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VangrooverCoal HarbourSince July 29, 200711 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (2.9)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews Found
Closed
Co Do Restaurant950 Kingsway, Vancouver
Great Pho and Bun Bo Hue
Submitted Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 10:59pm [Dine in]

If not for the bright sidewalk placard, I would have missed this place altogether. Luckily, the sign promising a 10% discount for 'happy hour' (is there such a thing in Vancouver?) pulled me in.

Kingsway is the place I go for reliable Vietnamese. You don't get the refined Vietnamese food you might get in some upscale restos in a Vietnamese ghettoher like San Francisco or Orange County, Calif. Most of the e cooks are immigrants who cooked well at home and were egged on by their family and relatives to open a restaurant. They have no formal training but they have the taste and the tradition of the upbringing. Co Do is a good example.

The restaurant seems to have lots of dishes from Hue, the old imperial capital of Vietnam. Some of the best chefs in Vietnam were said to have come from here because they used to cook for the royal family. The cook at Co Do while far removed, seem to honor the tradition.

Banh hoi and other vermicelli dishes. And the spicy but delectable Bun Bo Hue (BBH). These were what I tried. The BBH was spicy and fresh. They didn't shy away from adding nuoc mam, the Vietnamese fish sauce, in place of sugar, as many other Vietnamese restaurants are want to do these days.

The pho was solid, well complimented with sliced jalapenos, basil, and the sort. But it would be tragic to come here to only try the pho. Check out what everyone else is trying and dive into something new.

This place has not been discovered by outsiders, it seems to be frequented mostly by neighborhood Vietnamese, a testament to the authenticity of this place. Try it, you'll like it.

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Closed
Pho 66 Vietnamese Noodle House3663 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver
Wonton at a pho join!?
Submitted Sunday, March 30, 2008 - 10:38pm [Dine in]

Pho 66 is suppose to be a pho joint. When you walk it it looks like an old diner that should be serving eggs benedict with 25 cent coffee. Very cozy booth seating, or if you choose table seating, nice open view of East Hastings.

The first thing that got me was the waiter who approached our table: he was Asian! I expected a surly older white lady, sorta like the one you expect to see at a truck-stop diner. He was polite and smiling. I ordered what was on the menu: pho.

When it's rainy and cold, I want my pho hot! I understand some pho restaurants don't want their broth to be piping hot because it overcooks the beef. But the broth in Pho 66 was downright lukewarm. What a disappointment. Then came the condiments, they lacked some of the usual accoutrements that come with your pho bowl. Nope, just lime and bean sprouts this time. Then the broth itself: bland as a cloudy Vancouver afternoon. Now I see why people order the won ton when they come here.

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Wang's Beef Noodle House8390 Granville Street, Vancouver
Noodles - Phenomenal! Service - Abominibal!
Submitted Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 12:46am [Dine in]

Why do I keep going back to a place that tries my nerve every time. On my latest trip, I waited 20 minutes to get simple bowl of noodles (this is the restaurant's bread and butter as it were)! Three other tables who all came well after I did, got their food (also bowls of noodles!), got their food before I did. I went up to the manager to inquire and yet I don't think he understood what I asked.

As much as the service pains me, the noodles, oh the noodles! It brings me back every time. Each time I enter that restaurant, I put my head down in quiet shame. How could I return to a restaurant who's wait staff have treated me so badly. It's wrong to patronize a place that thinks its customers are dispensable. But yet the noodles, the noodles, treat me so well! Specifically I'm talking about a large bowl of A2 with the fat noodles. Spicy broth, pickled cabbage, salted beef, and handmade noodles that's soft on the outside and al dente on the inside. When I'm hungering for comfort food on a cold rainy night in Vancouver, there's nothing that comforts like Taiwan Beef Noodle. Waitresses be damned! Feed me the noodles!

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Vij's1480 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver
The New York Times said it was good
Submitted Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 12:25am [Dine in]

Well with a resounding recommendation from the New York Times, it's hard to forgo Vij's and say you live in Vancouver to your foreign elitist friends. So I had to to go for fear of being accused of really living in Coquitlam and not Vancouver proper.

