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nelliebobellieDowntownSince March 21, 200869 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3 (3.2)
  • Service3 (2.8)
  • Value3 (3)
  • Ambiance3 (2.9)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 69 Reviews Found
Cibo Trattoria900 Seymour Street, Vancouver
3.5 Stars - Not Quite Four
Submitted Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 4:07pm [Dine in]

I've heard some really great things about Cibo and wanted to check it out. I met a friend there for dinner last night and when I walked in, it was very lively and had a bit of an upbeat vibe going on. I was expecting something a little quieter. The ambiance was nice - I like the decor, but it does seem a little disjointed somehow. The servers are nice, very knowledgable and courteous. After perusing the menu, I really had a craving for lamb - but the server advised they were sold out before I could even ask about it.

To start, we each had a glass of prosecco and we chose their special appetizer crudo platter, which was basically a plate of deli meat and a few pickled veggies. It sounded interesting because there were things like ox tongue and lardo on it. I'm adventurous, so we took a chance. The ox tongue was surprisingly tender and delicious - never thought I would be tasting something that could taste me back, but it was definitely worth the risk. The other items (which I can't remember) were also very good. I just wish there had been some cheese on the plate as well. The bread that was served with it was horrifically dry and hard. There was no delicate way to eat it. I took a bite into the crust and for a moment, thought I would break a tooth. I tried to break it in half with my hands, but I wasn't strong enough. I just had to chew my way through. The server finally came back when we were pretty much finished, so it was too late to ask for new bread. The bread that was served before our appetizer was excellent - it didn't need anything on it, as it was an herbed focaccia style with a little oil already brushed on.

We had a bottle of wine with our mains - my friend had the veal chop with morels and I had the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and parmesan. We also selected a side of peas and a side of cannellini beans. The pasta was exceptional, but when I tried a bite of the veal, it was a little tough. The peas & beans were good, but nothing to write home about. I wish I knew what kind of wine we'd had because it was amazing. When I have a friend who knows wine really well, I usually trust them to make a good choice and in this case I wasn't disappointed.

I might give Cibo another chance in the future, but it's not on my list of top restaurants in Vancouver. For that to happen, there has to be outstanding food, or outstanding value - Cibo has fallen somewhere in the middle on both counts. I have many, many other places to try out first.

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Closed
Mis Trucos1141 Davie Street, Vancouver
On the Fence
Submitted Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 3:32pm [Dine in]

I have been wanting to try Mis Trucos for a while now, so my date and I went on Tuesday night to check it out. According to the sign out front, as well as a few reviews I've read, Mis Trucos makes the best sangria in town. We decided to get a pitcher to share since it was only $15 - which works out to about 2 glasses each. It was pretty tasty - a little on the sweet side, but I have to say, it's not the best I've ever had - La Bodega and Nuba both make pretty great sangria so there is some stiff competition out there. We sat on the patio outside, which was a little run-down looking. It was still nice to be outside, so I can't really complain. Our server was friendly and came by often to check on us. He gave us a few recommendations and told us about the portions (tapas vs. shares / mains)

For the food, we decided to try a few different things to share. We opted for the salmon tartare with quail egg, the crispy bread-wrapped prawns, the scallop with crispy ham and parmesan foam, the suckling pig (which was pretty much a paté) and the lobster & white truffle risotto. Everything was really good, but I found the quail egg to be slighly over-salted and the paté was a little dry, despite the oil they put on top to mix in. The bread they serve with the paté was really good, very fresh and still warm. The presentation on everything was pretty, but kind of bare-bones in the sense that they just put the food on the plate - no garnish, nothing 'extra' to make it look any better. I enjoyed the simplicity and the flavours of all the dishes, but kind of expected 'more' - just not sure what was missing.

The lobster risotto was very flavourful, nice & creamy and the lobster was perfectly cooked. Despite another diner's review about the quantity of lobster on the plate, I found it to be a fair portion considering it was only $16 with white truffle. I guess some people aren't familiar with food costs and are only thinking how hungry they are. Our bill was reasonable, (about $75) considering we had the sangria and also a pint of beer each. I could've eaten more, but I have a pretty big appetite.

I'll probably go back and try a few other things before I make up my mind about this place. I enjoy the idea of what they do here, but I do think the portions are little on the small side. I need to go with three other people to take advantage of the price drop when you order four items (on the tapas menu) instead of one or two. That way, we can sample a few more things as well.

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Library Square Public House300 West Georgia Street, #101, Vancouver
Pretty Good for Pub Grub
Submitted Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 2:20pm [Dine in]

Three of us went to the Library Square Pub before the Nickelback concert a few weeks ago - it was pretty busy but we found a place to sit at the last available table. Our server greeted us and told us about the specials and took our drink order. When she came back with our drinks, I had a few questions about the menu and whether or not I could use my entertainment book coupon. She said it would be no problem.

