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pretentionlessVancouverSince February 5, 200917 Reviews
Average Rating
2.5 (2.6)
  • Food2.5 (2.6)
  • Service3 (2.8)
  • Value2.5 (2.4)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.5)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 Reviews Found
Vanya5615 Harold St, Vancouver
Not worth returning for - but, Jesus, do something about the floor!
Submitted Friday, March 19, 2010 - 10:38am [Dine in]

Visited with the family for dinner a couple of weeks ago. The food was just okay. Another example of real Japanese food that might be okay if you were to whip it up at home yourself, but even for an inexpensive restaurant you expect a bit more than what you get here.

Service is friendly and pretty quick considering they were quite busy. Could have used some tea refills.

The thing that clinches that I won't be returning is the decor. I don't expect much. Plain Jane is fine as long as it's clean. This place hasn't had any attention the decor in probably 25 years, which is okay, but the carpeted floor was so grotty and worn out that I was scared to let my child stand on it in case she were to touch it. It was filthy and worn out. After seeing this it really turned me off my meal. Don't believe me? Check it out when you visit. You'll be screaming, "Just rip it out and have bare cement!!"

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Shiro3096 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Sure, they're Japanese, but they're not putting out great food
Submitted Friday, March 19, 2010 - 10:32am [Dine in]

After seeing so many good things I visited with the wife and child. She had the beef domburi. It was cheap at $6.50 but quite small and not what I would call real gyudon - some beef and a few onion slices. What about that nice, rich gyudon sauce? I'm not sure I saw any in the bowl at all. I had the karaage and tempura set dinner. I was expecting a bento, but ended up getting: miso soup; then sunomono; then karaage and rice; then tempura. Each item was served one after the other. Not exactly what I expected from a teishoku set. And ice cream at the end. The food was barely passable. Miso soup with a couple of cubes of tofu and wait, is that seaweed? Hmmm... maybe a couple of strands were in there. Sunomono was average. Karaage, and this is a travesty was deep-fried chicken wings. Where do restaurants get off serving wings as karaage. Many years living in Japan and I think I only got wings once. Unacceptable. The tempura was okay. We also had an avocado roll for the kid. I ended up with two pieces which were very average.

I won't bother going back for this food. The service was pretty good though, friendly and frequent tea refills. The place was packed but I'm not sure why. Better food is available nearby. It may be Japanese people running the place, but when they can't cook as good as my own mother-in-law that's not worth my dining out dollars. Maybe I should give Tenhachi another try...

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House of Dosas1391 Kingsway, Vancouver
first time dosa eater
Submitted Friday, July 10, 2009 - 3:49pm [Dine in]

My wife and baby and I went there for lunch on the weekend recently and had a good experience.

It's not a fancy restaurant, but pretty clean and busy which we took to be a good sign. The waiters were very friendly and casual, but not exactly the most efficient. We thought we ordered an appetizer after a few questions, but it never came and we weren't charged for it, so I guess there was a miscommunication. We had to ask for fill-ups of water which isn't great, but the overall friendliness of the waiters meant we didn't really care too much.

The lamb dosa was really good. I can't say that we knew how to eat it with the sauces it comes with - and that wasn't explained - but the flavour was rich and the sauces were tasty. We'll definitely try dosas again. The appetizer and dessert were also pretty good. The portions aren't huge, but the prices are fair. We'll be back for lunch or dinner again.

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Deacon's Corner101 Main Street, Vancouver
good place for breakfast
Submitted Friday, July 10, 2009 - 3:42pm [Dine in]

Recent drizzly Saturday morning we popped in for breakfast with our baby at about 10:00. There was plenty of tables when we showed up, but it filled up by the time we left. It has a nice old-timey diner style and enough space to take a pretty big stroller in.

The waitresses were very friendly and patient, refilling coffee without being asked. My meal did come in the smaller size instead of the large which was either a waitress or kitchen error, but no big deal. (The next table had a similar problem, so I think better communication or care needed.)

The food was pretty good. I had the corned beef hash. It had some potatos mixed in and was spicy, but not as hot as I would've liked. I would have preferred bigger potatos instead of the grated style of hashbrowns, but that's personal taste. I forgot what my wife had, but she enjoyed it.

The meal was not as huge as other reviews would have you believe, but it's a good size for the price. I much prefer this food and pricing to De Dutch or some of the other trendy places that have fancy touches to the dishes and prices to match.

Overall judgement: good home-cooking style breakfast for the dollar.

