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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 21 - 40 of 93 Reviews Found
Phnom Penh Restaurant244 E Georgia St, Vancouver
Great Fried Chicken Wings
Submitted Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 6:39pm [Dine in]

It's been a few years since my last visit and I was surprised to find a packed house with people lining out the door. Luckily we made reso's so the wait was minimal. We shared 8 different plates and the one that stood out was definitely the fried chicken wings. Crispy outside and moist inside. The side lemon pepper dip added tang but I don't think it's needed. The pepper squid dish was also very nice and surprisingly tender (not stringy) and sauteed with huge chunks of onions. My least favourite was the spring rolls. Not that they sucked but it's not the type that I enjoy eating. Instead of the rice paper wrap that Vietnamese spring rolls are made with, the Cambodian ones are short, cylindrical, and wrapped with the egg roll wrap then deep fried. I have to stop myself the next time I'm contemplating spring rolls at a Cambodian restaurant.

Service was speedy and curt. We appreciated how quickly food arrived but before we can even gulp down our end-of-meal tea, we were already asked to vacate the table. Granted they were very busy but an extra 2-3 minutes would've been nice. At a western restaurant this would be a major no-no.

In comparison to Chinese cuisine, the value is at par; relative to Vietnamese cuisine, it is much more expensive considering there's a 70% overlap in similar dishes. For example, the set combo's (lemon grass chicken, pork, rice) were in the $11-12 range where you can find comparable combo's for $7-9 at your local pho house. Their green papaya salad ($14.50) was pretty pricey too and not nearly as good as ones found in Thai restaurants.

Ambiance was cramped, noisy, and kind of festive - due to the Olympic fever and Chinese New Year. The walls, tables and chairs seem to be in ok condition. However, the bathroom was another matter. Toilet paper bits lined the carpet on the stairwell leading to the bathroom area. Garbage and used card board boxes haphazardly piled near the back door. Double yuck. How they pass health inspection is beyond me.

Would I come back again? Sure, for the chicken wings only and most likely for take out only.

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Bridges1696 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Switzerland House Opening Night
Submitted Friday, February 5, 2010 - 11:47pm [Dine in]

Hubby and I visited opening night of Switzerland House, one of the many Olympic pavilions opening around town. The marketing scheme and venue are great, however, for foodies it may be a disappointment. Upon arriving, there was mass mayhem for lack of any semblance of front-of-the-house organization. The bistro area downstairs was packed with diners and tourists alike and no one knew how to get seated. It took management awhile to finally serve on a first-come basis instead of having more assertive groups jockey for the next available table. Finally, some sense!

Food: shared the seafood chowder which consisted of chunky fish bits and prawns. Most likely made in a seafood-tomato broth base. Tasted like the ocean. The accompanying bread was nice though with infused herbs. The Chalet Macaroni (ham, potatoes, onions) was greasy but fairly tasty, deep fried onions provided most of the flavour. Hubby's Swiss Sausage and fries were boring and nothing to write home about. Just think of a grilled, criss crossed 12" sausage with fries on the side.

Service: experienced male server was on the ball and served our first appy within minutes. He came by several times to clear plates and check up on us. Initially dining was at a frenetic pace, but it eventually slowed down allowing us for a dining experience was similar to any lively bistro. Service was prompt and courteous. The hostesses were young, inexperienced pretty things and it was probably overwhelming for them so I'll cut them some slack. 15% gratuity tacked on and we tipped above it for the server's great service.

Value: $17 for each main and $10 for the soup. Pricing is in the standard bistro range but the flavour and uniqueness that I was looking for, was sorely lacking. Having been to Switzerland, I was hoping for more authentic selections (i.e. roesti). Value wasn't there for the food ingredients and level of culinary expertise required to prepare. I could have fried up a smokie and made mac'n'cheese at home.

Ambiance: The view was quite nice and the atmosphere was festive. We missed the freebies given away 2 hours earlier, which probably explained the mass mayhem of people exiting while we were entering. The pub area in the adjoining room was filled with a lively crowd and a two-person Swiss musical group. Some folks broke into group sing-along and dance. The dining room was cozy with plenty of square tables of two's and four's mostly. Simple decor yet warm.