We ordered our food, which came out about 10-15 minutes later. I had the bacon & blue cheese burger with yam fries. The burger itself was huge and the yam fries were a good portion - I ended up sharing them because I couldn't eat everything. The food was not outstanding, but for a pub it was pretty good. I would definitely go back if I was in the mood for some beer & pub grub or if I wanted to hang out somewhere fun on a Saturday night and listen to some good 80's music.

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Miku1055 West Hastings Street, #2, Vancouver
Not Your Every-Day Sushi
Submitted Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 4:14pm [Dine in]

Upon arrival at Miku, there were several employees standing at the front to greet customers as they entered. The first thing I noticed was how loud it was in there. The staff were all yelling out to each other, which seemed very odd for a sushi place.

I was meeting a business associate at the sushi bar, so one of the ladies showed me in. The room itself is very nice with floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing lots of natural light in.

Unfortunately, the attention I received at the front did not extend to the sushi bar as I was basically ignored by the sushi chef and the servers. I had to literally flag someone down after about 5 minutes to get something to drink. Even then, the server did not bother to ask if I’d been there before, or if I had any questions. Luckily, my dining partner had been there before and explained how Miku differed from other sushi restaurants.

Basically, instead of serving soy sauce and wasabi with your sushi, they actually put their own type of sauce on top of the rolls and then sear it with a torch against a piece of charcoal. Interesting concept.

I ended up choosing the chef’s Premium selection so I could try a variety of items. You get 12 pieces for $25 and there is a combination of nigiri sushi and a few different rolls - the presentation was lovely. I can’t remember what types of rolls were served, (3 different kinds) but they were all very, very good. Some of the nigiri pieces were unagi, salmon, prawn and a few others that I wasn’t very familiar with. They all tasted very fresh and were decent sized pieces – I have to say, everything on the plate was excellent. I will admit that I did miss the added punch of wasabi & soya sauce, but it was still very good. I was also served a bowl of miso soup about halfway through finishing – nice & hot with a good flavour, but not exceptional.

If you compare Miku to other sushi restaurants, you do pay more for the quantity you get, but I believe the quality is higher and the type of sushi you get is far above what smaller, cheaper sushi places offer – ie: no simple California rolls here – they are all “fancied-up” and full of flavour.

I would recommend Miku if you wanted to try something a little different, but if you are more concerned about saving your money (and who isn’t, these days!) stick with some of the less expensive places downtown – there are plenty around that serve good sushi. Miku is more an “every-now-and-then” type places and not somewhere you’d go every week, unless of course, you have a decent expense account!

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Society Restaurant & Lounge1257 Hamilton St, Vancouver
Nice Patio, Mediocre Food
Submitted Friday, June 18, 2010 - 3:17pm [Dine in]

This was my second or third time going to Society, and I have to say of all the Glowbal Group restaurants I’ve tried, this is my least favourite. I still have to check out Trattoria, but I think based on what I’ve heard, Society is in no danger of losing its low ranking with me. It’s just not on the same level as the others.

Our server was friendly enough, but when she took our drink & appetizer orders… something went wrong. I have never before been to a restaurant where the food came out before the drinks. Perhaps the bartender left to go pick the mint leaves for the mojito - I don’t know. When the drinks arrived, they were pretty average. My last visits, I had wine with my meal, so this was my first time trying their cocktails. For $8.50 a shot, I was highly unimpressed. On to the food…

After much deliberation over the choices, we ordered a Caesar salad and calamari to start. We would’ve liked to try the mussels, but for $18, I was not intrigued enough to give them a try. The romaine lettuce was very yellow and slightly over-dressed. The calamari was pretty good, but the dipping sauce was mediocre. I would’ve preferred a more traditional tzatziki sauce with it.

For the mains, I had the truffled mac ‘n cheese and my friend had the forno roasted chicken. The macaroni was really good for the first couple of bites, but then the richness of the sauce was crying out for something to cut through all that cream sauce. I would’ve liked to see some grilled veggies on my plate, but all I got was a tiny serving of spring mix and a piece of garlic toast. It took a long time to get through the meal just because it was so rich. I would’ve even ordered a side of veggies, but they only had cauliflower gratin on the menu – and I certainly didn’t need any more cheese sauce for dinner.

My friend’s chicken was pretty good, and the portion was HUGE. I think she had half a chicken on her plate, served with a small mound of the same spring mix I had. Again, what happened to serving vegetables with a meal?