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Kam's Bakery & Restaurant2419 Main St., Vancouver
for $1 more (or less) I'll walk a block!
Submitted Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 2:36pm [Dine in]

I went to Kam's for lunch today. It's a busy little restaurant next to the bakery, full with Chinese people. Good sign, right?

Unfortunately the food wasn't very good. I had the "A" lunch special. Soup of the day was some kind of egg swirl. Small and salty without much taste. The fried rice was pretty good with a reasonable amount of shrimp. The deep-fried lemon chicken was on the verge of being undercooked. I ate it, but one second less in that fryer and it would have been a send back. Not particularly tasty, and seeing that pinkness before each bite didn't help. No stomachache or salmonella yet, but I just finished 20 minutes ago. There's still time. The iced tea was so sweet with some other sort of sharp taste it was undrinkable. And I don't think I've ever not finished a drink before.

The Congee House is right around the corner and much better in every way. Unfortunately they don't have lunch specials, but maybe that's a good thing. Sure, it'll cost you a buck more, but it's well worth it. There are a couple of other Chinese places with specials across the street and at least one of the, I forget the name, is better and cheaper!

The service was minimal. I couldn't understand the waitress when she asked about what kind of tea, so I just went with "yes, that one". And I'm used to people with strong accents. This was pretty extreme. I had to get up to go and pay and still had to wait at the till. They charged me $8.70 although I swear the menu said $7.25. I just paid, left a buck tip not wanting to fight it, already knowing I'd never be back. Too bad because the bakery is not bad and dirt cheap. But I got a cold curry bun there last time after they underheated it and the mixed (i.e. mystery) meat bun is not recommended.

Ambiance? Same as most restaurants of this type with posters older than Mao, but par for the course except for the lack of light. Brighten it up! People will enjoy it more.

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Closed
Tenku Bakudanyaki8740 Charles St, Richmond
great concept!
Submitted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - 2:52pm [Dine in]

We dropped in to try these unusual snacks recently and enjoyed them, but were not impressed enough to hurry back. I had the regular topping and enjoyed the bonito and aonori on top. The main bakudanyaki was pretty good, but a little soft for my liking. The filling should be completely cooked and no longer gooey if they can be compared to takoyaki consistency and texture. Maybe it's just the nature of such big balls and if so, that's a problem. I don't think it was because the master was hurried as there were only a few customers ahead of us. My wife had the pizza flavour (?!?!!?) and enjoyed it more than I did. I didn't bother trying it. Seriously, pizza flavour?

It's a parking lot so you kind of know the ambiance before you get there. If that's a problem, then this isn't the right kind of joint for you. I thought five bucks was a little too much for the size. Yeah, it's big compared to takoyaki, but it's not particularly filling.

I think they should expand their menu a bit and maybe even do a version where they do each part of the filling in a separate ball, takoyaki-sized. That would be more appealing to me because I'd be sure they would be well cooked and fluffy.

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Kingyo871 Denman Street, Vancouver
enjoyable meal
Submitted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - 11:27am [Dine in]

My wife and I have been wanting to try Kingyo since it first opened but just didn't make it until recently. I knew it was going to be a good night out when I found free parking about 2 minutes from the restaurant!

It was a Thursday night about 7:00 and we were lucky to get seats at the big central table right away. The hostess and waitresses were all very efficient and pleasant with better English skills than at some izakaya. The food was served quickly and tea and water refilled as needed. We never had to look for service. The only slight downside of this service was the not-quite-pushy sales technique of our particular waitress who was a consumate salesperson which didn't bother us but could become an annoyance for some people.

It's a nice room, deceptively simple but with enough authentic decorations to show that the design has been considered to make a comfortable dining experience. We sat at the big central table where you sit next to other parties, but with the tall bamboo in the middle of the table you don't feel like you're sitting directly across from other people. The section of Japanese roof tiles above the sushi bar is also a nice touch.

But what about the food? We were not disappointed with anything we ordered, if not overwhelmed. The karaage was excellent - meaty, crispy, and tasty. It comes with three kinds of salt which on the finger do taste slightly different, but don't make too much difference once you dip the chicken in. The sashimi salad was good with a reasonable serving of hamachi and... I forget the other fish now on a bed of mixed greens with a nice dressing. The beef tongue is served raw with a very hot rock to cook it on yourself. If you think the rock will cool off too quickly to cook the meat enough, don't worry. I'm a big tongue fan and this was a special treat. The calamari was quite good as well. Not the best I've ever had, but the shiso salsa was good.

