceiling windows. Nice use of wood and stone work throughout. There's kind of three sections to this restaurant: back bar area, family style banquette seating alcove, and open seating in the main dining area. Mixed clientele; families, singles, young, old. No loud music and no rambunctious kids running around. A pirate pak might seem out of place in this now adult oriented WS.

How could you NOT recommend a White Spot. It's a west-coast institution.

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Hime Sushi315 East Broadway Street, Vancouver
Solid rating..almost
Submitted Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 10:23pm [Dine in]

Casual dinner out with hubby last Saturday and we passed by our usual sushi place to try the new Hime down the street. It as about 8pm by the time we walked in and there were a few other tables occupied. Place is fairly small, probably seats 35 patrons and is newly renovated/built. Now onto the most important aspect...food.

Ordered several rolls (negitoro, chopped scallop, dynamite, deep fried appies, and some nigiri's. The rolls were well made and tasty, however can't say the same for the nigiri's. My sake (salmon) sushi was sinewy whereas my hubby's tasted fine. Our toro was not as creamy and fatty as I would've liked it. Spicy Agedashi tofu was freshly deep fried and maintained its silky interior. Instead of tofu wading in a pool of broth, you dip tofu pieces into the dashi soup bowl, followed by the spicy dip - very unorthodox but nevertheless fun to eat and tasty too. My order of the grilled black cod was disappointing. Texture was not buttery nor smooth and the flavour wasn't to my liking. Found it somewhat bitter opposed to the sweeter miso that I'm used to. Overall, I rate the food mediocre to solid mainly due to sub-par quality fish.

Service: prompt and courteous servers. Two servers, three kitchen/chef staff, and 8 diners in all. Food was served quickly and we were offered several refills of tea. Friendly service.

Value: Most of the pricing is reasonable. Maki pricing is in mid range compared to other smaller Japanese eateries like the negitoro ($3.50), chopped scallop ($4.50), and specialty rolls ($7-$9). Pricing is similar to Toshi's, but higher than Sushiyama's down the street. I would stick to Sushiyama for similar quality of fish for better value. You're paying for the nicer ambiance.

Ambiance: dark wood paneling, faux bamboo poles adorning the front window, and wooden banquette seating. The space looks cozy and very spic and span. The sushi bar area has a 4 or 5 seats, adjacent to two u-shaped tables, probably for larger groups. Remainder of the restaurant is lined with square tables for two's/fours. One minor complaint is the rock hard wooden seat. It would be nice if they could invest in some seat cushions that could double as additional decor. Eat table had a cute little porcelain cat jar containing japanese spice seasoning.

We weren't wowed by the dining experience but weren't turned off by it either. It's not a bad choice if you're in the area.

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Hapa Izakaya1479 Robson St, Vancouver
Fun night out with the gals
Submitted Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 7:46pm [Dine in]

Hapa is not on my usual roster for izakaya but it served us well for a very busy Saturday night in downtown. The wait at both Guu locations (Robson and Thurlows) were too long for, so we patronized Hapa out of desperation (can't let a group of girls go hungry). It's been years since I've been back and it's looking its usual sleek self. We were greeted by a young hostess wearing a black tank, shorts, and flip flops. Then I realized that this was all the serving staff' get up. I felt so bad for them...I don't think that attire is even Worksafe compliant.

Anyhoo, we were seated in the room by the bar and were surrounded by plenty of TV's and a lot of guys. I think we were one of few females diners....goes to say a lot of their marketing. Food was surprisingly not bad. I expected shoddy ingredients coupled with bad execution but was happy to see that the chefs didn't dumb the food down. Notable mentions were the grilled black code, very moist and creamy, silky smooth. Ika karaage was a large grilled octopus tentacle and sliced into rings. Very cool and tasty too. The cocktail drinks were fun and well priced, although a bit skimpy on the alcohol.

Service was solid. Server came by several times to clear away the plates and replaced drinks, water, etc. Our food came out in a timely manner and at the right temperature. Only minor quibble is how that automatically tack on the 18% service charge or tip, whatever you want to call it. Luckily, we didn't receive sub-par service.

Value is ok. Not an expensive meal, but then again we didn't eat a heck of a lot. The variety of smaller plates weren't offered, so if you're sharing a number of plates, you're kind of relegated to $9-15 plates. For appetizer sized dishes, the value per volume isn't there but at least the food isn't bad.

My overall evaluation: good for drinks, anight out with friends. Not a place where food is my primary consideration.

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Kintaro Ramen788 Denman Street, Vancouver
Line ups out the door for good reason
Submitted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 1:06am [Dine in]

This is the go-to place for ramen in the Lower Mainland. Large bowls of wholesome goodness. Great noodles, great broth, great fatty chasu. Previous reviewers described the food and ambiance quite well so I don't have much to add. Last Saturday, we beat the pre-dinner rush and snagged three seats at the counter. A line ten deep quickly formed and I was impressed to see how quickly the queue moved. The waitresses scribbled down peoples' orders while they waited and once seated, their bowls of ramen were ready. It was cool seeing pure japanese efficiency at work. Polite and courteous service to boot. We were in and out in less than 30 minutes. Left very satisfied and can't wait to go back.

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Vanya5615 Harold St, Vancouver
Oh Yeah to Van-Ya
Submitted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 12:29am [Dine in]

I'm happy to see that little has changed since the late 80s. Literally. Well, except the old Japanese couple may have retired or sold it to another Japanese proprietor. The food is very good, authentically Japanese in ingredients, taste and size (not too big). Hubby and I shared several rolls and mini udons, and shabu shabu. The soup broth is exquisite and simply made. The key ingredient that they use that few other restaurants seem to bother wish, is tempura flakes. What difference it makes to the broth! We especially love their negitoro rolls - nicely minced and tightly wrapped. The service can be a bit spotty if they're busy but the ladies are very nice and food is also brought out in a timely manner. It took a few requests to get tea but other than that, I don't have much to complain about. Value is very good where most of their menu items are about par with other Japanese resto' - including the Cbinese owned ones. However, if you're into massive rolls, this is not the place to visit. They have reasonably priced bento boxes and grilled fish. If you sit at the sushi bar, you can witness the non-stop action at the grilling station. Quite entertaining. Ambiance is dated with simple furniture and little wall adornment. Seats about 40 patrons and it's usually busy on weekends, so be prepared to wait. If you're looking for that authentic, Japanese mom'n pop place, Van-Ya is a perfect replica of that experience.

Recommended.

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Himalaya Restaurant6587 Main St., Vancouver
Oh butter chicken
Submitted Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 3:39pm [Dine in]

Had the lunch buffet and went straight for the butter chicken. Pretty good quality with huge chunks of chicken and with creamy, yet not overpowering sauce. They had veggie curry, lentils, tandoori chicken, samosas and a few other dishes I didn't try. The samosas were fresh and of a good size. Too bad they didn't have any paneer. Major plus was the super fresh naan bread. YUM! Didn't try the small salad bar but did have some desserts like the galub jaman (dough balls in syrup) and some colourful pastry cubes similar to a petite four. I find Indian desserts too sweet to my liking but it didn't taste bad. Service was ok where they bring you water and clear away used plates. The servers constantly replenished the food to keep it hot and fresh. Value was pretty solid at $12 pp for the buffet with meat or $10 for vegetarian only menu. Setting is a bit dated with 80's looking furnishings and wall colouring. Very spacious though and nice natural lighting flowing through. They have this huge open space adjacent to the main dining room, not too sure what it's used for...maybe a private room or dance hall? The restaurant also doubles as a take out counter and sweets/bakery retailer. Very casual environment.

Overall a good lunch buffet experience.

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