The dessert special was a Peanut Butter & Jelly cheesecake. Just the sound of that makes my stomach turn. I couldn’t even consider anything after that, and I still had the horrific memory of the “junk food platter” I shared with my friend the last time (for Dine Out). Just about everything on the plate tasted like it was bought from a gas station. The cookies, rice krispie squares and brownies were awful. The bread pudding and the donuts were decent enough, but horribly overshadowed by the taste of the other items.

I’m pretty sure I won’t go back to Society – certainly not by my own choice. There are enough choices for restaurants on the same street to keep me from going back. I think this place is targeted to a much younger crowd with all their juvenile menu selections and cotton candy drinks. But if you’re looking for really good food, keep walking.

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Closed
RTL Regional Tasting Lounge1130 Mainland, Vancouver
The Venison Burgers are Incredible!
Submitted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 1:33pm [Dine in]

I chose r.tl for dinner last Friday night and I have to say, it was a great choice. I had been there for the Taste of Yaletown in the fall and was equally impressed then. On this occasion, we decided to share a bunch of small plates so we could try as many things as possible. The menu has so many tantalizing options that it was hard to choose just a few. We started with the wild mushroom risotto and the dungeness crab cakes. The portions were a decent size and very, very good. A standout was actually the salad served with the crab cakes - dressed very lightly but full of flavour.

We then moved on to the smoked duck, which was sliced very thinly (carpaccio-style) and had a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Shortly after that, our venison 'burgers' arrived. A trio of tiny, but absolutely amazing little burgers with 3 different 'toppings', served on toasted sourdough (or similar) slices of bread. The first was mushroom & cheddar - the venison was cooked perfectly, a little pink in the middle, juicy and tender. The second was topped with foie gras - very buttery and rich. The third, and my favourite by far, was the blue cheese and smoked bacon. Wow. I've had dreams about that little taste of heaven ever since my first bite. The downside to sharing food, is when you find something so good that you want to keep it to yourself. But I resisted the urge to grab the other half out of my friend's hand and instead savoured the small piece I had left. Had I known they would be that good, I would have insisted on two plates of the sliders. Oh well, there's always next time.

For dessert, we shared the cheese plate and the sweet & tart apple duo. The cheese plate was nice, although one of the three selections was so tiny that I barely had enough to know it was good. The apple tart was okay - but I needed a magnifying glass to see it on the plate. It would have been incredibly disappointing as a dessert on its own, because at $7 it was a bit of a rip-off. The tart was beyond small - it was literally two bites. The cider that was served alongside was really not needed. It added nothing to the dish other than looking pretty, with the cinnamon-topped egg-white foam. If it hadn't been for that tart, I would have rated r.tl 5 stars in the food category - a rating I very rarely even consider giving.

All in all, the evening was a hit - fantastic food, great wine and great company. I will definitely return to r.tl for the venison burgers and perhaps I'll try the chipotle mussels and the crispy skin pork belly. Can't wait!

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Closed
Sanafir1026 Granville Street, Vancouver
And Dine Out 2010 Begins....
Submitted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 12:59pm [Dine in]

For my inaugural Dine Out 2010 experience, I chose Sanafir for a couple of reasons. Number one, because I'd eaten there before and knew the food to be quite good, and two - because they were on the list of restaurants with an $18 menu. I was quite surprised to see that, so I had to secure a reservation before they sold out. I booked the day the menus were posted online, but was still only able to get a 5pm reservation. Not too problematic since I work downtown - I just had to leave the office 10 minutes early.

Upon arrival, we were greeted at the door in typical Glowbal Group fashion. Very friendly, smiling and polite people who showed us to the table. Our server was equally as friendly as he brought menus and water and then gave us a few minutes to look over the menus. The restaurant is very dark with high-vaulted ceilings - nice ambiance, but there was a feeling that something was missing. Maybe the drab weather outside just made the inside feel dreary, but it was just very dim and not necessarily in a good way.

We decided to share the land and sea trios for the mains and we both had the mushroom salad to start and baclava to finish. We chose a red wine based on what we wanted to drink - not to pair with the food. At $26 for a half-litre, I felt it was much too high considering it wasn't adding much to our dining experience. Could have gone with water and the meal wouldn't have been affected, but for some reason wine seems to elevate the mood when dining out.

When the mushroom salad arrived, I was surprised first by the generous portion and then by the taste. If they had served that salad for all three courses, I would have been very happy. It was divine. Full of sake marinated woodland mushrooms, this salad was so different from the typical boring greens usually served on menus at this price point. It doesn't take much to bring things up a notch with salad these days, and Sanafir has most definitely set the bar high. I can only hope that other restaurants will follow suit.