As an Olympic event, I think Switzerland House is worth a try but don't expect set your food expectations too high and you'd be fine.

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Closed
Tuttimelon Premium Frozen Yogurt and Gelato8391 Alexandra Road, #2110, Richmond
Cute Little Dessert Place
Submitted Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 1:06am [Dine in]

Trendy looking gelato/dessert place located on Richmond's unofficial restaurant row. It's either newly opened or still very new looking. Lone fellow working cash/counter managed well even with three large groups descending in at once. Food selections include frozen yogurt, smoothies, and crepes. Huge variety of toppings that you can add for an additional cost. Reminded me of the concept found at ColdStone Cremery Had the green tea gelato which tasted sour, even with the added oreo topping. Friend had the savoury crepe with two toppings: pineapple and pepperoni. Strange combination for a crepe but I guess it tasted like pizza without the tomato sauce. The seating is padded benches along the side and had several tables of four's and two's. Stool seating lined the front of the store. Brightly lit with splashes of hot pink and eco-friendly green for added balance. The pricing is a tad high, in my opinion, but nothing that would break the bank. My medium sized frozen yogurt with one topping came to $5.75. My friend's crepe was about the same price. A good spot to drop in for a healthy snack and for some gabs with friends.

Recommended.

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Kingsway Sushi3665 Kingsway, #110, Vancouver
Surprisingly good service at an AYCE
Submitted Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 12:32am [Dine in]

I don't expect much when I visit an AYCE. Actually, I try to avoid AYCE at all costs and only go to one if coerced. Last week, I was out vetoed and found myself at Kingsway Sushi, operated by the Top Gun Chinese restaurant group. There was a 20 minute wait and I was surprised to see large parties waiting past 7:30pm. Clientele was diverse, lively, and also very young. Median age: 25. The waitress was prompt and came by several times to take additional orders and to refill on tea. The coolest aspect was the ordering. Servers enter your order directly into a wireless handheld device that connects to the kitchen and within seconds (yes seconds), your first appy is served to you. One major qualm about AYCE, quality is always secondary to speed. In less than 10 minutes, 80% of our order is stacked onto our table and we're on a sprint to consume as quickly as possible to clear room for the next wave of plates. The enjoyment factor diminishes with every non distinguishable bite. The only dish that was memorable was the beef tataki. Not japanesy at all, but nevertheless tasty. Sushi rolls were pre-made and the sashimi's were of lower grade cut. To reiterate, I don't expect high quality food from AYCE so at least this place met my expectations. The service, unlike Sui Sha Ya, was darn efficient and the server did not miss any of our dishes. Value was on par with other AYCE around town ($23 pp) and presents an easy solution for large parties. Bill splitting is always so much easier with AYCEs. Ambiance is fairly clean and modern looking. I didn't check out the washroom so can't comment. Overall, not a bad choice for those impartial to AYCE's. I'm not converted but won't seriously blast this restaurant either.

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Vij's Rangoli1488 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver
Great Indian for the Non-Indian
Submitted Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 11:47pm [Dine in]

Finally got to try Rangoli for the first time today. Arrived at 7:00pm on a Saturday evening and only had to wait a few minutes for a two-seater outside, under the covered patio. Although it was mildly cold, the heat lamp and cozy blankets warmed us up. The ambiance was quite nice with plenty of diners outside to keep us company. Simple but modern decor. The dining area inside is quite small and offered little spacing between tables. Probably about 35 seats inside; 15-20 outside. Now onto food...

Hubby and I shared the pakora and cassava root fries. The pakora was a mix of deep fried cauliflower, spinach and onions. Personally, I couldn't distinguish one veggie from the other, but they all tasted good, especially when soaked in this corn curry sauce. The cassava root fries was superb, perfectly fried and tasty when dipped in either the mint sauce or some tangy red sauce (name escapes me...).Hubby had the black chickpeas in curry sauce and I had the lamb in cumin. Not a huge chickpea fan but I must say that they did a great job of downplaying the beanie taste stewed in light coconut curry sauce. My only knock was that no naan was included so there was a lot of wasted sauce. My dish was especially good. The lamb was very tender without losing the texture unique to lamb meat and the sauce was balanced with subtle sweetness and spiciness. For the Indian food purists, the level of heat was probably nil, but for my non-Indian palate, it was just right. The naan included was very good, however, the portion size was paltry with two small slices. All in all, we were stuffed and even had a little lamb curry left over. Chai tea was pretty good although a tad too sweet to my liking.