I had the kingyo cocktail which is shochu based. It was a pretty typical "sour" with the addition of a little gold pepper (?) that looked like a goldfish in the drink. I nice touch for their signature drink.

Kingyo isn't the cheapest izakaya out there, but the food quality is consistently good. The menu is somewhat smaller than other places which I think helps to ensure that each dish is more carefully constructed. The quality/volume/price ratio is fair and won't kill your wallet.

If there weren't so many other izakaya out there we'd probably be back soon. Alas, there are other places to get to before a return visit. But I think that Kingyo is going to be around for a while, so I'm sure we'll have the chance.

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Golden Great Wall Szechuan Restaurant705 West Broadway, Vancouver
tasty Chinese dinner
Submitted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 2:38pm [Dine in]

We had pork and eggplant (spicy), rice noodles and beef, tofu and spinach, and chicken and broccoli. All of the dishes were very tasty and well-prepared. The produce was all fresh and they don't short you on the meat.

The service was very friendly and helpful. Usually Chinese restaurants tend to be very functional but not much more. Here they really seemed to want to create a pleasant dining experience and appreciated all of their customers, especially the two hosts.

The dishes are pretty average in size for the price. Dinner for four was about $60, if I remember, without any drinks.

The restaurant is clean and bright. What more can you ask for?

Add this one to your list of regular Chinese restaurants for sure!

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Cactus Club Cafe5500 No. 3 Road, Richmond
why bother?
Submitted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 2:32pm [Dine in]

Went for dinner at the CCC on #3 Road. The service is very enthusiastic, e.g. they run to open the doors for you, but just very average in quality. The wait staff are pleasant and keep an eye on your water for you which is always appreciated.

The food was mediocre. I had the jambalaya on brown rice which had all the proper ingredients but was not very flavourful. The sausage was just an averge wiener. It was edible, but I finished it more because I was hungry than because it was tasty. My friend had an artichoke quesadilla with greens. He reported it being pretty bland as well.

Both dishes were pretty small. The jambalaya was $15.50 and made me do a double-take when it was served. Huge bowl with a little bit too small pile of food in the centre. The quesadilla was like an appetizer and the very plain, small side of greens was an extra $4. I'd feel burned if I'd paid for that small bowl of spring mix.

Very standard decor. Ugly art on the walls, darkish, pleasant enough.

But for a dinner that cost us almost $50 all-in with 2 beers, why bother? I'd rather go somewhere else for half the price and leave feeling more satisfied.

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Wallflower, The2420 Main Street, Vancouver
good alternative to corporate cookie-cutters
Submitted Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - 12:09pm [Dine in]

A friend and I decided to drop in on a sunny Friday evening. We both ordered pints of beer and burger plates. The beer was cold and good and the burgers were average. The waitress mentioned that the patties were hand-pressed and fresh, but it was hard to tell for sure because they were squeezed in one of those devices to make it perfectly round. The burgers were unremarkable and not going to win any prizes, so I guess you could call that a strong average. The fries were a bit disappointing as they seemed to be those standard frozen fries a lot of places use. Portion was good though!

The service was casual and friendly, but efficient. It was appropriate for this kind of restaurant in this neighbourhood. So much more genuine than the overly bubbly fake style in the chain restaurants. Our waitress had the right amount of attentiveness so that we never had to go looking for her, but didn't feel like we were being pressured.

I think it was about $18 or $20 after tax and tip for the burger and beer, so I won't complain about that. Fair balance of price and volume and quality.

The room was nicely decorated in a homey kind of way with good music. There were a lot of people coming in, some with kids, some in small groups. It seemed like a popular neighbourhood place and many people seemed like regulars, always a good sign.

Worth a try if you're looking for a change from the uniformity of the big chains.

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Chutney Villa Fine South Indian Cuisine147 East Broadway, Vancouver
worth a visit for lunch
Submitted Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - 11:59am [Dine in]

Chutney Villa provides pretty much what you would expect for a $9.95 lunch special with pretty tasty food, but limited menu items.

I had the lamb curry with rice and pappadum and my co-diners had the chicken curry. (The lunch special includes only 4 curry possibilities and that's it.) The curry was quite flavourful and spicy, as requested. There was not an overabundance of lamb, but the portion was merely adequate. It was served with 4 different chutneys which were explained and a couple of sauces. One was yogurt-based and the other a kind of gravy. I'm not that familiar with this type of Indian food, so I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with all of these. There wasn't enough rice or pappadum to use up much of the sauces.