For the mains, we had goat cheese stuffed lamb kibbeh (a sort of meatball), oxtail ravioli with truffle cream and punjabi style butter chicken on the land trio. On the sea trio we had miso-bourbon glazed sablefish, Kanafa wrapped tiger prawns and spicy salt & pepper calamari. Without a doubt, the two dishes that stood out were the ravioli and the calamari. Delicious.

The baclava was decent with sugared orange rinds and strawberries as a garnish - not the best I've had by far, but pretty good. The portion seemed small, but after finishing, it was actually just the right amount so that I was full without feeling stuffed. After all that, I was still thinking about the mushroom salad! Yum.

It was a good start to Dine Out and I'm looking forward to going back to Sanafir for their Tapas Tuesdays. The value is only 3 stars because the wine is so over-priced.

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Twisted Fork Bistro1147 Granville Street, Vancouver
Wow - $8 Pound of Mussels!
Submitted Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 12:35pm [Dine in]

I went with a group of girls to the Twisted Fork last Tuesday, as we heard about their $8 mussels. I had fairly low expectations, to be honest, as I've had 'specials' before and they usually end up being 'not-so-special'. I'm happy to report that was not the case at the Twisted Fork.

When I arrived, one of my friends was already seated with a drink in front of her. The restaurant wasn't quite busy at a few minutes after 6pm, but there were about 3-4 tables that were occupied. As I sat down, our waitress handed me a drink menu and said she'd give me a minute to look it over. When she returned, I opted for the nut brown ale at $5.50 for a pint.

After the rest of our group trickled in, we all decided to go for the mussels and frites special. A few of the other items on the menu were tempting, but I thought I would wait to try the mussels first. We didn't have to wait long before our food arrived. As the big bowls were set in front of us, we were all impressed by the portion size as well as the delicious smells wafting up in front of us. On top of the mussels was a generous portion of frites, which appeared to be a combination of potatoes and yams. They could've done with a bit longer in the fryer, as some of them were a tad limp - but the flavour more than made up for it. The sauce was incredibly flavourful - a rich, creamy, buttery-tasting concoction that had me sopping it up with the fresh-baked rolls served alongside.

Service was very friendly, attentive and not at all intrusive. As we sat talking, laughing and enjoying our meals, we all agreed that the Twisted Fork was an ideal location for an after-work get-together. The food was great, the ambiance lovely, and the service was spot-on. I will definitely return soon to try out some of the other specials.

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Seh-Mi Japanese Restaurant20151 Fraser Hwy, #115, Langley
Best Sushi in Langley
Submitted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 12:54pm [Dine in]

Whenever I am in Langley and craving sushi, I always head over to Seh-Mi. It's a tiny little place with only about 8 tables, but their food is outstanding. They often have special rolls not on the menu, and they can make whatever you like. The crispy crab roll and the fire roll are amazing.

The servers don't speak English too well, but understand enough for you to get what you ask for. When I lived in Langley, I used to eat here about once a week, and often got takeout. They aren't licensed, so you have to make do with non-alcoholic beverages, so if you like sake with your sushi, you will be disappointed. Other than that, it's a fantastic little place and I will keep going back.

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Tomokazu Japanese Restaurant1128 West Broadway, #201, Vancouver
Bit of a Let-Down
Submitted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 12:48pm [Dine in]

Tomokazu on West Broadway is the sister restaurant to Ninkazu in Richmond. If they were really sisters, Tomokazu would be the awkward, dorky sister living under the shadow of the popular and talented Ninkazu. They might be related, but they are nothing alike. The servers don't actually smile, nor are they friendly in even the slightest way. They are, however, efficient and quick in refilling tea & water, bringing your food and removing empty plates.

The food itself was just ok - really nothing at all like the food at Ninkazu, which wowed me with both presentation and flavours. The beef tataki was so disappointing at Tomokazu that I actually questioned whether or not I had the right dish. It was bland and watery and the sauce was completely flavourless. The ebi sunomono had one small piece of a freezer-burned baby shrimp (not even a whole one) and the noodles were tough and tasted old. Some of the more average dishes like the tempura, gomae and gyoza were good, and the sashimi was fine - but after my experience at Ninkazu, I just felt let down. The value is still decent, because for the sashimi and nigiri sushi I ordered, it would have been over $20 anywhere else - the $22.95 I paid for the deluxe option here was still worth it, as I probably had about $40 worth of food. I can't rate this restaurant mediocre, so I give it three stars - if you expect something really great, the trip to Richmond is worth it.

I would go back, I just know which dishes to avoid next time.

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Salam Bombay755 Burrard St, Suite 217, Vancouver
Great Lunch Buffet
Submitted Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 2:20am [Dine in]

I walk past this place all the time, but had never been in until just recently. I actually received a card in the mail for $3 off the lunch buffet, (reg. price $15) so I invited my co-worker to check it out one afternoon.

