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ooomphVancouverSince March 26, 200716 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.4)
  • Food3.5 (3.6)
  • Service3.5 (3.3)
  • Value4 (3.8)
  • Ambiance3 (3)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 Reviews Found
Closed
Pho Le Vietnamese Noodle House633 Main Street, #220, Vancouver
Now my favourite pho restaurant
Submitted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 4:48pm [Dine in]

I have tried many, many pho restaurants in metro Vancouver. Most of them are average, and only a few warrant coming back. But this out of the way little place on the second floor of a building in a corner of Chinatown has become my favourite cure for pho addiction. (I agree with the previous reviewer: the name on the sign is Pho Le Inc.)

To compare the different Vietnamese restaurants, I always order rare beef pho on my first visit. If it's good enough, I pay more visits. Usually though, the quality of the broth can vary from day to day. But I can say without a doubt Pho Le consistently has the best pho broth. I once took someone who had an MSG allergy here. I asked the server if there was any MSG used, and he said they only used bones in the soup, and that the way to tell if there was MSG was to see if you became very thirsty after eating. True to his word, my friend didn't develop any allergy symptoms, and unlike most other MSG-laced pho places which have you gasping for water half an hour later, we didn't suffer thirst afterwards.

I've seen a few different servers here, and the service is always good. For some reason they are never busy, and I always got prompt and polite service. Ambiance is slightly better than other Vietnamese restaurants since they are on the second floor, and I could always get the window seat. If I happen to drive by, my pho addiction meter always goes crazy, and soon I would be sitting by the window, having the best pho in Vancouver with a smile on my face. It is that good.

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Babylon Cafe1156 Denman Street, Vancouver
One of the best in the West End
Submitted Monday, June 14, 2010 - 11:20pm [Dine in]

I used to live close to Denman when this place opened, and I got addicted to their food from the first bite. They have a fast turnaround, and food is always fresh and flavourful. I've been to the other Babylon Cafe on Robson, but the Denman location is better because they have shawarma plates, not just wraps. The plates have huge portions and are filled to the brim with fresh cut shawarma meat (chicken is the best), rice, salad, and potatoes, perfect for eating at the beach nearby. The service is always friendly, and it's mostly a takeout place, so ambiance is not important. I still come back even though I'm no longer in the neighbourhood. Highly recommended.

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Reef, The4172 Main Street, Vancouver
The crowd is almost always right
Submitted Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 7:38pm [Dine in]

I stopped here for lunch at 2 pm on a Sunday, and the place was packed inside and out. There are times when the crowd is following pure hype, but The Reef is the real deal.

The decor tries to mimic the style of a real Carribean cafe, and is appropriately rustic. The atmosphere is great for a casual gathering of friends.

They appeared to have a good selection of rum and mixed drinks, but we didn't want alcohol for lunch. Skipping the breakfast/brunch items, we went for West Indian Chicken Curry and Ackee with Saltfish. Jerk chicken was unavailable for lunch, but the waiter promised to put some jerk spice into the curry, which was nice. The food was delicious, and I would like to come back for dinner another time.

Service was slow but very friendly. They did have a packed house, so I'm not going to judge them too much on speed, but I was extremely satisfied with the relaxed attitude of our waiter.

Definitely recommended.

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Tanpopo1122 Denman Street, Vancouver
Pleasantly surprised
Submitted Monday, October 20, 2008 - 1:17am [Dine in]

I live in the neighbourhood, but always walked by Tanpopo without noticing it. It's tucked away on the second floor and easy to miss, but I won't miss it anymore.

A lot of AYCE sushi places have a limit on sashimi, and to my delight this restaurant didn't have any limits, even for lunch. In addition to albacore tuna sashimi, they also had wild sockeye salmon sashimi for lunch! I'm huge on sashimi, so that alone got me hooked. The sashimi was fresh and delicious. The price for AYCE lunch is excellent at about $12 a pop. I just have to give 5 for value here.

Service was good. The waiter was ready and willing to take additional orders without attitude, and filled tea cups quickly. They also have a pretty good mango ice cream. Unfortunately ice cream is not part of the AYCE lunch menu.

I have added Tanpopo to my regular list.

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Closed
Watermark1305 Arbutus St., Vancouver
Food doesn't do location justice
Submitted Sunday, September 7, 2008 - 11:04am [Dine in]

I agree that Watermark has one of the best locations in Vancouver. We went there at sunset, and the view was breathtaking - patio seating is definitely the way to go.

