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3
  • Food3
  • Service3
  • Value2.5
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews7

Aoyama Cafe

4151 Hazelbridge Way, Unit 1008
Richmond, BC V6X3R
Tel: (604) 207-0050
Neighbourhood: Golden Village
  • Cuisine: Cafe, Coffee
  • Price: $ ($15 or less)
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Weekend brunch
  • Hours: Mon - Wed: 11AM - 10PM, Thu: 11AM - 9PM, Fri - Sat: 11AM - 10PM, Sun: 11AM - 8PM
  • Euro-Japanese cafe that serves coffee, desserts, sandwiches, and Euro-Japanese fusion food like curries and pastas.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
mediocre food, bad service
By lovingfood of Kerrisdale (90 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 2, 2010 - 11:46am [Dine in]

I take a trip to Aoyama Coffee to try Japanese corporate coffee. I wonder if it's better or worse than Starbucks or Waves. I am very disappointed.

The coffee just tastes like any other coffee if not worse. The plain coffee at Aoyama is the same price as specialty coffee at Starbucks and Waves, that makes Aoyama more expensive than Starbucks and Waves. And it just tastes like average coffee, nothing special, not worth the price.

The cafe is divided by two sections - coffee shop and dining area. It looks OK from outside. But the decor of the dining area is not that great looking if you sit inside. It looks like one of those diners except it's brand new. I don't know if it's lighting or carpet that makes it dinner-ish. I do like the seating arrangement because it's roomy enough and not cramped like those cheapskate restaurants (in Vancouver) trying to fit more tables in a small space. So, you do have some space and privacy while you dine in this cafe. To make you feel better, the chairs are comfortable. LOL!

Too bad the products suck. The sandwiches taste like what you can make it at home but you can probably do better.

Their so called Euro-Japanese fusion food (pasta, curry, whatever) is nothing more than home cook food. They are made with common, inexpensive, everyday ingredients. They sell it like $12.99 for pasta and curry. That's just silly. In Los Angeles, there's plenty of Japanese owned/operated restaurants serving this type of food and most customers are poor students and people who want to grab inexpensive bites because we all know how easy it is to make simple pasta and curry.

The service is horrible. The staffers have major attitude. I mean if they want to run a Japanese cafe, they should learn Japanese hospitality first. The staffers look like the job is beneath them. They act like they are very unwilling and they just don't care about customer service. Somebody needs to tell them that they are working in a cafe in Richmond not a hipster club in New York. They need to drop their attitude, wake up and look around - most customers are old couples and tired parents with children. There is nothing hip about this cafe. If you do your job and act professional, you will actually be respected. Acting like you are too cool for your job only makes you look like a low self-esteem clueless idiot.

If the service was any good, it could probably justify the price? maybe for some people??? Since the coffee is not any better than competitors' but more expensive, food is mediocre, and service is bad, the whole experience is kind of uncomfortable, what's the point of being here? It's really not a pleasant experience.

By the way, I hope their manager train their staffers not to stare at customers while they have nothing better to do. It's rude. Customers are not your zoo animals. You don't stare at them and check them out head to toe especially when they just look like average everyday people not someone dressing like drag queen begging for attention. In the States, staffers don't even stare at you if you do look like a drag queen, they just mind their own business and act professional.

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Solid alternative to HK style cafe
By ryyeung of Richmond (35 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 29, 2010 - 10:33am [Dine in]

Decided to try this place with a friend and my fiance. It's is located in the old Starbucks at Aberdeen center so the ambiance is quite nice and spacious.

Food - I had the seafood curry with rice, and like the reviewer below mentioned, it tasted like pre-made curry. Nothing wrong with it taste wise, but at a restaurant, I expect a little bit more, considering it was $13. My fiance had the baked unagi rice casserole, which was very fantastic. The unagi was flavoured properly, and the melted cheese with rice was very good. The friend had seafood pasta, and she only said it was OK.

Service - Pleasantly surprised by how friendly the servers were. They also walk around with a smile, and truly want to understand how we liked our dinner. They even asked how the food was. So thumbs up for that. I do agree the servers are a bit inexperienced, but nonetheless want to please. They are not proactive in filling waters, getting utensils, etc. But a simple buzz and they will come.

Value - on their website, there is a $5 coupon. So I think the dinner for two (me and the fiance) was about $25 all in. I think that is very good value for the food and ambiance.

Ambiance - big and spacious. Relatively clean. I just didn't like how the chair had no backs, so I couldn't lean back.

Otherwise, very solid place, and you get treated like a customer unlike other cafe style restaurant. Recommended, and I will definitely be back.

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a disappointment
By charmmy of Vancouver (26 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 8:37pm [Dine in]

after drooling over the online menu my friends and I decided on having dinner here. I ordered a hayashi omurice and the cinnamon sugar toast. My friend the tuna toast. When the food arrived it looked delicious but the taste is a whole different story. curry rice pilaf does not work well in a omurice. it has a very...boring? taste. the toast tastes in my opinion exactly like cinnamon sugar mini donuts - extremely ordinary. My friend took a few valiant bites of her tuna toast but soon gave up on the account that the bread was very chewy and it was hard to cut. She ended up with a unappetizing mess of bread and ketchup.
I noticed that almost all the rice dishes on the menu uses curry rice pilaf. pity...i would've loved to give the other items a try. but just thinking about the rice is enough to convince me that I'll probably be in for another disappointment. Perhaps I'll go again to see how their parfaits are.

