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HoundBoyVancouver EastSince July 20, 200710 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.1)
  • Food3 (3.2)
  • Service3 (3.1)
  • Value3 (3.1)
  • Ambiance3 (2.8)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 Reviews Found
L'Abattoir217 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Once Again, Outstanding Food, Mediocre Service
Submitted Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 3:43pm [Dine in]

This is my second review of L'Abattoir within a year. I so want to love this place. Again, the food was really delicious - the service sub par.

We were one of three tables in the upstairs dining room at 6:30 PM on a Tuesday. We ordered two cocktails. I asked for a gin & tonic, with Hendricks gin, with a cucumber slice (Hendricks has cucumber notes, cucumber is recommended as a garnish). Our sweet-natured waitress said earnestly., "Oh, I don't think cucumber is something the bar regularly stocks". I let it go, and asked for a twist of lemon instead. Inside I'm thinking, "You have cucumber in some of the dishes on the menu. You're charging a fortune for a cocktail made from a premium brand booze. Tell your bartender to don his armour and go into the kitchen and steal, if he has to, a wedge of cucumber from the disgruntled kitchen staff".

I get my drink with not a lemon twist, but with a honking wedge of fresh lemon. Oh well.

20 minutes later (again, three tables upstairs) our cocktails arrive. Not 60 seconds after we start sipping them, the starters are put before us. Not nice. Bum's rush anyone? One of the starters was grilled octopus with smoked paprika sauce, fried jalapenos, pickled cucumber and breadcrumbs fried in pork fat. The octopus was super tender and the sauce a perfect foil. The other dish was a fresh crab tart, with thinly sliced green apples and fried chickpeas. Both delicious. There are large pieces of an usual fresh herb on the crab dish. My partner asks what it was. The response. "Um...hmmmm...basil?" You tell me sweetie! The correct answer is: "I don't know, let me check with the kitchen and get right back to you, so that I may endear you to me so that you might give a larger tip at the end of your special night out". We had to ask if, when dropping off the plates in the dish pit, she could pop her sweet little head in the kitchen and ask. She did. The green in question turned out to be the tops of fava bean plants. Who could have guessed?

We received our entrees not much later. Grilled tuna with big plump pitted green olives and baby potatoes. Nicely seared on the outside, more raw toward the centre - just like it should be. My partner had the smoked duck breast with duck confit and fava beans. The duck was super tender, generous in portion, very nicely smoked. Amazing sauce. The confit was stuffed into mini spring roll wrappers. Very tasty.

Then more rushing. As the dinner plated were being cleared the dessert menus were put before us (seriously. simultaneously). Not a moment to digest, unwind, reflect. It seemed as if it were a mad rush to get us the hell out the door and the table turned over (even though we were well under our "two hour limit").

A senior waiter saw our discomfort and came to chat with us. We explained that we really, really enjoyed the food, but that the timing of the service was just whacky and made us feel rushed and edgy. To the restaurant's credit, this fellow apologized sincerely and as a gesture of good faith/an apology comped our dessert. Nice gesture and we really appreciated it. Dessert was spectacular - probably one of the best I've ever had. Coffee-bean financier (small cake) with coffee ice cream, tonka bean mousse and caramelized bananas. Crazy delicious.

I really do recommend L'Abattoir for the food. It's really very tasty and the prices are reasonable. The service however, needs some tightening. That's management's job and I hope they manage to make make the investment. The food deserves service of the same level.

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Five Elements Cafe1046 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Delicious, Home Made Flavours
Submitted Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 10:46pm [Dine in]

My partner and I ate here last night. We had the papaya salad to start. Very fresh, crunchy and juicy and a generous portion (especially of the large shrimp). It was a little mild in flavour (could have used more fish sauce and dried shrimp in the dressing). Very yummy nevertheless. Followed with the Sate Peanut Pho. Amazing. Peanutty, spicy and very tasty with a no-msg home-made broth. Lots of beef! I would definitely order this again. Apparently it's a unique recipe created by the owner. Also had a crispy spring roll. Also delicious. Flavourful, very crisp and not at all greasy. My partner had the Spicy Lemongrass with Vermicelli Pho. Also, very tasty, although the lemongrass flavour didn't come through as strongly as he had hoped.

Overall a very enjoyable experience. Delicious, healthy food, great service, reasonable prices. Will definitely be a mainstay of our dining out!

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Grand View Szechuan Restaurant4181 East Fraser St., Vancouver
Once Again, Grand View Delivers!
Submitted Friday, April 12, 2013 - 7:11pm [Take-out]

I've been coming to Grand View for many years. They have the most amazing deep fried chili squid in the city (leagues above Szechuan Chonging). Light, super-tender and crissssssssspy! Their vegetables are always fresh and crisp. All dishes have a great sauces, none of which are the typical cornstarch goo mess. Light, spicy, flavourful - almost broth-like. The stuffed tofu with minced pork is amazing. Crisp tofu, tender pork filling, tangy tomato-tinged sauce. Also highly recommend the tangerine peel beef.

Thank-you Grand View Szechuan for being such a reliable friend.