With such a prime location, it's a bit bizarre to me why they would have a bar section with a TV. Most people came for a fine dining experience. The tables were packed, while the bar seats were almost empty.

Service was solid but not spectacular. Tables were close to each other, so privacy or intimacy was on short supply. I would be willing to ignore everything else just for the view, but the food unfortunately didn't justify their dollar value.

It was bad food by any means. It was solid, but generic and devoid of character or love. The salt crusted shrimp in shell appy was excellent, but I didn't find anything outstanding in my seared salmon. With a glass of wine each, the bill for two came to $80 before tip.

If you must go, go for the view. Your eyes will probably appreciate Watermark more than your stomach.

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Sweet Basil1262 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
Decent but not authentic enough
Submitted Sunday, September 7, 2008 - 10:45am [Dine in]

I've been searching for an authentic Thai place, and my search continues.

Sweet Basil is tucked away inside a shopping complex. The open air windows are excellent for a warm sunny day, and the restaurant was bright and cheerful. We were there for lunch, and service was prompt and courteous.

Lunch specials are aggressively priced at $7 for any item. One spring roll and rice are included. I picked Chicken Basil. This dish was too salty, and it had too much soy sauce or bean sauce, both of which shouldn't be present in the first place. It was absent of any Thai chili peppers even though I had ordered it extra hot. The sping roll was good, but there almost wasn't enough rice because the dish was so salty. Girlfriend wasn't impressed with her choice either.

I've had authentic Thai before, and this is not quite it. Sweet Basil is a fair place for a quick and inexpensive lunch, but I probably won't be back to try out the dinner menu.

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Sachi Sushi4359 Main St., #106, Whistler
Stumbled into greatness
Submitted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 1:43pm [Dine in]

Girlfriend and I got the craving for sushi after a few days of backpacking. Neither of us familiar with Whistler, Sachi was the first sushi place we found driving around town. The prices were definitely higher than typical Vancouver rate, but I guess Whistler in general is more expensive. The restaurant was packed on a rainy Friday noon, but service was professional and prompt.

I would recommend the seeweed salad, roundhouse rolls (perfect), and mango rolls. We also had their big lunch box, which was miles above average. Judging by our experience, I do believe the other review that says everything on the menu is good.

We found the village afterwards, but I'm very happy to have stumbled upon Sachi.

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Sammy's Hot Wings1773 Robson Street, Vancouver
My wings joint
Submitted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 1:31pm [Dine in]

I've only done takeout from here, but Sammy's is a decent neighbourhood place that also attracts walk-in Robson traffic. Wings aren't the healthiest food, but once in a while I get the craving for them, and Sammy's solves it for me. The cook (owner?) and waitress are very friendly, and the walls are plastered with photos of happy customers and around-the-world currency notes. They do Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food alongside wings, but I haven't tried them yet. Definitely worth a try.

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Olympia Pizza & Pasta Restaurant On Denman998 Denman Street, Vancouver
Tried it once, will return again
Submitted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 1:22pm [Dine in]

I was a bit surprised to see the low ratings. I just tried this joint for lunch yesterday, and at least what I ordered was excellent. I will vouch for the roast lamb and greek salad. Girlfriend had lasagna and that was mediocre. Value was great - $10 for roast lamb! Service was decent, although some empty tables had leftover plates that took a while to be cleared. The waitress didn't look motivated, but she treated us well.

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Seoul Dookbaegi1031 Kingsway St., Vancouver
It must be authentic
Submitted Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 11:57pm [Dine in]

My only prior experience with Korean food was a quick lunch in Boston. The food was decent but definitely not memorable.

If I'm not familiar with the food, I look at who's eating. While eating at Seoul Dookbaegi, I saw several groups of customers come in, all of them spoke nothing but Korean. It's a reassuring sight.

We tried the seafood tofu stew (excellent), rice and veggies in sizzling stone pot (a bit too plain for my taste), and BBQ beef (tasty).

The decor is cafeteria like, with uncomfortable wooden chairs. There is a wall with customer comments - most of which are in Korea. I would come back for the food, which must be authentic, and are indeed much better than what I had in Boston. Recommended.