When we arrived, I was surprised to see that it wasn't very busy. It smelled really good as we walked in, which is always a good sign. We decided to have a look at the buffet items before selecting that option, since buffets can sometimes be 'iffy'. Everything looked really fresh and smelled amazing, so we both opted to try it.

Our server brought us water and a basket of complimentary naan, which was slightly thicker than most I've had, but hot and very good.

I tried pretty much everything in the buffet, including the dips/sauces and was really impressed with all the food, especially the lamb dish. Can't remember what some of the dishes were called, but I had two big plates of food and left full and happy.

I will definitely go back, maybe next time for dinner.

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Closed
Mi Bistro & Bar1234 Hornby St., Vancouver
Always Good
Submitted Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 1:48pm [Dine in]

I've been coming to Mi Bistro & Bar for about 3 years and the food has always been good. They are very close to my apartment so the location is really convenient. They've changed their menu around quite a bit, but I'm glad to see they've kept a few of my favourite items, such as the bouillabase, which is really good.

On the last visit, I had their 8oz New York Striploin Steak with garlic mashed potatoes, veggies, and peppercorn sauce. I chose to add prawns to the meal for an extra $3.00 (I think the steak is only $20 anyway) They have a coupon in the Entertainment Book, which made this meal an exceptional value.

The steak was cooked perfectly, everything was very tasty - especially the sauce. I'm a huge fan of peppercorn sauce and find many places just can't get it right. Mi Bistro did an amazing job and the whole meal was very enjoyable. The service was friendly and attentive. The ambiance was nice, and I'm surprised it wasn't busier, but I guess we were eating late.

I will definitely keep going back here.

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Coast1054 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Love the New Space
Submitted Friday, September 4, 2009 - 6:30pm [Dine in]

I work close by to Coast and have been meaning to check out their new location for a while now. My co-worker and I went for lunch today to try out their Friday Fish n' Chips Special ($12 for any type - Halibut, Cod, Salmon or Prawns).

When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the host at the front, who guided us in to the hostess stand where they confirmed our reservation. We were seated near the kitchen at a very small table that was a little too close to the table next to us. I think for the sake of one extra table, it isn't really worth cramming people in like that. I really don't like being that close to other diners, as you can overhear each other's conversations. When on a business lunch, you do have to be somewhat careful as you never know who is sitting beside you.

In any case, our server came over and introduced herself and gave us menus. She gave us a few minutes and then came back to take our drink order. After she brought our drinks... she disappeared. She was gone for almost 10 minutes. We started to worry and thought about sending a search party, when I spotted her near the entrance to the kitchen. She seemed okay, so I cancelled the St. Bernard. She spotted me giving her the evil eye and came back to our table, I could see the dawn of realization on her face as she clued in to why I was flagging her down. She apologized for the wait, explaining that she thought she'd taken our order until she saw the menus still in my hand. (She was very sweet & apologetic, unlike the snotty servers over at their sister restaurant, the Italian Kitchen.)

We ordered our food and within about 5 minutes, another server brought a "teaser" that was really quite delicious - a prawn meatball in tomato sauce. Very nice. Our appetizer calamari was also very good - lightly breaded and a bit spicy - nicely cooked and presented. I didn't really care for the mayo dip, but the lemon juice really put a nice finish on the flavours. Shortly after that, our meals arrived (halibut for me, cod for my friend) and they looked very good - the portions were huge! I actually couldn't finish my fries. The halibut was light & flaky and the breading was crispy and not overly greasy. My friend kept commenting on how good it tasted, so we were both quite pleased with everything. I did note on the menu that it said served with creamy coleslaw. This was, to my surprise, not creamy, but a sort of vinaigrette type dressing which was really tasty. I normally don't eat coleslaw, but I finished all of it. I did leave the tartar sauce as I'm not a fan, but my friend said it was quite good.

Despite the delay in getting started with the service, our meal was very enjoyable and I will return.

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Shanghai Chinese Bistro1124 Alberni Street, Vancouver
A Little Overpriced
Submitted Friday, August 28, 2009 - 12:45pm [Dine in]

Our "Ladies Lunch Bunch" decided to try dim sum yesterday and headed over to the Shanghai Chinese Bistro. The location is nice & close to our office, so we figured we'd give it a try. In comparison to other dim sum places close by, the online reviews for this place seemed a bit better.