The service was functional, but not warm. We had to go looking to get our bill at the end, but at least they weren't rushing us out.

There are cheaper lunch places in the neighbourhood, but the food here is quite good and the restaurant itself a little nicer and looked a bit cleaner than some of the other cheap lunch joints nearby.

The room is nicely decorated in an Indian style and they place some Indian music, but not too loud. A comfortable place to have lunch with friends or business contacts.

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Kreation Artisan Cake3357 Cambie Street, Vancouver
cupcakes good, but will try other items next time
Submitted Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 2:47pm [Dine in]

In the mood for a take-out dessert and having heard about this place (lucky I knew the block because the signage is minimal and I've driven right by it in the past despite actually scanning the street for it - get a big sign Mr Manager!) we popped in for some cupcakes.

The honey buttercream on vanilla cake was $2 for one that was average, I guess, but could have been a bit bigger. It was good, but nothing to rave about. The $2.50 for same size raspberry icing with chocolate cake was really good. The icing is very creamy and fruity without any of the sickly sweet and sugary flavour of most icings. Pay the extra $.50 and get this one!

Service and ambiance were fine for what is essentially a take-out bakery. I think the value is okay, but next time I'd try a tart or something else that looked really good and better priced for what you're getting. You can make cupcakes this good at home if you're a decent baker, but one of the more complicated tarts or cakes that are about $5 or $6 would hold better value.

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Hiroshi's Sushi Creations3720 Oak Street, Vancouver
worth putting on the list
Submitted Thursday, March 12, 2009 - 2:42pm [Dine in]

Visited last night after finding we would have been 9th on the wait list at Toshi and found a small restaurant very worthy of being on the list of regular sushi list.

The food was good, if not outstanding. The sushi rice is still nice and warm as it should be and the fish is good quality. We were a little skeptical at first about some of the unusual sushi, but found that the combination of flavours coming from the non-traditional ingredients was well thought out and not just throwing in something different for the sake of it. We had the tuna/pumpkin with garlic-lime sauce. Tasty but overwhelmed by the lime. The tartness of the lime was good with sushi although I wouldn't have expected it. The drawback is that it's such a strong flavour very little is needed or else it overpowers the other flavours, which it did in this case. A little less lime would make this a real winner.

The salmon/asparagus with sesame/miso sauce was a good combination of ingredients, crunchy and flavourful. The real crab California roll was good and the spicy baby shrimp roll was also good and not too spicy, just right. I had the large miso soup with vegetables - carrots, green beans, cauliflower. It was not quite hot enough, but the added veg was a nice addition.

The service was simple but appropriate for this type of restaurant. Two of us ate 4 rolls, 2 nigiri, and 2 soups for less than $25 including tip and tax, so that's pretty good for quality food.

It's a small place with small tables and a couple of counters. They had a really bustling take-out business so people were constantly coming and going or waiting, which was fine. More business means fresher food! It's not somewhere you go to relax and enjoy an evening, but it's perfectly fine for what it is.

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Closed
Ten Hachi1125 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver
Second time unlucky
Submitted Monday, March 2, 2009 - 5:53pm [Dine in]

Friday evening was my second time to visit TenHachi. The first time was a good experience. The food was flavourful and service was adequate although it took a long time to get the food which was pretty standard fare and the restaurant wasn't busy.

This time we both ordered domburi and were told, after ordering, that it might take a while. Okaaaaay, we thought. It ended up taking 36 minutes to get the food. To make a tendon and a katsudon shouldn't take this long at the busiest of times.

The food itself wasn't worth waiting for either. The tempura was soggy, almost to the point of being mushy. The egg that the pork katsu is served wtih was quite hard as well, I can only guess because it wasn't served promptly. The miso soup had bok choy in it which was good, adding some heartiness to a usually thin soup. By that time we just ate fast and headed out as it was getting late.

Service was okay, but not especially attentive. I think the waitresses try to avoid negativity from the long waits customers have by speeding around and not stopping much.

The price would be good if the food was better. The last time we were much more impressed with the fish dishes and side dishes we had.

Not much of an ambiance due to its role as a hotel restaurant. My only complaint here was that it was about 5-7 degress too hot. I was sweating the whole time I was there which is not pleasant, especially when having some hot soup. Save the environment, set a comfortable temperature and let people wear a sweater if they can't hack it.

I may try one more time just because they are authentic Japanese and I would like to see this restaurant survive. Plus parking is easy after 6:00!