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Chutney Villa Fine South Indian Cuisine147 East Broadway, Vancouver
Interesting food, bland service
Submitted Monday, April 30, 2007 - 2:05am [Dine in]

This was my first experience with souther Indian food, which I thought was spicy, right up my alley. We arrived for dinner to a near full house. The place was full of Indian artifacts, which kept the eyes busy while we waited for our orders. I chose a lamb dish with all the accompanying side items, and found some brand new tastes within. My tongue danced with intrigue, and my brain was puzzled, spot on! The new seasoning grabbed my attention, but the food was not spicy at all. Perhaps I didn't order the right item, but I was satisfied with discovering something new.

Service was forgettable. Once we ordered, we were approached once when the chutney came around, then never again. I guess this is their standard for servers, but the prices made me expect better attention and maybe a smile or two. I still liked the food enough to be willing to come back, if only I knew what item was the spiciest...

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Closed
Liliget Feast House & Catering1724 Davie Street, Vancouver
Try it at least once
Submitted Monday, April 30, 2007 - 1:38am [Dine in]

The most interesting feature of Liliget is its unique design and atmosphere. You descend down a narrow staircase to a deep basement that is a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver outside. Tables are arranged around several large wooden pillars, and you sit on the floor with your feet literally underground.

Service is prompt and well-mannered, and you are so intrigued by the surroundings, that you'd probably pay money to just sit there for a while. However, when it came to food, I wasn't quite as impressed. The appetizers we tried were so so, but I was most looking forward to their most popular item, the feast boat. The dish looked novel, but the word that best described the taste was "plain". Maybe this is how it's supposed to taste, maybe my taste buds have been over-stimulated from eating lots of spicy food all my life, but nothing in the platter jumped out and grabbed my attention. The salmon was a little dry, and the vegetables could have had at least a bit of salt. Some of the things in the platter were exotic, and I liked trying them out - I'm a sucker for unusual food.

If you don't mind mild food, you'll like Liliget. Even if you don't enjoy the food, you should still try the place at least once, just for the experience.

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Closed
Le Nakamura Japanese Dining12480 No. 1 Rd, #130, Richmond
Not impressed
Submitted Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:31pm [Dine in]

I really can't say anything good about the service. It was not busy, yet we spent several solid minutes looking at the menu and going to the bathroom before the waitress even came around to take orders, never mind bringing tea. When tea did come, it was lukewarm and bland. Food was decent, but portions were small for sashimi and sushi. The cooked items were better. It took about $50 for 2 people, and I didn't feel I got value for the money.

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Thai Son Vietnamese373 E. Broadway, Vancouver
Used to be better
Submitted Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - 2:48am [Dine in]

I have eaten this restaurant several times, the first time wasn't long after it opened several years ago. It was slightly above average then, but both quality and quantity have declined over the years. There isn't as much meat, even for large bowls, and the soup is not as flavouful as before. They blanch the bean sprouts, a practice I don't like, but perhaps done to appease common taste. Service has always been bare bones. You are lucky if you get a smile, but you probably won't be mistreated either. On a wall they have newspaper clippings of some Asian celebrities that I don't recognize patronizing the restaurant. For me, this is an average Vietnamese restaurant. The best pho I've had is unfortunately still from a little family establishment in Toronto.

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Sushi House7060 Kingsway, Burnaby
Superb value
Submitted Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 5:40pm [Dine in]

I actually found this place through dinehere. The reviews are accurate - Sushi House has excellent value. I always saw busy traffic, and the food was appropriately fresh. Portions are generous and taste is consistently good. The fish could have been chilled a little more immediately before serving, but I'm being picky. Considering the price level (about $10 per person unless you gorge yourself) and the freshness of ingredients, you can't really go wrong here.

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Closed
Yoshi Japanese Restaurant689 Denman Street, Vancouver
Top tier service
Submitted Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 5:26pm [Dine in]

took my mother to yoshi's on denman for her birthday. it was a pleasant experience. we both tried the mini kaiseki, so got a variety of food to taste. freshness was outstanding, and the sashimi was served in an ice bowl - probably the freshest i've had. i'm not a big fan of fried food, but the shrimp tempura was memorable. i tasted one grain of sand in a clam, and there was a seed in a lemon wedge, but otherwise the food was great.

service was outstanding. waiters were extremely courteous and respectful, helpful without being intrusive. it's more pricey than most places, but i would recommend yoshi's for special occasions.

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