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Szechuan Chongqing2808 Commercial Dr., Vancouver
Grease-Fest
Submitted Sunday, January 6, 2013 - 5:23pm [Dine in]

I live in the neighbourhood and have eagerly been awaiting the post-renovation new year opening of Szechuan Chongqing. My partner and I recently visited on a Friday night at 6:00. The place was packed, but we were seated after a short (10 minute) wait. I'll cut to the chase - the service was great, but the food was another matter. We ordered the deep fried squid with chili and rock salt. It came hot, the squid was very tender, but the batter was so soaked in oil that it had lacked any kind of texture. Little grease sponges, they were. Similarly, the Shanghai noodles and the orange peel beef were floating is a pool of oil. Truly disgusting. I've read many good things about the orange peel beef, but its appeal was lost on me. Dark brown (almost black), pieces of dry, chewy sliced beef in a sauce so caramely-sweet that it made my teeth sing. A bag of beef jerky, washed down with a glass of molasses, would have done the same trick. Back to Grandview Szechaun on Fraser St!

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Closed
Dona Cata Mexican Foods5076 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Punishing Service
Submitted Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 8:01am [Dine in]

My partner and I live in Kensington Cedar Cottage and have wanted to visit Dona Cata for a long while. Have you ever been to a restaurant where the food is decent, but the service is so otherworldly in its dreadfulness that it casts a pall over the whole affair? No? Well do I have a place for you!

We arrived at 6:00 on a Friday night. As other reviewers have pointed out, right when you enter the place there is a long counter/salsa bar. There were three staff standing behind the counter that night doing various things (prep, wiping glasses, making tortillas, etc.) when we arrived. One of the staff glanced over and I raised two fingers and said - "for two please". She nodded, then returned right back to what she was doing. Huh. OK. So we waited. And waited. I saw three empty tables. Staff walked back and forth. No communication - none. After *10 minutes* a young man came and, without a hello, without a word, seated us at a deuce at the back of the room. OK. After a quick peruse of the menu, time to order drinks. 5 minutes...10 minutes... staff walking back and forth.... 15 minutes... 20 minutes... after 20 minutes our waitress shows up to take our order and asks us if we want anything to drink. Sigh...So we order. Food arrived in a decent amount of time. We both ordered tacos and the were yummy, but my partner's were swimming on a lake of red-orange grease. So greasy in fact that he couldn't hold on to the tortillas. Just gross.

I haven't encountered such morose, listless, unenthusiastic and just plain shitty service in a long time. It's almost like the customers were inconveniencing the staff from engaging in some other activity. The food at Dona Cata is OK - it won't blow your hair back by any stretch - but the service...the service is punishing. Won't be back. You've been warned.

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Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana1190 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Like Eating Pizaa Made on a Lasagna Noodle
Submitted Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 6:52am [Dine in]

I live in the neighborhood so my partner and I thought we'd visit Via Tevere. We arrived at 5:30 and floor seating was maxed-out (they open at 5:00), so we were invited to sit and eat at the bar, where we had a front row view of the pizza making. It's an attractive room with high ceilings, chandeliers and big sunny windows. Our server was very pleasant and very attentive. I screwed up and ordered a different pizza than the one I thought I was ordering (the Napoletana - with anchovies, which I love) and when the server learned of my mistake, she immediately, without asking, brought me a bowl of anchovie fillets, gratis, and said that she hoped this would make things better. Very cool.

On to the food.

The starter arugula salad was supposed to have a caper and lemon vinaigrette with Parmesan cheese. Lemon taste - yes. However, it's likely that the greens shared shelf space in the walk-in cooler with a jar of capers, but I'm not sure that those little capers ever made it into the dressing. The greens were fresh and plentiful and the the salad had a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, but overall it was a little bland. It really needed a savory salty kick - the capers would have done it, had they been discernible. Olives would have been nice too. It's a solid salad, just don't expect to be wowed.

The pizzas. We had the Vesuvio with tomato, fior de latte cheese, salami and capicollo, and the Capricciosa with fior de latte cheese. prosciutto, salami, artichokes and mushrooms. Both had very tasty toppings and their tomato sauce is excellent - simple, fresh, light and tomato-y. The crust however, was a major disappointment. It's likely that Neapolitan pizza is supposed to have a gooey centre, but I didn't like it and it came as a shock. The center of both pizzas were literally as wet as boiled lasagna noodles. Not a pleasant mouth feel at all. Because of where we were seating I can attest to the fact that the pizzas are baked in their wood-fired oven for only 90 seconds. Maybe that's the culprit, I don't know, and I frankly I don't care. I shouldn't have to scoop my pizza with a spoon. That's just wrong. Fix the gooey crust and the pizzas would be great.

One more thing - the pizzas are served on thick white ceramic plates. As the pizza crust is so thin, the plates just suck the heat out of your pizza in a minute or two. Not very nice. They need to find a way to heat their plates before serving.

I really want to give them another chance, because I really want to support local businesses, but the gooey pizza center thing is an impediment I can't cross:) Somebody please post a review when this has been fixed.