I arrived with my partner a little too late for the first seating so was relegatd to the back bar to wait. It was a very pleasant wait as I ordered a glass of Vioigner and struck up pleasantries with those sitting in the low seats next to us. I believe Vij came by himself to offer us complimentary appetizers and to ask us about our experience, very nice touch I thought. The waiting area/bar albeit pleasant had no atmosphere so it was very nice when we were finalyed moved to the main dining area which was cozy but tightly packed. We were seated by the window and promptly given menus. The wait staff offered to explain if we had any questions. We did not; we were too hungry by that point. I ordered the lamb cooked soft, tender, and full of spice without being spicy. My partner ordered chicken in what looked like a vindaloo sauce but without the fire. We both agreed my lamb was much better. Her chicken had a bit too much ghee, so were the nan. The dishes were definitely not the traditional Indian dishes you get at a mom-and-pop Indian greasy spoon. Think Indian fusion.

The food was good but I wasn't wowed. I was however very pleased with the service. If only all restaurants in Vancouver treated me so kindly. However I'll still tell my friends in NYC that this is probably the best Indian restaurant experience this side of the Hudson.

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Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant3388 Main Street, Vancouver
Why is this place still open?
Submitted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 11:52pm [Dine in]

I was on a bus heading down Main because I had heard it had a few good Vietnamese restaurants (Note: if you're Asian never ask for Asian restaurant referrals from non-Asians, bad idea.) As the bus passed this restaurnat, I thought it can't be that bad with such a cheery exterior and what looked like some customers on a cold windy night.

How wrong was I. I sat by the kitchen and heard all the arguments between the back kitchen (Southern Vietnamese) and the waitresses (mostly Northern Vietnamese). They were re-fighting the war right in that restaurant and the other customers and me were the sorry victims. As one waitress complained to the other about how the managers were mistreating her because she was new and from the North, she threw the menu on my table and walked away to brood. The chef, I presume herself brooding and angry, took it out on me by delivering a bowl of soup that had a froth of, I assume, MSG and/or sugar. I'm convinced that Vietnamese cooks use MSG as a crutch when they can't make a dish tasty on its own. The noodle was soggy and sticky from sitting in the drainer too long. The broth was lukewarm, not even hot enough to dilute tea let alone cook the rare beef in a proper pho bowl. Wow, relive the war at your own risk!

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Chambar568 Beatty Street, Vancouver
mussels! mussels! mussels!
Submitted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 - 11:35pm [Dine in]

I initially went here for a company dinner, which is always a good time try and share dishes. There were six of us and everyone was more than satisfied with their orders. We shared a beautiful Mussels Congolaise where you can taste all the flavors and love that went into it. Hints of cilantro, ginger, and a bit if spice (was it cumin?) in a tomato cream sauce. I had the Arctic char on a bed of greens which melted in my mouth. My colleague had the much heartier tajine medley (really too much food if you decide on appetizer as well). On a return visit, my partner and I had the octopus appetizer, interesting but good. I also tried the steak, well-cooked but without much taste. I tried the lamb as well, much better than the steaks. Dessert of course was ice cream, dreamy. My bill on the second visit came to almost $100 for two including tips and no drinks, hey this is Canada after all. The wines at about $12 per glass seemed a bad value, best to drink before or after you go. Service was knowledgeable, cheerful, and timely. Would definitely go back, when I have more money.

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Hapa Izakaya1479 Robson St, Vancouver
A good introduction to Japanese tapas
Submitted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 - 12:11am [Dine in]

What the heck is izakaya?

Most uninitiated American East Coasters will have no clue. So when a Right Coast friend visited me recently, I had to show her the Japanese trend that's going to catch on in her neck of the woods in say, oh, five years or so.

Hapa Izakaya is a good introduction to the uninitiated. Japanese tapas, what a wonderful idea! Oilier than typical Japanese sushi, healthier than traditional Spanish tapas. The King Crab roll, toasted on the outside, was delectable under a sweetish sauce (was that hoisin?). The Ake ahi tuna though was over barbecued and too crispy. And tuna roll wrapped in prosciutto? It was just right that we didn't need the Kikkoman.

You add the dark, I'm-too-sexy-for-the-food atmosphere, and your out of town friends will be talking about this how wonderful and fun Vancouver dining is. If you're native Vancouverite, however, you may see Hapa as just expensive typical Japanese fare.