Value-wise, the individual sized dishes are steals compared to it's more expensive sister restaurant. However, if this restaurant had been on Main St. or in Surrey, the pricing is above average. Being west of Main and catering to a predominantly non-Indian clientele, Rangoli offers good value and is a strong solid - 3.5 if I could average it. $55 for two appies, two mains, and two chai teas - not bad for night out. With a small group, I would try this place again but for large family gatherings, I would go to a traditional Indian restaurant for shared communal eating. Service was very attentive and friendly. No pretentiousness whatsoever.

Recommended

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HML Seafood Restaurant5890 No. 3 Road, #200, Richmond
20% Discount on Dim Sum
Submitted Saturday, January 2, 2010 - 11:43pm [Dine in]

Went here with a group of friends for New Years dim sum and we all left satisfied. Dim sum ordered off a card and all the usual suspects are available (har gow, sticky rice, rice rolls, etc) along with some interesting dishes like fried yam balls. Food was generally well made and came out very fresh. Can't specify any complaints although I wasn't wowed with many of the dishes (except for the deep fried yam balls). Service was very prompt and orderly - the head waiters would take your order, tea was refilled by the waiters, dim sum ladies dropped off your order and cleared away the empties.

Ambiance was quite nice with decent seating, comfortable chairs and unblemished place settings. The room is banquet sized and presentable enough to hold weddings, so you're not going to be dining in a Chinese hole-in-the-wall. Value...is about average, even with the 20% discount. The menu pricing is comparable to the top-tiered dim sum places, so after you factor in the 20% discount, you're paying in the mid-top end of the range. Ordered about 25 dishes and came to $16 a head. Seeing the room packed with predominantly Chinese patrons, you know that it's at least acceptable to the locals. The marketing ploy has worked!

Recommended for dim sum.

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Chambar568 Beatty Street, Vancouver
Still a crowd pleaser
Submitted Friday, November 27, 2009 - 12:30am [Dine in]

Been coming here for the last 4 or 5 years and will return for years to come. The food is beautifully and consistently well made whether it's their famous mussels, duck, lamb or appetizers. In particular, I LOVE their foie gras appy and the accompanying brioche. The portion size looks small but it's so rich and creamy that it can easily be spread across many brioches over so you should order an extra plate of brioche. Service was great the entire evening and they didn't seem to mind that we took 3 hours to enjoy our meal. As noted in previous posts, the sound level can get fairly high but heck, what's a few hours in a bustling, noisy resto? At least it has great vibe and is full of energy. Prices have gone up, so the value mark has slipped a bit in my view. Great food for the pricing though but I would not consider this a weekly event, saved for special occasions. If you love mussels, you must come here and your benchmark for great mussels will be reset. Even the stuff in Brussels can't compare.

Recommended.

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Closed
Spicy Court Chinese Restaurant5638 Cambie Street, #101, Vancouver
Average Dim Sum
Submitted Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 12:58pm [Dine in]

Kitty corner to Oakridge Mall the restaurant is conveniently located and offers decent off-street parking. Went with a group of colleagues for dim sum and ordered the usual suspects: har gow, spring rolls, spicy wontons, pork buns, sui mai, etc. We actually over ordered so had plenty of leftovers to take home. Food wise, I find the quality solid if not uninteresting. Honestly,cannot distinguish their quality from a lower end dim sum restaurant. Portion size is adequate and freshly steamed. Items are ordered off a card system so I can't see how the food cannot come piping hot. Service was adequate as well; tea served and refilled, empties taken away, bill arrived promptly. Two minor hiccups (in my view): the serving ladies were very abrupt with dropping off the food and seemed grouchy all morning. Secondly, when we asked for the food to be packed, they dropped off styrofoam boxes on our table, implying "do it yourself". Dining with my family, this is not considered an issue. Some of my caucasian colleagues, however, were quite taken back at this gesture and couldn't understand how that was considered service. Nevertheless, we tipped in the 15-20% range and perhaps the servers knew regardless how inadequate the service was, a group full of non-Chinese diners would tip more out of politeness. Pricing is similar to Red Star, Fisherman's Terrace and slightly slower than Kirin's. Value wise, it's not solid but I wasn't sticker shocked at anything. Probably would just steer the group to Red Star the next time we're in the mood for dim sum. Ambiance was a bit dated, but nevertheless clean and spacious. Overall the experience was ho-hum and not a place that I'll be rushing back to soon.