We were seated promptly, as I had made a reservation the day before. As we were seated, a server came by with a pot of tea, which was piping hot. Between 7 of us, we chose a few of the dim sum dishes (shrimp dumplings, stuffed eggplant, spicy wonton, stuffed green peppers, deep-fried tofu and sticky rice) and two noodle dishes (shanghai fish cake w/ seafood & veggies, fried noodles with shrimp, scallops, octopus & cuttle fish) The octopus was VERY rubbery and not enjoyable at all. My favourite dishes were the fish cake and the stuffed eggplant. I'd never had fish cake before and wasn't sure what to expect, but it was quite tasty.

We all thought the food was good, but the prices are higher than most other dim sum restaurants we'd been to. Average was about $5.00 per dim sum plate, with only 3 or 4 pieces. The bigger dishes were $13.00 each. I would go back, but with fewer people (ideal is 4) so that each plate you all get to try something. With the 7 of us, we ended up ordering 2 of some dishes, but for others we just cut the pieces to share. Not the best, as some of the pieces are small and you don't get more than a taste.

Our server was friendly and although we waited about 5-10 minutes for him to come by to take our order, he did come back regularly to clear plates and refill our teapot. He also brought us complimentary dessert, which was the mango pudding - surprisingly quite good. I believe it was about $5.00 on the menu, which seems a bit much for pudding, but it was quite nice.

I think if I was going for dim sum again, I'd walk a little further to Hon's where the value is a bit better and the food there is really good. I don't think I've ever left Hon's still feeling hungry, as was the case yesterday.

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Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar1079 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Exceptional Service
Submitted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 1:11am [Dine in]

I joined a co-worker for dinner at Glowbal last week and was really impressed with the level of service as well as the food. I've had a bit of bad luck with service lately so I guess my expectations were low, but our server Ben was exceptional.

We were greeted very warmly at the front and I believe my friend had just been there the week before, and Ben recognized him from that previous visit. He came over and personally escorted us to a table in his section and when I asked where the ladies room was, he didn't just tell me, he actually walked me there - nice.

When he came by to take our drink order, he brought a complimentary starter of kobe meatballs and short ribs. Both were delicious. We couldn't quite decide on what to get, so he made a few suggestions and asked what we were in the mood for. We ended up choosing the tuna tartare, which was incredible, and also the prawn popsicles. I would have to say the prawns were the low point of the meal for me (and the reason for only 4 stars) as I found the batter much too heavy - it was similar to a beer-batter for fish & chips. I think a lighter panko-style crust or tempura batter would have been more suitable. I really liked the wasabi mayo though - very smooth texture and a nice kick - helped to cut through the doughy texture of the batter.

For our mains, we both chose one of the specials - a pan-seared halibut with pesto risotto and a jumbo prawn on top. Wow, was that ever a fantastic meal. The wine our server recommended - I believe a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - was a perfect match to the flavours of the dish. Every bite was superb.

Even though we were full, we were presented with a complimentary dessert plate - a vanilla creme brulee, a white chocolate mousse and a chocolate lava-style cake with pistachio ice cream. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, so wasn't loving the lava cake, but the pistachio ice cream and the creme brulee were very good. I thought the white chocolate mousse had a slight oily taste to it, so I didn't have much.

I would definitely recommend this place if you're looking for great service and a great meal - and have the cash to spare. The value is only so-so, and even though we received a few "extras" I don't think this is common. I would go back for a special occasion, only because there are so many other places in Vancouver that I want to try and the price point of Glowbal doesn't fit my regular dine-out budget.

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Vic's Steakhouse and Bar345 Quebec Street, Victoria
Worst Experience Ever
Submitted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 7:38pm [Dine in]

I wanted to take my mom somewhere special for dinner, and made the mistake of choosing Vic’s. I had to condense my review to fit the maximum allowance, so I edited out the long wait at the front, and longer wait for the server…

I ordered the crab & prawn cakes for an appy and the tenderloin for a main (med-rare) - King Crab legs entree for my mom. He said, "the side of crab?" as he wrote it down - but I said, "no, the entrée." He sort of argued with me over whether or not it was a side or an entrée, until I picked up the menu to show him. Apparently, it was a 'new addition' as an entrée and he was confused. Before he rushed off again, I said my mom would like that with the mashed potatoes – also ordered a side of mushrooms and a glass of wine each. Not sure what the problem was but you'd have thought the place was on fire or something as he rushed off.