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Closed
Falafel Maison1385 Kingsway, Vancouver
My Favourite Shawarma Place Has a New Location!
Submitted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 9:12pm [Dine in]

I have been a loyal customer of Falafel Maison's Robson Street restaurant for a number of years. I've eaten shawarma all over town, and theirs is by far the tastiest and most consistent. I live on the East Side of Vancouver but when I'm downtown I always make a special trip to this great family-run eatery.

I just had a meal at their new their new location on Kingsway just west of Clark Drive, which is close to my home (yay) and it deserves serious praise. I had my favourite, the chicken shawarma plate, which comes with rice, topped with a generous portion of sliced chicken shawarma, with a side of tabouleh, hummous and a basket of pita. For those of you who have been disappointed by dry, flavourless shawarma around town, you're in for a (good) shock to your taste buds. The owners at Falafel Maison use only halal meats, and their marinade for the chicken is a heaven-sent blend of spices and (I think) yogurt. Succulent, well-seasoned, tangy pieces of chicken with just the right amount of roasted flavour. It's mouth watering good. Cross town for it kinda' good.

For under $20 two can eat *very* well. They're not licensed, but that's small matter. The place on Kingsway is much warmer and larger than their Robson location, and the service is always fast, courteous and they're always interested if you've had a good meal. My only quibble is that the pita they use is sometimes bit dry. Again, small quibble.

Oh yeah, ask if they have namoura. It's a house specialty sweet but it's not available every day. It's hard to describe - kind of a baked semolina square scented with rose water and soaked with honey syrup, topped with an almond. It's highly addictive.

They also have, of course, falafel and other Lebanese dishes, but go for the shawarma. You won't be disappointed.

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Tamarind Hill Malaysian Cuisine628 6th Avenue, #103, New Westminster
Oil and Sugar Overleoad
Submitted Friday, May 21, 2010 - 9:58pm [Dine in]

Do you crave savory dishes that are so sweet that your teeth ache? Do you like your wok-fried vegetables swimming, no, drowning, in oil? Then this is the place for you!

I went here tonight with my partner on the recommendation of a friend. It was hopping busy, but the service was attentive and quick.

We ordered 4 dishes:
GREEN PAPAYA MANGO SALAD
I could not believe how sweet the dressing was on this salad. Think bottled Kraft French Dressing, then add a few more scoops of sugar. Just gross. No chili coming through, no fish sauce, no tang from lime juice, just bland and super-sweet. Great presentation though.
KALI LAMB
This was the only dish we enjoyed. Very toasty, thick brown gravy redolent of cinnamon, coriander and garlic with tender chunks of lamb. Very nice. Good portion size too.
HALIBUT CHEEKS IN SAMBAL SAUCE
The fish was nicely cooked, but there was so little of it. $18 and there must have been no more than 6 or 8 ounces of fish. The sauce, again, was really bland, sweet and jammy. It was supposed to have lemongrass, chili, tamarind, etc. but if those ingredients were there, their flavours were hidden under the sugary sweetness.
SAMBAL CHILI FRIED EGGPLANT, OKRA AND GREEN BEANS
Nice mixture of vegetables, perfectly cooked, but absolutely *swimming* in oil. There was a centimeter of oil sloshing about the bottom of the serving plate. ((Shudder)).

I really wanted to like the food, but it just seemed so lacking in flavour in that let's-not-scare-the-white-people-with-too-much-flavour kinda' way.
I do have to give the staff kudos though - service was excellent and very responsive. It's a nice room too.

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Ragazzi Pizza Co.2996 East 22nd Ave, Vancouver
Thin Crust & Quality Toppings Heaven
Submitted Friday, March 26, 2010 - 8:54pm [Dine in]

My partner and I just devoured two Ragazzi pizzas for the first time - the Salumeria and the Primavera. Verdict? The best thin crust pizzas we've ever had in this city. The oven must have been blistering hot, because the outside crust was nicely singed, the bottom crust perfectly browned.

The toppings? Delicious and of high quality. The Salumeria has real Genoa salami and crumbled Italian sausage with bits of fennel. The pesto on the Primavera was intensely flavoured and the leaves of fresh basil added to the basily goodness. We'll definitely be back!

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Closed
Seri Malaysia Restaurant2327 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Yummy and Friendly
Submitted Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 12:22pm [Dine in]

My partner and I had lunch at the new Seri location near Hastings and Nanaimo last Saturday. We were out for a walk and came upon it quite by accident. We were the only couple there and when we arrived. We were quickly greeted and seated by the owner and brought ice water and menus. Our order took about 20 minutes to prepare and we had the roti canai, the lamb briyani, and forgive me but I don't remember the name, but a spicy egg noodle dish with beef that had an accompanying gravy (to be poured on top). All three were scrumptious. I particularly liked the noodle dish - the seasoning was very complex and tasty. I must say that I've had better roti canai at Rasa Singapura in the Richmond Public Market (now closed) - less greasy and more flaky roti, more pungently flavourered curry sauce. But this roti was good and overall the food was really good. The ambiance is OK - it's clean and bright. The service was very friendly and the owner stopped by our table to chat about the new space (it had only been opened a few days). He informed me that they will soon serve Indonesian food as well. We'll definitely be back!

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