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Closed
Au Petit Chavignol845 East Hastings St, Vancouver
Didn't cut it for me
Submitted Tuesday, November 3, 2009 - 10:35pm [Dine in]

Figuratively speaking of course. They certainly did cut cheese and cured meats...and that's the extent of food preparation that we received. Upon entering, I was surprised to find a near empty restaurant on a Saturday evening where there was one other couple and then us.

Food: Good selection of cheese and charcuterie. I can't say anything negative about the quality of the imported cheese as there's no cooking to it. They did use a very nice old fashion meat slicer to finely slice our jamon. I finally got to try a raclette, where you place sliced cheese onto a small tray and then slide into an easy-bake grill-like contraption. Then the melted cheese is drizzled over boiled potatoes. That was an interesting experience. The jamon was very good, silky smooth and not overbearingly salty.

Service: really attentive service and how could it not be when there are two servers, one bartender/Manager, and one chef serving 4 diners? Our main server was very nice and explained how to use the raclette and provided cheese recommendations.

Ambiance: Newly renovated with trendy decor. I really liked the wallpaper design on the back wall with images of dark chandeliers on a rosy backdrop. Very parisien and chic. There were two tables of two's out by the large front window, wrap around bar seating, and several elevated tables of two's and four's along the side. Very cozy space and nice heritage building. Unfortunately, the neighbourhood is not gentrified yet so the proprietors are taking a huge gamble. During our dinner, we witnessed a drug deal occurring right in front of us and several prostitutes and binners walking by. Don't look out if you want to maintain that feel good ambiance.

Value: My personal view is that when I go out for a meal, I expect some sort of cooking or culinary expertise. Instead, we paid a premium to sit in pretty place to eat cheese and cured meats easily purchased next door (which they own by the way), for double/triple the cost. Granted the value-add may have been higher if we were in a big group or if the place was livelier. At least I could justify the cost as entertainment expenses. Our bill for two: $100; included two "entrees", two drinks, tips & tax. Could've gone to Jules, Chambar, or Les Faux for that.

If you like to sample wide variety of cheese and hang out with wine sipping buddies, probably not a bad place. If you're looking for a real meal, probably not your best bet.

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Samurai Sushi on Fraser6428 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Notoriously B.I.G.
Submitted Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 12:49am [Dine in]

I've had bad experiences at the Samurai location on Cambie so that tarnished my view of all Samarai locations. A few days back, an unplanned visit to the Fraser location changed my bias towards these types of establishment - quantity focused operations. Nigiri sushi and rolls are bigger, no massive, than most. Pricing is below the median so what you get is value, but not necessarily great sushi. I needed a quick lunch and for sub 8 dollars I was able to get my fill, variety, and nutrition. Getting in those omega 3 fatty acids is hard to do on a daily basis. Basic counter service where you pay at the front and they bring the food to your table. Minor hiccup was that they gave me a BC roll instead of a Dynamite..no biggie, I enjoy them equally. Ambiance is very simple, basic wooden chairs and minimal decor.

Thanks Samarai on Fraser for not serving me gross sushi or causing me food borne illnesses. I'll rolo-dex this casual eatery into my lunchtime roster.