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Tasty Food
By ahjay of Surrey , B.C. (12 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 13, 2012 - 5:04pm [Dine in]

The GF and I always go to Aoyoma when we're in Richmond. They have lots of selections and their daily specials are pretty good. They have a bell (like those in Korean restaurants) to call the server to you. Food arrives promptly and is very good. Of all the dishes we ordered, all of them have came out nicely. They do offer "exotic" coffee but don't bother. If you're used to Tim Hortons or Starbucks, don't bother with the coffee. It's just horrible.

Recommend this restaurant. Will be coming back.

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Seems like we all notice things differently
By mhder of vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 16, 2010 - 11:53pm [Dine in]

First of all, although this was Aberdeen Centre, I was very pleased that I wasn't addressed in Chinese ~ after all, this is Canada right? So cut the BS on servers not being able to speak Chinese, as long as they speak English, then it's fine. I'm Asian but not Chinese and am sick and tired of being given dirty looks for not understanding Chinese.

Secondly, The service was attentive and considerate. Unlike most Asian establishments, plates weren't slammed onto the table, silverware was checked and replaced if dirty, and the servers did not place their fingers/hands on the edges of the plates or on the rims of the drinking glasses.

The food wasn't fantastic. I was actually happy that my meal didn't arrive in 10 minutes because when it does, it tells me that it was most likely pre-cooked or most of the ingredients were sitting out half prepared at room temperature. I have no problem waiting for food. The quality of food wasn't great for the price I paid but I've only been there once. I'm willing to give it 2-3 more visits before I make a final decision ~ also because I have yet to try their desserts and drinks.

It would be wrong of me to comment on their coffee because I'm not a coffee drinker and I would probably be making an ass out of myself for pretending to know what was good/bad. I had their basic coffee and while I wasn't blown away, I didn't think it was bad.

Perhaps it's inappropriate for me to review a place based on one visit but I thought I'd defend this establishment because I thought it seemed to receiving some unfair reviews. Yes the food might need some work but service and attention was better than anything I've seen in any other Asian establishment.

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(+) Desserts, (-) Food, (- -) Service
By jazuresky of vancouver (16 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 9:42pm [Dine in]

I was quite upset with the service as we waited about 10 minutes before the food came up and I even had to follow up. I had to constantly ask waitress for water and every time they filled it with iced water first although we wanted hot water. It was so weird that none of the waitress speak Chinese as it was in Aberdeen Center. One waitress looks only 15 years old.
For food we got the seafood casserole which was quite horrible. The served portion was very small, which was put on a huge plate ironically. (It was like 1/3 of the plate). There was only 1 mussel, a couple of shrimps that weren't fresh, and instead of real casserole it was just baked cheese put over leftover stir-fried rice. This definitely doesn't need 10 minutes for cook and definitely does not worth $12.
The other dish we got was hamburger with curry rice. The hamburger was small and a bit over-cooked. The curry and the vegetables in it tasted good although I can tell it's some cheap curry made from those pre-made cubes. The rice was a bit hard and dry, although I liked this dish more than the casserole.
The only thing good about this place is the dessert. We got the Banana French Toast which came with about 12 golden french toast cubes topped with whipped cream, chocolate and banana. Sounds yummy doesn't it? It was! I really liked it and I finished them although I was quite full from the main dish. It wasn't too sweet and most of the toast cubes were soft on the inside as I could tell it was soaked in eggs before it was fried. One thing they should watch though. They served the dish before giving us forks so the whipped cream already melt when they gave us the forks. Also they should have given us knives before the cubes were obviously too big to be eaten in one bite. Terrible service again.
This restaurant is off my list now but I did like their dessert.

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Good desserts; Inexperienced servers
By annebanks of Richmond, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 12:20am [Dine in]

Food: We had both the tiramisu and creme brûlée cheesecakes as well as the cinnamon sugar French Toast. I'm a huge fan of cheesecakes and I thought they were both very good. However, they are not traditional cheesecakes and more of an Asian version as you would expect from a Japanese restaurant. The French Toast came in about 12 mini pieces which was very convenient for sharing. When you get French Toast at Asian cafes, its usually two pieces of thin bread stacked on top one another; at Aoyama however, they use the real thing: a thick slice of bread which is really nice. For drinks, we had a few of the siphoned coffees (hazelnut, macadamia nut and chocolate). I myself had the chocolate and I thought there was just the perfect amount of coffee taste versus chocolate. My friend who had the hazelnut agreed saying that there is actually a lot more of the coffee taste and the hazelnut is quite subtle, which really works. One downside is that the size of the coffees are quite small (more of a "European size"). We also had the iced UCC brewed coffee which was good coffee in my opinion but I could not judge the quality that well because it was iced.

Service: The servers are really polite really but the main problem is that they are obviously very inexperienced. The second time I was there, one of them was actually being trained. Also, since the restaurant is new, they have not started full service yet so you have to go to the counter to order and pay, then you leave your receipt on the table and they bring the food to you. This causes a lot of confusion though since they have to wander around looking at every table to find the order. But once they start the full service and you can actually sit down to order, this won't be a problem anymore.

Value: A slice of cheesecake is $5.95 which seems quite overpriced compared to other places in Richmond. But this is really at par with many restaurants in Vancouver, so if you think about the quality and taste of the cheesecake, the price isn't that bad. The cinnamon sugar French Toast is $6.95 which I think is a really good deal because the portion is quite good. The siphoned coffees are $4.50 a cup and are really small so I think that's definitely overpriced. When I went there on Jan 2, they were having a promotion where each item comes with a brewed drink (UCC coffee or tea) so that made the meal more worth it.

Ambiance: The feeling of the cafe is like a modern diner which is quite cool in my opinion and looking out at shoppers in the mall is quite fun. Also, the seats are really comfortable and spacious too. They use Wedgewood cutlery which is quite expensive. This little bit of added heaviness is really nice and is a great touch.

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