It was just before 9pm before our appetizer arrived. The prawn & crab cakes were very small and very, very salty. We did eat them (we were hungry!) but had to flag down someone for more water to wash them down. Good thing we had some bread to tide us over as well. Our entrées arrived just after 9:30pm - and the crab legs for my mom's entrée were just that... crab legs on a small plate - nothing with them. When I asked about the rest of her meal, he looked stunned... then said, "oh, the veg is coming separately" - I asked about the potatoes, and he said, "we don't have any." I pointed at my plate with potatoes, and said, "then what is this?". He said, "oh, I'll see if there is any left". I guess it must have been the very last of a batch of potatoes made earlier in the week - they were horrible! And I mean Horrible with a capital H. If I was blindfolded, I would never have guessed that it was potatoes I'd just eaten. It was supposed to have aged white cheddar mixed in, so maybe they used that powdered cheese-stuff they sprinkle on popcorn at the movies. I have no other explanation.

My mom picked up the first crab leg and the cracker, and when she tried to crack it open, it simply squished together. Seriously. No cracking, just squishing. I took the crab leg from her, and it bent without hesitation. It was the weirdest thing. She picked up a few other pieces and same thing... just squish, squish. Gross. The waiter comes back with my mom's potatoes on a little side plate and a side of really dry, old-looking mushrooms. No veggies. This is getting worse. We show him the crab and he offers a replacement. We say no thanks, not for $37 - she'll have something else. He takes it away and says he'll be back with a menu. We both taste the mushrooms and they are almost as bad as the potatoes. I cut into my steak, which seems ok, until I realize that the brown sauce-like substance is merely covering up the fact that the steak is char-grilled to oblivion. It was done sort-of Chicago-medium (blackened on the outside, barely pink in the middle) NOT what I ordered. The black crust I bit into crumbled in my mouth and I almost threw up. I don't know what that was, but spit it out and took a big swig of wine to get rid of the taste.

When the waiter came back, I told him he could not only keep the menu, but he could take away the rest of the food. I wouldn't give that to my DOG. I couldn't believe it - I actually looked around the room for Ashton Kutcher, because I thought I was being Punk'd! Not so. We finished our wine (the only good part) and the manager (?) came by to apologize about everything and asked us to fill in a comment card. Gladly. They kindly comped the wine & appy, but we were still hungry!! It was now just about 10pm and all restaurants between Vic's and our hotel were closed at 10pm. Not only will I never go back to Vic's, I will be sure to warn others of this disgusting excuse for a steakhouse. They should be ashamed - and send their "chef" (term used mockingly) back to whatever fast-food restaurant he learned to cook in.

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Sala Thai888 Burrard, #102, Vancouver
Not the Best Value
Submitted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 1:38pm [Dine in]

I went to Sala Thai with a group from work - about 30 people in total. We were seated in an area at the back of the restaurant, which suited our group just fine. We started off with some appies and I tried their Golden Angel Wings - which was boneless chicken wings stuffed with shrimp, meat, vegetable vermicelli noodle & herbs. Sounds much better than it tasted. It was kind of a weird flavour - deep friend and sliced, served with a chili oil sauce. I wouldn't recommend it, or order it again.

For my main, I had the Pa-Nang Tiger Prawns & Scallops, a thick red curry sauce with coconut cream, bell peppers & coconut meat. The flavour was good, but there was hardly any food there. It would only be enough to share if you had at least 2 dishes plus rice.

Basically, the food was ok - but the value isn't there. I'm used to much larger portions with Thai food, so I would go elsewhere next time I'm craving Thai. Actually, there WAS considerable value in their draft beer - they only have one kind though - Big Rock Traditional Ale. A huge pitcher will cost you only $14.99, so that was a plus.

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Closed
Charm Modern Thai and Bar1269 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Mostly Good Food, Mostly Bad Service
Submitted Thursday, August 6, 2009 - 7:29pm [Dine in]

A birthday party brought me to Charm last Saturday night. There were about 25 people in the party, and 6 of us ended up sitting separate from the rest of the group. Not a problem, and it actually worked out well for the food as it is served "family style" and each dish was portioned for 6 people.

The birthday girl opted for us to try the set menu and we were all pretty happy with that choice, as it allows you to try many different dishes - in our case for only $25 each. For the appies, there were spring rolls, short ribs, veggie tempura, tom yum gai soup, and tod mun gai - and the entrées featured Thai style 3 flavoured fish (so-so) pad thai (ok) Panang Beef (awesome) and pineapple braised short ribs (ok). My favourite dish was the panang beef - I think it was the favourite amongst everyone at our table, actually. There was supposed to be vanilla bean tapioca and thai tea ice cream for dessert, but we waited about 40 minutes for that and most people left without having any. A few stragglers at the end actually got the dessert, which I tried and wasn't really keen on the ice cream - the tapioca was really good though.

I would never go back with a large group, because the servers just didn't seem capable of handling that many people. I had to ask many times for water, and a glass of wine for my dinner. I would like to go back with a smaller group (4-6 people) and try a few more dishes, like the duck sticks and the satays. I'll definitely get the panang beef again!