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C-Lovers Fish & Chips555 Clarke Road, #8, Coquitlam
Old skool fish n' chips
Submitted Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 12:23am [Dine in]

Greasy spoons type setting with good old fashioned fish n' chips. The batter is on the heavier side. Fish quality as well as portion size, are consistent. Fries are perfectly done. As for taste, I do find it bland compared to Go Fish, but better than Pajo's. Value is quite good as you can get a 2 piece halibut, chips, coleslaw and a bun for about $11. We normally see the same staff and the female servers are quite friendly, in a familiar welcoming kind of way. The nice lady with the Irish accent must recognize us by now. The ambiance is a bit dated. they've recently given the place a minor facelift with a fresh coat of paint, changed lighting fixtures, and added stone tiling to the front counter. I guess it looks better, however, not noticeably different. Ample parking since they're in the corner of a plaza mall.

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Baan Wasana Thai Restaurant2143 West 41st Ave, Vancouver
Gracious service
Submitted Friday, October 30, 2009 - 11:56pm [Dine in]

I've been here several times for lunch and really enjoy the down-to-earth service. The lunch menu selections are really good value and range from $7 to 9 for a set plate, usually consisting of soup or salad with your main course. I normally go for the green curries and they are consistently well made and follow the mild-med-spicy choice that you've requested. Pad thai is also another fan favourite and it does taste better here - none of that ketchup substitute that you can find at places like Thai House. Aside from the great food, I'm particularly impressed with the service. Servers are Thai and very conscientious, gracious all around. Despite a very busy lunch rush, they managed to cater to our large group of ten. Free tea on the house that day.

Ambiance is simple; warm burgundy coloured walls, basic tables and chairs, and ubiquitous photos of King Bhumibol and royal family. Perfect place for a casual meal and definitely not pretentious. Great value considering their high overhead being in the heart of Kerrisdale. If I lived in the area, this would be one of my neighbourhood haunts.

Recommended.

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Angkor Restaurant4884 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Tastes like Pho
Submitted Friday, October 30, 2009 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

By no means am I a Cambodian food connoisseur, but I couldn't differentiate the food from Vietnamese pho. We stumbled upon this quaint, small family owned restaurant hoping to get a taste of something different and were disappointed to find a pho restaurant save for a few Khmer artwork.

The food was ok, not bad, but not good enough for me to return. The seafood noodle that I ordered was a blander version of hu tieu, the Vietnamese equivalent. The soup is similar, but the ingredients added seem more like chop suey, minus the veggies. It was underwhelming. The noodles were hardened and not blanched beforehand. The spring rolls were different, made with some taro-like ingredient instead of vermicelli. Personally, not my preference but ok tasting.

The service was friendly and the young server (most likely the proprietor's daughter) spoke perfect English and was quite attentive. A another family member was surfing the net on a laptop nearby and at some point, someone switched the channel from the hockey game to a Korean melodrama. It definitely felt family run and nothing wrong with this, just my observation.

The ambiance had the look of cleanliness and the beech wood paneling along the walls and counter area looked nice. Actually, quite westcoast for an asian resto. Ample parking out front as they are in a mini-plaza complex off of 33rd and Victoria. Pricing is in line with other pho restaurants in the area. The menu was not expansive but nothing was priced over $10.

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Thai Son Restaurant2800 East 1st Avenue, #230, Vancouver
Pho for the General Public
Submitted Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:56am [Dine in]

Pho Thai Son is a legitimate noodle house (i.e. not a drug front) catering to diverse mix of clientele and offers huge assortment of noodle and rice dishes. The food is generally pretty good and the portion size adequate (would fill up the average appetite). I've been here about 10 times, however, 2 nights ago the execution of the pho #1 was less than stellar. The soup was luke warm and borderline flavourless. Every restaurant deserves a one-off day so I would not discount them for being inconsistent - most likely just very busy. The service is attentive and caters well to the non-Vietnamese crowd. Value wise, it is in line with other noodle houses in East Vancouver. Ambiance is simple, with banquette seating on one side and tables of two's and four's along the size. Families of up to 8 can be seated at their only large table. Good turnover so you can expect ingredients to be continuously fresh. I would come back again...we are heading into pho season as the weather cools down and becomes miserably wet. Comfort pho..hmmmmm.