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Ganache Patisserie1262 Homer Street, Vancouver
consistently delicious
Submitted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 4:56pm [Dine in]

We went to Ganache again for the 3rd or 4th time. As usual all of the wares in the case are so appealing that it's hard to choose. Since it was Valentine's day it was busier than usual, but we got to order quite quickly anyway. She had the chocolate tiramisu and I had the caramel chocolate mousse cake. We took them home and had them that evening. Both were very tasty and showed a lot of work and care about the blending of tastes. The caramel chocolate mousee cake had a mousse centre and different mousse/cake outside. It had a tasty crust on the bottom and a layer of fruit jam near the top before the caramel wrapping with peanuts on top. It obviously takes a lot of work to devise this great combination of flavours and then make this cake. For $5.50 it was the right size as well, so value is good. Not the cheapest, but I'd rather have 1 Ganache cake than 3 or 4 from a run-of-the-mill bakery. The chocolate tiramisu was also good. Delicate and not too heavy and also not heavy on the coffee so you'll be able to sleep that night.

If you haven't been to Ganache, go! It's a great place to pick up a few desserts for sharing for a dinner party or special occasion. Or you can have a seat there and treat yourself if you prefer.

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Sweet Obsession Cakes & Pastries2611 West 16th Ave, Vancouver
paper thin
Submitted Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 5:17pm [Dine in]

This is a delayed review from August, but I felt I had to warn people. I went here to get some take-out dessert in the evening. I ordered 2 pieces of the chocolate hazelnut zucotto. It was boxed, I paid my $13 (or so) and went home.

Upon opening the boxes we found zucotto that was sliced so thinly you could almost see through it. We were so surprised and shocked that I took a couple of photos of the cake. We ate it and it was tasty. It was not outstanding but it was a solid zucotto. It shouldn't disappoint anyone's tastebuds.

Because of the extreme lack of value, I sent the photos by e-mail to the restaurant suggesting that perhaps a new employee had sliced the cake a bit thin. (The full-size cakes in the window $36 for 6 slices. With that as a guide, I would expect that a single slice for $6 would be about 1/6 of the size of one of those cakes. Since I bought two slices and not the whole cake I can understand that I would get somewhat less than a full 1/6, but what we ended up with was closer to 1/15.)

The owner responded to my e-mail saying that due to the cost of the "heavenly ingredients" in the cake he thought the price and serving size were appropriate. I told him that I thought it was low on the value scale compared to other local places despite the quality of the product.

So to summarize, the taste is good and up to expectations. The price/serving size/value is very poor.

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Moderne Burger2507 West Broadway St., Vancouver
Don't believe the hype!
Submitted Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 12:04pm [Dine in]

I visited Moderne Burger last night with my wife and child. Our first impression was that the new decor is very nice on the 50s theme, but that the incredible amount of wasted floorspace was very inefficient. It would have been easy to have twice as many seats in the place without it feeling crowded. It was strange to come up with such a design after a one-year closure and reno. The booth benches were also too narrow for 2 average-sized adults to sit comfortably.

We had to wait about 15 minutes for a seat and they seemed happy to accomodate us especially since we were there with a young child. We each had a burger and fries. The fries were very hot and tasty and the portion was huge. The burgers were mediocre. The lettuce and tomato were fresh and the bun quite good if a little light and puffy. The special sauce was pretty flavourful. I had the cheddar cheese and my wife the Swiss. While the cheeses were not processed, they were from a pre-cut slab and not as flavourful as real, quality cheese. The burger this most reminded me of was from the longtime local favourite across the street. Nothing to go out of your way for or wait in line for. Maybe "unseasoned" beef isn't something to brag about...?

The value was okay, but I'd rather they shave a buck or two off the price and give me fewer fries. Sure, I'll eat them all, but do I really need that many? I saw so many plates going back with unfinished fries that I thought it was really wasteful.

The table service was okay, but not attentive. For the number of staff working - four on the floor - and four or five cooking, few tables, and a very limited menu, you'd think they could crank out burgers and fries at a fast pace. While we didn't have to wait overly long, the service wasn't quick and it meant that tables barely turned over at all. Another reason for long lines.

Overall, I don't think we'll go back despite living in the neighbourhood. We can go to the aforementioned competitor across the street and be more comfortable, get bottomless pop, and bottomless fries (if we're really hungry), and a similar or better burger for a few bucks less.

If you're doing a survey of best burgers in town you'll have to drop by, but I can't imagine this place placing in the top five despite it only doing burgers. Why the strong love for this place?

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