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Closed
Saltlik1032 Alberni St, Vancouver
How bout dem waitresses?
Submitted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 11:40pm [Dine in]

I'm new to town and I work near this place. The guys I go to lunch with suggest this place whenever we can't decide where to go. They never mention the food, just the hot waitresses. Mind you, they know of places with hotter wait staff but this place happens to be closest.

So last week, I tipped the scale and said what the heck, guys, let's go! The wait staff is impressive, the food decent. I had an unremarkable burger. Or was it a halibut sandwich? Can't remember.

What I do remember was the ambiance. Nice modern, hip decor befitting of a power lunch, perfect when you've got corporate account clients in town. The place makes you feel important and powerful, in a corporate kinda way. The wait staff, besides being pretty, was cheery and attentive.

Can't really remember though what I had or what it tasted like. It's that kinda place.

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Closed
Ap Gu Jung Restaurant1642 Robson St., Vancouver
Good Korean food, even if you're not Korean
Submitted Monday, August 6, 2007 - 12:29am [Dine in]

Ap Gu Jung is located in the Korean and Japanese corner of Robson. There's lots of competition. So when my wife and I saw the place crowded with mostly Korean students, we thought we'd give it a try. I gotta admit that I was a bit hesitant because the restaurant looked more like a college pub in the States than the Korean restaurants I frequented in Seoul.

Turned out to be a good thing we dined there. We ordered kimchi chi-gae, pajeon (Korean seafood pancake) and rice. The chi-gae was good enough. The pajeon was just like I had in Seoul. It was firm, not greasy, and had a good balance of clams, oysters, and green onions. The meal put us back only $24.

Service was friendly, efficient, and compotent. Dishes were delivered promptly and we never had to ask for our tea and water to be refilled. The manager was very attentive to our table and made sure we got what we needed, when we needed it.

My only complaint about the food was that banchan sides were disappointingly unfresh and limited. We had only four and they were of the kimchi and bean sprout variety. Where are the carameled anchovies? Oh well.

We didn't try the soju but the crowd at the other tables seemed to enjoy it. I'll be back for the food.

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Hai Phong Vietnamese Restaurant1246 Kingsway, Vancouver
Vietnamese restaurant that serves every dish. . . . pretty well!
Submitted Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 6:59pm [Dine in]

You've probably been told not to go to any Vietnamese restaurant that does not specialize in a dish. If there's too many dishes on the menu, it's probably not good. That was my apprehension when I headed to Hai Phong. But I was hankering for Vietnamese food and that was the only restaurant in that part of Kingsway that seemed to have patrons.

The menu had a variety of soup, pho, rice and fish dishes. I figured I'd stay safe and stick to simple dishes. I just had pho earlier though and didn't order that. I ordered hu tieu kho (dry) instead. It was surprisingly good! The thick soy sauce didn't overwhelm the wide egg noodles. Even my wife wanted a taste! Don't get me wrong, it doesn't compare to some of the hu tieu I've tried in the alleys of Saigon. But definitely authentic.

As for other dishes, I looked around and noticed that most of my fellow diners were ordering a set meal consisting of canh chua (sour soup), ca kho to (caramel fish), and bo luc lac (grilled beef). They smelled as yummy as they looked. Damn. Next time.

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Simply Thai1211 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Why is there so much talk about this restaurant?
Submitted Saturday, July 28, 2007 - 6:40pm [Dine in]

My wife and I went on an early Sunday afternoon. It was sunny, which meant we were expecting a crowd. None appeared but one male server in particular gave us the impression that there were people waiting for our table. We sat outside and asked to have our soup brought out with our main dishes. Our mains came out but our soup did not. So we asked why, a waitress apologized and told us that the restaurant was very busy inside. When we left about half an hour later, we noticed that the inside eating area was empty.

As for the food, our tom yum goong soup was too sweet. It did not seem to include some of the ingredients (galanga and lemongrass) that make the dish true. We expected this since the restaurant caters to the Yaletown yuppie crowd and not to expat Thais looking for a homey meal to remind them of the homeland.

We asked for our larb gai salad spicy, again expecting that it would be watered down for their clientele. Rather than using fresh chili peppers mashed into the salad, they used dried red pepper flakes to add spicy. That was the same with our basil beef dish.

The restaurant is more hype than substance in ambiance and taste. But then again where else can you go for real Thai in Downtown area?

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