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BG Urban Cafe4575 Central Blvd., Burnaby
A Metrotown Institution
Submitted Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:28am [Dine in]

This location has been here for ages so I'm really surprised to be the first person to rate it. Probably because there's not much to mention in terms of innovative food or out of this world service. It's a glorified coffee shop where you can eat quick, albeit very expensive meals. The specialty coffee drinks are adequately made but I always find them colder and less flavoured than Starbucks. The pricing is about the same. We ordered brownies and they were not fresh but at least tasty enough. The service is a bit slow...I don't know if it's because of the lack of training of the counter staff or maybe there's too much diversity of products sold. If you want a cup of joe fast, you're better off going to a dedicated coffee outlet.

Ambiance is very modern, recently updated with oversized "ethan allen"-like chairs and sturdy granite like tables. The place is spacious so there's plenty of space and privacy for people to get together for late night chats or cramming for exams. One thing that I do miss from the Bread Garden of old, was the coziness and warmth that's missing. Very convenient location and plenty of free parking available.

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Congee Noodle King3313 Kingsway, Vancouver
Yummy honey garlic spareribs
Submitted Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 11:49pm [Dine in]

Came here with another couple for quick and easy Chinese food. The place was buzzing even at 8:30pm. Aside from their usual staples, congee and noodles, they also make pretty good honey garlic spareribs. The congee is smooth and finely milled and their wonton noodle soup was fairly good. Five large, roundish wonton balls stuffed with plenty of shrimp. I'm usually not a spareribs fan but I especially like it here because the honeyed flavour is properly baked on without being overly gooey or sugary. The service is typical of most casual HK style resto's where the ladies are expeditious and direct. Even for a Chinese resto I was impressed with the speed of the food delivery. It took them 6-7 minutes for our first two orders to arrive. Simple decor, good variety of table sizes, and chairs...not too shabby. Adequate ambiance although it can get pretty noisy.

All in all, a good place to get your Chinese 'pub grub' fix.

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X-Site Grill and Bistro4625 Hastings St., Burnaby
Good burgers at low prices
Submitted Friday, October 9, 2009 - 10:04pm [Dine in]

Previous reviews described this restaurant bang on. This is a neighbourhood resto that offers hand made burgers at rock bottom prices. I had a havarti burger which came with a huge portion of house salad, and 4 huge chunks of potato wedges. The burger was at least 3/4 in thick and was definitely hand made because it was oddly shaped and was uneven. Tasted pretty good but I think they could add more flavoring (salt, worcestershire sauce) to make it even tastier. The side salad was massive - filled more than half an already large plate. I couldn't finish my burger and had to offload it to my hubby. His selections were not as stellar - onion soup was bland and the chicken strips were overdone. Otherwise a good attempt. Service was efficient and friendly enough. Food came out fairly quickly and very hot too, which is always appreciated. Ambiance was a like a casual pub but with casual restaurant clientele. Crowd was diverse this Friday evening: couples, young groups of SFU students, seniors, and small groups of 30 something. I didn't see any children though but I don't think it's discouraged. Quite dark and very conducive to watching any game since they have 3 flat screens strategically placed throughout.

I don't know how this place makes money. The prices are incredibly low for fresh, hand made super-sized food. I'm happy to see that they have a good following and continue to thrive. Good, honest food at low prices. Support the little guys, you can't go wrong here.

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Imperial Court Restaurant6360 No. 3 Road, Unit 6, Richmond
Lobster on Special
Submitted Monday, October 5, 2009 - 12:43am [Dine in]

Came here during prime time hours for dinner this evening. Forgot that it was mid-autumn festival so the room was packed with patrons so not sure if it's always this busy. Luckily my mom made reso's so our wait was only 15 minutes.

The menu was standard Cantonese dinner fare with a decent selection of northern Chinese cuisine..I would've thought it should have been the reverse since this is a northern Chinese style resto. They had a few items on special notably lobster at $6.99/lb and peking duck (2 courses) for $20.80. The deals were great but unfortunately a table can only order one of the specials at the low price. We ordered a 4.5 lb lobster in milky sauce and it was fresh and well made. The rest of our dishes, with one exception, were fairly good too. The service was standard Chinese efficiency and polite. The kitchen was a bit slow in getting out our first dish but it was expected considering the packed house. Value was great for the lobster and about average for the remainder of the regular selections. I quite enjoyed the ambiance; comfortable chairs, plenty of space between tables, and nice china (fake of course). I'll probably revisit this place if they continue with their promo's however, I'm not sure it's differentiated enough to warrant a second dinner visit anytime soon. Maybe I'll try them for dim sum.