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Italian Kitchen1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Amazing Anitpasto Platter
Submitted Thursday, August 6, 2009 - 2:17pm [Dine in]

Four of my coworkers and I went to the Italian Kitchen for lunch about a week ago. They are usually booked well in advance, so I made the reservation about a week ahead of time. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the hostess who led us upstairs to another hostess, who seated us immediately.

The service is very laid back, in the sense that they really don't bother rushing around for anything. They just sort of saunter around, taking their time with everything. The manager actually came by to fill our water glasses and apologized for the delay with our server. When we asked a couple of questions, he kind of froze and simply said that our server would be right with us. Odd.

When our server finally arrived, he answered our questions and took our order for food & wine. It took a LONG time to get our wine - which was a bit weird, since we just ordered a bottle for the table. I didn't think it would take that long to ring in and bring back to the table, but it did take about 15 minutes for him to return.

We ordered an antipasto platter to share, and it was incredible. First of all, the portion is huge. We ordered for two, but shared between four of us. The fifth person in our group opted for the bruschetta as a starter. I think if only two people were sharing the platter, they wouldn't need anything else as there is so much on the plate and it's very filling. There were jumbo prawns, baked clams, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, kobe meatballs, char-grilled brussels sprouts, caprese salad and a few other items - everything was so flavourful. I think the brussels sprouts were a bit salty for some, but I really liked them.

I think it was about a half hour before our mains arrived. Far too long for a lunchtime wait, if you ask me. When the food finally arrived, there were no complaints from anyone - we all really enjoyed the food. The portions on some entrées were HUGE, while others a bit small - I guess it depends on your order. My lasagna and salad were a decent size, and I had to wrap most of it to go as I was still full from the appetizer. No one had room for dessert, and two of us left with take-out bags.

For a glass of wine, appy & entree, my bill was about $27 plus tax & tip. I didn't think it was outrageous, but I wouldn't spend that much on lunch very often. The food was definitely worth it.

My only complaint really, was with the service. Everything took so long to arrive and our server did not seem at all fazed by the fact that we were becoming impatient. If I go back for lunch, I would probably just stick with an appy OR an entrée to save time. I recommend this place if you are not in a hurry.

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Sciue126 Davie Street, Vancouver
Surprisingly Good
Submitted Thursday, August 6, 2009 - 1:49pm [Dine in]

After a nice long walk around the seawall in Yaletown, my friend and I decided to stop in at Sciue for a bite to eat and a cold drink. I had my dog with me, so I waited outside while my friend went in to see if he could get some menus. Apparently, there were only tea menus. Not sure if they actually had any food menus or he just couldn't find any... he said they had pizza and a few other items that he could see. I think it was the way he said it, that I was not really interested in the pizza, so I decided to flag down a server for a possible menu.

The servers who were aimlessly walking around outside clearing plates seemed put out when I asked if they had menus. One girl pointed to the dry-erase sandwich board outside and said that was their menu. She also pointed out they closed at 8pm so we'd better hurry up (it was exactly 7pm when we arrived) if we wanted to order food. I decided to go with their meat lasagna, and my friend chose the same. We sat for a few minutes being ignored by every server walking around, before I finally asked about being served. The same girl said, "well, just go inside to order" like it would have KILLED her if she had taken my order.

My friend had to go feed the meter, so I quickly went inside to order a couple of beers and our lasagnas, trying to keep an eye on my dog at the same time, who was tethered to my chair. I got the beer and ordered the food and went back outside. When my friend joined me, I went inside to wash my hands - as I passed by the food prep area, I was quite surprised at the pizzas - they looked delicious! They are traditional style with very fresh ingredients and made to order. I immediately regretted my choice for the lasagna.

When the pizza arrived, the 'server' just plopped down the plates and walked away. No cutlery. I had to go inside to get it myself, apparently. I don't mind self-service, but the attitude from the employees is ridiculous. Why even have servers, since they don't really do anything except clear plates and bring your food? I just hope they aren't expecting a tip with attitudes like that.

The lasagna was surprisingly good - very light, fresh and simple flavours. They are a little skimpy with the bread (one, small, anemic slice on each plate) but the lasagna was a decent portion and I guess I shouldn't expect much for a sidewalk cafe.

We shared an order of Tiramisu for dessert, which was also very good and the portion was huge. Again, very light & simple flavours and it tasted freshly made. I prefer my Tiramisu with a little more rum or brandy flavour and maybe a stronger coffee taste, but this was pretty good anyway.

I would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a nice, simple yet tasty meal. Keep your expectations low on the service front, as there really isn't any to be found. I think I'll go back to try the pizza next time.

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