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PengdioVancouverKnowing where it goes, enjoying the journey.Since June 23, 200820 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.3)
  • Food3.5 (3.7)
  • Service3 (3.1)
  • Value3.5 (3.5)
  • Ambiance3 (2.9)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 Reviews Found
PiDGiN350 Carrall Street, Vancouver
A Good Start...
Submitted Friday, March 8, 2013 - 4:23am [Dine in]

So, like all things media related, the protests and protesters are grossly over reported. Nor is it anywhere near Pidgeon Park. And we walked out of the DTES without a peep.

The place is good...a work in progress and a ways to go before I'd slap an unvarnished recommendation but good with hope for the future, having eaten our way through 1/2 the menu over a pleasant 3h decompression dinner with a good friend.

There were some highlights: The rice cake with tomato, pork belly and furiake was a real winner...a true example of where fusion (in this case Japan/Italian) works with the rice cake like a rice gnocchi. The beef tongue and cheek needs work but a generally very good dish with an upside for future visits. The soy mushrooms with poached eggs was an excellent and attractive starter but the beef tataki needs work in presentation (Gruyere, potato crumbs, beef carpaccio, unagi) to bring out too many subtle flavours. The calamari yakiudon style needs work but the calamari itself was excellent (not rubbery but dense) although it is blatant cheating if you need a dollop of bacon to save the dish.

Some spiffy cocktails and the right ingredients, including the Botanist gin on offer. There were a couple of good cocktails, especially the Asian-y Deighton with Bulleit bourbon and the Van Horne gin and fizzy jasmine tea (awesome CPRailway reference!) which fixes a lot, as does the pleasant and open staff, who addressed openly and encouragingly, defiantly, the protesters and their misguided efforts.

The room is noisy, but with a pleasantly low hipster-ia quotient. Pidgin is an earnest place worth supporting, with some upbeat hope and optimism, something that this town needs to embrace for more than as a bastion against PC madness.

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Hawksworth Restaurant801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
High Expectations...Met.
Submitted Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 9:36pm [Dine in]

It was a superlative evening. The arrival was a touch awkward in that the wait in the lounge for drinks was slow and invisible for a touch longer than expected but it was vibrant and busy on a Sat. Night. And when they arrived, they were excellent, novel and good value.

The sommelier did an excellent job decanting the '07 Robinson Family Cabernet we had brought along, even double decanting it after making the suggestion, making the $35 corkage fee a good value and value-add.

We went with a tasting menu and added a couple of appetizers to the experience. The dishes were uniformly excellent, even sublime with each dish being well plated and clever, including a foie gras dish served with foie gras cotton candy. The minor complaint was around the timing of the additional dishes ordered, which because of the business of the kitchen, couldn't bring them out sequentially but brought them out two at a time, which ultimately worked (tapas-style) as we were sharing everything.

The crowd is monied and blessedly not the aching hipster set that plagues many restaurants, with a nice uptick in suits. The ambiance was pleasantly upbeat, celebratory but still not intrusive on a slow dinner night out.

Ultimately, it was a pleasantly stunning and with the foie gras cotton candy and frozen coconut milk and lemongrass gelato, a highlight of one of the best meals in Vancity in some time.

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Fish Cafe2053 West 41st Ave, Vancouver
An Oasis
Submitted Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 1:55pm [Dine in]

In Kerrisdale, there's little to say for eating there...it's sterile or mundane or uninteresting, unless you like burgers. Fish Cafe is a simple place, a little cool to the eye but simple, excellent seafood options served right and priced right.

Mahi Mahi and snapper dishes are very good and the sauces add a nice twist to the tastes of a small menu. The calamari is especially a delight...delicious, never chewy and pan fried with what are the best fries in the city, with the possible exception of Chambar. The service is always friendly, efficient and washed down with a $5 pint of R&B on tap, is as close to a haven as there is. It's worth going there to avoid the crowds and noise if you're interested in a pleasant, unrushed environment.

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Two Brothers Chinese Restaurant & Cafe8532 Granville Street, Vancouver
A Comfy Oasis
Submitted Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 3:40pm [Take-out]

Simply, I hate takeout. I hate the food's never hot enough, the grease is extra greasy, I hate to wait for dirvers...and on and on. I live on the W.Side and the area is a total desert for good, simple Chinese food. The place is lit like a Guantanamo holding cell, and is always generally busy with a heavily Chinese clientele, so its bona fides are there.

I've never eaten there but on take out, I'm with VF18's review. The food is generally better than expected. The wonton soup is flavourful and attractive. The fried rice and the almond chicken is great, as are simple dishes like beef with green beans in black bean sauce. Although the dinners for 2-4 are the best value, they're the weakest dishes with the sweet and sour and chop suey dishes being decidely underwhelming.

This place is so much better than anything west of Granville that it's a total standout. It's comfy, easy and reliable and the staff are not automatons.

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Closed
Three Lions Cafe1 East Broadway, #1, Vancouver
Best Footy Food in the City...
Submitted Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 3:17pm [Dine in]

This is more bistro then pub with a ho-hum interior and simple deck more suited for a couple of pints than dinner, despite the great view of downtown. They've done a good job though with embracing the right elements to be a success in an awkard location.

The food is generally very good. The courgettes (zucchini), burgers and Guinness pie are all good to excellent, as is the hanger steak at dinner. As for comfort food, I don't know there's a greater joy than ordering the cumberland sausages with onion gravy and mashed potatoes, with all of it sitting on a plate sized Yorkshire pudding. For $15, this is one of the happiest dishes in the city...and you don;t need to eat again (for a day anyway).

The draft beer selection is good, with Fullers, Guinness on tap, and at an E.Van. discount. The place's size no doubt limits selection but it's enough for anyone's taste.

It's a great place to watch soccer, especially for Setanta games. The atmosphere is good. At night, the single TV doesn't dominate the room and the atmosphere is relaxed and easy going with a diverse crowd. Not a place to be seen, it's a place to be with a friend. Service can be eccentric and the small kitchen can lead to delays but it almost never matters.

Generally...well recommended for Brit eats and relaxed atmosphere and watching footy...

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131 Water Kitchen and Bar131 Water St, Unit 127, Vancouver
A Work in Progress
Submitted Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 2:57pm [Dine in]

I also had a Groupon to the restaurant and went there after work. The place has an odd streetfront layout and is clearly under expansion and construction. Apparently, there's a deck coming as well so it should be fun when the weather turns.

The place itself can only be described as nondescript, with the only view other than Water St. are the two intrusive TVs. On a weeknight, the bartender is the server and this obviously demonstrates the slow foot traffic in February. Everything on the menu is simple and straightforward, which can be read as boring or comfortable, especially given the try-so-hard nature of many of the establishments in Gastown.

We had appies: The boar chili was particularly good, smoky chicken drumettes and fish&chips. All of which are good portions, tasty and at least 20% cheaper than other eatery expectations, so good value all around.

The food was a little slow in coming but again, given the quiet traffic, not unsurprising. The place definitely needs to have a draw, which could be the patio, but for now, the food is enough of a draw for a quick pint and above average pub food. It'll need more to thrive in the area, however, and I hope it gets the chance.

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Closed
Avenue Grill, The2114 W 41st Avenue, Vancouver
Indiana Jones
Submitted Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 6:15pm [Dine in]

A landmark in the admittedly sterile Kerrisdale food landscape, this was a seriously flawed lunch. Ordering was slow, even though it was no less than full than on any other midday lunch service. The gazpacho soup special was little more than a vegetable soup, which though adequate, was a pretty untraditional watered down recipe.

While the smoked chicken penne was old-school comfort and perfectly acceptable (food=3.5), the canneloni was the worst dish I've witnessed in a long time (food < 1). It was made with such a ridiculous quantity of sage with the ricotta as to render it nearly inedible. When raised with the waitress, a shrug of the shoulders, a mumbled "that'sthewaytheymakeit" and nothing further. Dessert tiramisu was tasty and light. It was the kind of lunch where one doesn't object further but if it was just friends, I'd have been livid with management, particularly when no adjustment to the bill nor an apology was offered. Throw in shoddy attention (we were able to make a cool little plate pyramid), and I expect to be successful in avoiding Avenue Grill through 2011 at least.

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Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro663 E 15th Ave, Vancouver
Another Winner (Qualified)
Submitted Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 6:05pm [Dine in]

This is a solid addition to the post economic collapse market, value dining scene. The food was generally very good (the appetitzer alsacienne tart, which was lovely, if a little subtle). The bread was adequate, if less than fresh by 9pm on a Sunday night but the beef filet in red wine shallot jus is worth the effort. The veggies were simple but not overdone, the potatoes gratinwere nicely and thinly sliced and layered and the jus itself was excellent, with just enough peppercorn to highlight the perfectly cooked steak, all for $19.

The wine list occasionally has some extraordinarily low markups (if applied unevenly) but needs to reflect its restaurant name more seriously. Still, a decent, complementary French red for $55, once decanted, speaks to a good effort.

Desserts were a little disappointing and smallish, as was the americano afterward.

Mediocre service was masked by the waiter's outstanding French accent but the noisy restaurant, with uneven lighting needs upgrading in straddling the line between fine/casual dining. It might be different on another night.

This is a crowded marketnow, thankfully...I look forward to a repeat visit and an evolution...

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Closed
Sanafir1026 Granville Street, Vancouver
Attitude
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 1:14am [Dine in]

Provecho's review was similar to mine...I had to almost convince the huge bouncer (I hate that) to let me in to meet my table reservation. The place has a very cool vibe that unfortunately attracts the loud and obnoxious...which is fine if that's your mood for the night but this is not the place for a quiet meal. The food has some mediterranean/middle eastern accents that makes the tapas style offerings easy to drink, especially with the passable wine list and decent martinis at the bar. This is like a club in many ways, especially with the private rooms/beds upstairs perfectly suited for a little nooky. It's a very hip place that if it ever loses its energy and platinum card devotees will be as tired and old as a leisure suit combover at 2am.

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Closed
Players Chophouse Restaurant and Lounge808 Beatty Street, Vancouver
The Big City...
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 1:06am [Dine in]

This place is a significant disappointment. Mitch berger's original offering, Saltaire, is a great idea of what a good restaurant shoudl be like - food, ambiance, service and location. This place has little of it. It's clearly run to trap the suburban sports fans into overpaying for mediocre food.

The steak I ordered was 20min behind the others at my table, lukewarm and not cooked as ordered, although eventually it was. Service when the restaurant was still empty was disorganized and disintegrated as it filled up. The pizzas were good/v.good but the overall lack of attention to details marred a night out with the boys. The TVs aren't even in the right place to watch a hockey game because they're too high. Disappointing but one to approach cautiously.

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Italian Kitchen1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Profit
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:59am [Dine in]

This is a place that's about the benjamin$. The hostesses will seat you according to your look and the efficient, if cool, service takes over from there. The food is Italian but more Tony Montana than Mamma Mia. By this I mean is that it's very much N.American/expense cheque Italian, often tasy but a little soulless. There are exceptions and that is the spaghetti and Kobe beef meatballs. How this gem got on the menu is a mystery as it's everything a place like this aspires to - audacious, delicious, messy and well served and well priced. The wine list has some aggregious markups, depending on your taste, catering again to the expense accounts but again, you can find some decent offerings there. Still, this is a place to eat, pay and move from and there's very little here that encourages you to linger.

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Closed
Refuel Restaurant1944 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
Hmmm....
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:50am [Dine in]

I'm not sure about the trends of the new concept for high end restaurants - excellent chef, serving often brilliant food, well done wine list in a cafeteria setting to offset the "irony" of $35 entrees. The food, as I mentioned, was artfully prepared, with the steak being a superb, flavourful and satisfying choice, which is odd in places like this. The drinks menu was very good, with the offering of a Sazerac from New Orleans because the sommelier had been to New Orleans and brought back some Peychaud bitters showing the commitment to the little things that get you noticed.

This is a noisy place, definitely not suited for a romantic dinner for two but nice for a noisy, if showy, evening out, although the place doesn't encourage you to linger too much. Staff are generally well trained, trying to offer Michelin 1 star lite service, often achieving it. Recommended but rather selectively depending on your age, and desire for a modern nouvelly irony experience.

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Asa Sushi2178 West 41 Avenue, Vancouver
A little special in Kerrisdale...
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:43am [Dine in]

Kerrisdale is a black hole for decent restaurants still and this place is a rare exception from the norm. The standard sushi fare is just that but the special rolls can be good, interesting, or in the case of the Crazy Boy roll, sublime. This is a superb warm roll with a homemade/invented sauce that is simple and excellent, in either its hot or regular modes.

Service is harried/disorganized but it's got a sense of ownership to it from the kitchen forward...best thing to do is to order takeout and then go to Chesire Cheese for a pint of Guinness while you wait.

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Closed
Lumiere2551 W. Broadway, Vancouver
What a difference....
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:34am [Dine in]

When I went to the tasting bar, for the first time without Rob Feenie, I had no idea that the place would become a Cactus Club. The service was noncommital, to say the very least, and sloppy by any standard, yet alone a place that professes to be one of the city's best. The various dishes were pleasant, not always hot, and generally lacklustre. I will not be hurrying back.

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Bishop's Restaurant2183 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Touchstone
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:30am [Dine in]

This place has helped to reinvent the restaurant scene in the city since its inception in 1986. I've been going since its inception and even now, remains the top choice for special occasions/celebrations. It manages to minimize artifice while maintaining a very high degree of quality, freshness, consistency and comfort in realizing John Bishop's thoughts on what W.Coast cuisine should be.

Soups are a consistent highlight. The choices are relatively small allowing for maximum flexibility in menu items with all the little excellent extras that a really fine restaurant comfortable in its own skin offers. Its clientele continues to be relatively diverse and the sheer lack of Porsches, valet parking and attitude on top of the simple, calming white colours and brilliantly turned out dishes make this an absolute must for understanding Vancouver's improving food scene.

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Martini's Restaurant151 West Broadway, Vancouver
Nice & Ol' School
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:22am [Dine in]

These guys have rescued the idea that whole wheat pizzas can actually taste good instead of like cardboard which is good as it's what they're known for. There are cheap beer specials, including imports on Wed. nights. The pizzas are very well presented, good toppings and tender crust, The appies are simple, large, served hot and universally good value.

The clientele is diverse as is the atmosphere, making this a great place, with old school furnishings, to hang out for solid inexpensive, pub+ atmosphere without pretense and attitude.

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Anton's Pasta Bar4260 E Hastings Street, Burnaby
Garlic heaven...
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:17am [Dine in]

This place has been awesome forever, with lines 365d/y, regardless of weather or appetite. The pastas are all highly garlicked but with very pleasant, savoury ingredients leading to very safe, family oriented pastafests that have stood the test of time over the last 20 yrs or so. It's a shame you can't book but for simple pasta, this place can't be beat, with consistent service, noisy ambience and those huge 2-3 meal pasta servings. The original and still the best.

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Coast1054 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Exciting...
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:12am [Dine in]

This restaurant is probably the best of the Glowbal family of restaurants. The room's a little cramped but is bright and fits well into the Yaletown aesthetic. The staff are encouraged to bond with the clientele when warranted, allowing for a sense of being an insider on returns. A lot of places might do this but Coast's the first I've seen that give business cards to kitchen and serving staff to contact for future visits...nice touch.

The food can be superb, even sublime if you wander off menu. The calibre of the seafood is exceptional, with highlights around halibut and scallop offerings that were satisfying and yet high concept in flavours and texture. The Ahi tuna was as superb as anything offered at Tojo's, The larger appetizer platter is highly recommended for first time visitors but the shrimp.squid spring roll and beet salad are highlights.

The wine list is well served for the clientele with few jarring offerings, all fitting the aesthetic of the restaurant and without excessive markups, selectively.

For now, believe the hype.

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Samurai Sushi House5888 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Japanese Comfort
Submitted Monday, June 23, 2008 - 12:00am [Dine in]

These oversized, over-riced sushi offerings are unbelievable value,,,with enormous pieces of tuna for little more than $1...always busy, it's best to order ahead although if the order is too early, the tuna can be frozen. 2-3 rolls + 2-3 pieces of sashimi are enough for a cheap, cheap dinner for 2. Everything's right for the nights when cooking isn't in the cards.

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Phnom Penh Restaurant244 E Georgia St, Vancouver
OK...
Submitted Sunday, June 22, 2008 - 11:54pm [Dine in]

So it makes you wonder whether there are different dishes for non-Asians because everything...the hot and sour soup...butter beed with cilantro...pork chops, egg with rice (not fried), salad rolls was passable but very, very mild, and I'm not an aggressive spice junkie. The ambiance in places like this is always bad and although the service was criticized in other postings, I didn't find it bad given that it was its usual busy place. I can't say that I'll be back and it seems that it's trading on its rep more than anything. UNderwhelming all around with the tea being a rare highlight. Hot and sour soup was sweet and sour and unique and was the top food choice of the night.

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