Go for the lobster special while it lasts.

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Closed
King's Garden1595 Kingsway, Vancouver
Cheap, delicious dim sum
Submitted Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 6:09pm [Dine in]

Cheap AND delicious. Wow, you can't beat that.

Group of 11 convened at the worst possible time for dim sum - 12pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We expected to wait 30+ minutes but were pleasantly surprised to be seated in 10 minutes when their only large table opened up. We were quickly seated and offered tea.

Food: large portions and freshly steamed/fried/sauteed items arrived shortly after placing our order. The hargows were large yet not massive (which I actually prefer) and were well seasoned. Each of our dishes were well prepared and flavours were neither too strong or too bland. The ingredients seemed fresh and I couldn't detect any odd tastes to any of the dishes. Heavy use of MSG so drink lots of water.

As for service, the basics were covered: tea served, dishes cleared, food arrived promptly, bill arrived when asked. We had to remind the serving staff several times for ice water which is expected during the busy lunch rush. Also, our requested chili sauce never arrived. There's nothing major to complain about. I commend them for not donning the surly, scowling attitude that is commonplace in some lower-medium end Chinese restaurants.

Incredible value. I don't know how many of our dishes were 2.75 but we only paid $105 for 30 items. We had plenty left over and packed 4 large take-away boxes. Everyone left satisfied, with more money in their wallets too!

Ambiance: The stairway leading to the non-existent lobby area is a bit awkward. Once you enter, however, the room is actually nicely appointed with newly upholstered chairs and walls lined with pretty framed prints. Several chandeliers added as accents. One major knock on the ambiance factor, was the lack of space between tables and diners. The haphazard placement of tables do not match the elevated decor and it's quite a shame. I suppose they need to make up the lower pricing through volume. And volumes of people they do have.

Recommended

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Closed
Ping's Cafe2702 Main Street, Vancouver
Nice space, ok food
Submitted Friday, September 18, 2009 - 11:56pm [Dine in]

It was Friday night and we didn't know where to eat so decided to scour out new digs on SoMa. Cute little restaurant on the corner of 11th and Main that could easily be missed if driving by. The signage is reminiscent of the old 50s Chinese-Canadian cafe - and probably was. The menu looked decent so we walked in.

Food: we ordered 7 small plates ranging from pork kushis to tuna tataki. While food was well prepared and delicately presented, few of the dishes or flavours blew me away. Of our selection, the highlight was the drunken chicken skewers which were soaked in some sake base and surprisingly moist. The side salads that came with some of the small plates was also tasty and refreshing. Menu did not offer Japanese style curries, if you're into that type of yoshoku cuisine.

Service: We were greeted by an unenthusiastic male server and seated within a few minutes. A female server took our order and within minutes our first appie came out. They have a small kitchen so items are staggered and served one plate at a time. We were never left without food so this is not a knock on the kitchen, only an observation. The female server was attentive, friendly and demonstrated good timing. Free water served in a wine bottle, but I think green tea is given if requested.

Value: Not sticker shock yet not completely sold either. In considering the quantity and quality of the food. the rating is a fair solid. Prices are about the same or slightly more compared to downtown izakayas for small plates. Compared to Hi Genki for set plates, I found the prices considerably more so be prepared to pay a premium for the nice ambiance. One item that held better value than others was the tuna takaki - 6 largish pieces, well executed and only for $8. Our meal for two, including tax and tips (no drinks): $50.

Ambiance: nice space, good vibe. The decor is minimalistic and displayed eclectic lighting fixtures. The chairs were not too comfortable to sit on but doable for 2 hours or less. Personally, I found the mismatched 70's style place settings as funky and kitsch. It's part of the recycled, revisited look that's quite in tuned with the SoMA scene.

A good place to share plates and drinks with friends. As for me, I will reserve my limited dining funds on other restaurants to find that true gem.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance