A small Singaporean and Malaysian cafe on Broadway
I came to Cafe D'Lite with a friend after a long absence; might have been when they were in their old location even. We both ordered Hainanese chicken laksa and a curry beef brisket on rice to share. I remember the laksa being spicier which I kind of missed but it still tasted pretty good. The beef dish had similar flavours to the soup and not enough curry for my taste; I think it also used to have a stronger curry flavour.
Perhaps they are watering their dishes down to attract a more west side audience? This is all conjecture on my part but I still enjoyed the food. The service was a little surly to be honest; no smile, no water or tea refills, cutlery in a pile on the side of the table, etc. I don't expect much but at least treat me like a guest that you want to stay for a meal perhaps?
Anyways, I am sure I will be back in another 6 months or so when I get a laksa craving on a rainy day.
Food: The only place for hainanese chicken! The soup that comes with the 'regular haiananese chicken with rice' is pretty good too.
Service: Terrible. When we came through the door, the owner(?) by the counter asked 'how many?' and then said 'seat yourself anywhere'. She continued to chat with a coworker while we were clearly waiting for menus. Totally unacceptable.
Value: It's not great, but it's not bad either considering the location.
Ambiance: They have to do something about the cold drafts that come in everytime someone opens the door. It's really quite terrible.
Overall, I'd only come back if I had a desperate hainanese chicken craving.
I guess the name says it all, it is a Cafe and wouldn't expect much more. Good chicken and that's what they are known for, agree a bit on the expensive side but good quality. Noodles are average with the Laksa better than the non Laksa noodles. The veggie selection is a bit slim and the soup quality not very good. Good selection of iced drinks. Overall, a bit pricey for what you would expect to pay.
I was really excited to try the Hainanese chicken due to the reviews I've read about its excellency as well as from a recommendation by a friend's friend. Ok, the portion was inadequate to say the least. If you tried to reconstruct it, you _might_ be able to rebuild half of a spring chicken but definitely not "half" of anything else. The skin-to-meat ratio isn't good at all. Lots of fatty skin with very thinly sliced meat, again, suspiciously of spring sized poultry. Also, the fact that they choose not to use quality chicken (free-range or otherwise), it already left it lacking in the Hainanese flavours except the sauces that go with it are pretty good. No chicken-fat coated rice offered along with it nor in the menu is fine--so there's "white rice" (plain) and "yellow rice" (ok, perhaps those are flavourless ginger bits mixed in but it still came off quite bland--just yellow in colour--but what anemic portions. It's fine that they don't include the nicely salt roasted peanuts with the hint of chicken fat that a lot of other places include w/ this dish, but again, it's definitely not worth the price tag. Only positive thing I have to say about this is that having the option of eating deboned chicken is quite appealing but flavour takes priority.
The curry briskets are more fat than flesh and definitely not marinated/cured with the curry as it's lacking flavour & juice that normally takes a lot of straight-up plain boiling to destroy the taste of.
Stay away from the overpriced & disappointing cold/iced specialty drinks like the chendol and especially the $4.25 iced longan drink that seems to use the cheap preserved longan fruit (very few & small at that) overwhelmed by a glass full of malted corn syrup water... oh, with cubes of ice.
It's no wonder they're located where they are as I doubt they'd be able to survive for long in the competitive Asian areas.
for certain Singapore/Malaysian fare like Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice, Beef Brisket Curry or Nasi Lemak, this is about the best. And they recently moved to a new locale on W.Broadway & Trutch, room and ambience greatly improved, no longer a hole in the wall. Love this place. Owners and staff are friendly and efficient.
Went there for lunch on a rainy afternoon. Not sure if what time they opened, but I must have caught them just after they opened. It was before lunch time, so there were only 2 other tables with 2 people each in the restaurant, so I expected to get my food and get out of there fairly quickly.
Had to wait about 5 minutes for the waitress to finally bring me my menu, but at that point I've already decided to have their Hainese chicken with rice. Had to wait another 5 for her to finally come back to me. Ok...hopefully my lunch would come quick...and very much to my surprise, I had to wait a full 30 mins before the rice came, although she did bring me the soup that came with the meal after waiting for 20 mins. Really didn't understand why it would take so long for the soup to come since all she had to do was to ladle the soup from the pot.
Was not impressed with the rice at all. How can the rice be mushy yet with some uncooked crunchy bits?? It was quite disgusting...
The chicken was alright, but they put too much soy sauce on the plate so the chicken was swimming in it and was just way too salty for my taste.
Not impressed with the service, and definitely not impressed with the food. Will not be back for a while.
The 4 of us shared half hainanese chicken, 3 rice, seafood laksa, nasi lemak and achar.
The chicken is tender alright, but the flavor is just not right. Something is amiss.
I may be nitpicking. There is a touch of heat in the chicken. I prefer my hainanese chicken served at room temperature. Perhaps it is the local health requirement that they canont keep the chicken at room temperature. Banana Leaf does it though.
Seafood laksa was a let down. especially after it came highly recommened from diners at our next table. It tasted more like curry noodle.
The achar is ok, but we had a huge plate. Who eats that much pickled vegetables?
The nasi lemak is the most disappointing. The rice has no hint of coconut (let alone the fragrance), and it is accompanied by an egg over and hard and some peanuts with fried mini fish. All this for 6.50 if I am not wrong. A total rip-off.
Return? Unlikely. I find no reason to.
Tasty laksa. Almost everyone comes for their hainan chicken, but I have been finding that the siize has been shrinking throughout the years. It used to be 4 can dine on a whole chicken but now 2 can dine on it. Food is good. Service is speedy. Ambiance has improved vastly. They used to be located in this hole a few blocks down. Tasty Asian food on the westside
Friends have rave about the hainanese chicken rice for ages and finally decided to try it earlier this week.
One word: DISAPPOINTING.
I ordered the nasi lemak which was a whopping $8.50 for coconut rice, peanuts, sambal, egg and anchovies. I asked if I could add some curry chicken with it and the additional price was $3. $11.50 for nasi lemak which you can usually get in Malaysia (curry chicken incl) for CAD$2. (I was born and raised in MAlaysia)
I don't mind paying for good food but the nasi lemak was bad. Coconut rice was too mild. Sambal was still cold (straight out of the fridge). Only 3 pieces of curry chicken ($1 a pc!!) which btw, tasted like left over hainanese chicken dipped in curry sauce. Egg was overeasy and badly cooked. Bad Bad.
My sister ordered the infamous hainanese chicken rice. Not bad, but didn't exactly blow me away.
Service... wasnt much of a service. The girl didnt understand me when I wanted to add curry chicken to my nasi lemak, or curry chicken rice but paired with coconut rice instead of regular rice. Kept telling me that the menu is set and the price is different. I told her I didnt mind paying, but she insisted in suggesting that I order the curry chicken rice ($9.50) as well as the nasi lemak ($8.50).
Overall, overpriced for less than mediocre food. Wouldnt go back. Would recommend Mini Malaysia instead.
First of all, the ambiance is like eating in a large handicapped washroom. Also the food is expensive and not worth it, The chicken is all thigh meat and they still charge you $10 for half a chicken and 1 bowl of hainaise chicken rice. IF you want this kind of food try HUGO on Cambie and 16th!
Enjoyed some great chicken laksa soup for lunch here. The chicken was of good quality with no grissle or inedible bits. I believe its free range as well. Its a very small cafe, with seating for under 20 people.
Cafe D'Lite has undergone rebranding, now it's called Mamalee.
Firstly the waitress gave us a bad table, wouldn't let us sit closer to the corner. Instead she gave us the table in the middle of the restaurant, and my back kept getting hit by customers walking in and out of the restaurant.
The chicken rice was undercooked and it looks like the serving sizes have gotten smaller. Seafood Laska is just fishballs, crab stick and the occasional shrimp. The only item that was descent is the mixed noodle (anchovies etc. served with the wide noodle - sorry name escapes me) but that has also gotten smaller as well.
My suggestion is to go to the Aberdeen location, you won't overpay for basically the same thing. Don't get fooled by the re-branding, it's the same restaurant and cook.
the hainanese chicken here is tasty, maybe not the best, but good nonetheless. the mound of chicken rice i got was mushy in the middle, but didn't matter with the tasty chicken. i don't like their puree'd version of the ginger&green onion oil/sauce, but again the chicken stands out. will go back again to try some of the noodle soups.
Cafe D'lite offers up some savory malaysian treats on the west side in a serious hole in the wall setting. Try their Hainanese Chicken Rice for $6.50 with soup on the side. The chicken is free range. Curry beef brisket and laksa are tasty too.
First off, all the servers speak perfect English, major plus!
Secondly, love Asian culture and restaurants, we can jam as many people in as possible (I mean this in a good way, i.e. feels really authentically Asian).
- Laksa is really quite good, great flavors, good variety, authentic.
- Hainanese chicken is different, it is boneless, and has the "I am coming back" flavors.
- Worth the drive, and pick up a latte on the way home on West 4th.
I came across this restauarant while in the neighbourhood and instead of trying Banana Leaf which has gone down in quality - thought might give this place a try. Had the Laksa and Hainanese Chicken Rice. The Laksa was ok and the Hainanese Chicken was badly presented. Not much service and the place didn't have too much of an ambiance. Come back - unlikely - only if in the neighbourhood and did not feel like having fast food.
It freaks people out to see bone on the chicken the way the chinese like it - the marrow bloody and split in two. Well here's the solution: check out how this place debones and arrays the pieces on a plate with an upturned bowl of rice, and then drizzled with sweet soya sauce. nummy. it's one of those places where you keep ordering the same thing even though other items look tempting because dammit you've waited a weekend to get yourself over there and you've had "hainanese chicken on the mind". The place closes early (7ish?) which is a good indication that they must be doing well if they can kick back for the evenings.
My standards might be a little high, as I'm a Malaysian and am on the hunt for the best Malaysian food in Vancouver, but Cafe D'lite is somewhere in the middle in terms of good Malaysian food.
The chicken rice is certainly very good - fragrant rice, tasty chicken, good soup and some outstanding chili sauce but for $9 you definitely don't get what you pay for as the portions aren't that big. A full bowl of rice with a really small portion of chicken. :( You get a 'large' chicken rice for a few more dollars, and that one will fill you but for $12, the portion of chicken is still quite small so it's not particularly worth it unless you have a huge asian food craving. The laksa isn't too bad, the curry is flavorful and spicy, but I was quite disappointed as my 'seafood' laksa was more imitation crab meat than anything else. The Pan Mee is REALLY good though! If you're a fan, you'll love this dish. Chewy noodles, exactly how pan mee is supposed to be with lots of meat toppings and an egg. More filling than the chicken rice for some reason. We ordered the 'kai lan' vegetables cooked in oyster sauce and it wasn't particularly outstanding but nothing too bad. If you're hungry and are just looking to fill your stomach, you're better off going to somewhere else.
DO NOT go for the 'nasi lemak' as it is definitely not what nasi lemak is supposed to be like, and for $9 you get a measly egg along with rice, peanuts and some anchovies, ie nothing substantial.
The only drink we tried was 'cendol' to see if it was authentic - and it's better than the one you'd get at Tropika (another Malaysian restaurant) but by no means anything great. for $4 it's definitely not worth it, though it tastes pretty nice (unauthentic though!).
Service is mediocre, you pick your own seat and they're pretty quick in terms of coming with the menu and taking your order, but if you want to order extra drinks etc, it's hard to get their attention even though the restaurant is SO small.
Conclusion: Go if you're craving some pan mee, laksa or chicken rice, but avoid if you're the kind that wants to get your money's worth in restaurants as it's a little bit pricier than what you'd expect for the portions.
Ive been here a few times, and if its not for the great food that they offer, i would not go back. The service is so poor that it makes me think twice about returning. I went here with a few friends, and not one of us was greeted nicely by the waitress. I understand she was busy but a smile would go along way. With that said, IMO they do have the best chicken rice and laksa in vancouver. Portion is abit on the small side but the quality is definitely there. I do reccommend this place if you are craving for a nice bowl of laksa but be warned, service is terrible!
I used to be a frequent customer for the old Cafe D'Lite (Location: A block down from this current store), where it was small and always crowded. Although the new store is more spacious and has more tables, I think they're food quaility and size portions went down. They used to be well-known for their fulfilling portions and excellent quality food at cheaper prices. I have to admit though, they still are the best in Vancouver, but compared to what standard it can reach, it's not at that level anymore. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaning about the price increase, it's understandable in this economy but I don't think I deserve to pay $1 for a plate of chil/green wasabi sauce or pay $4 for a lemon coke. I just wanted to order something a little "extra" like maybe a little more soy sauce (the sauce they use for the hainanese chicken on on rice) and I am required to pay $1 more?!? It's just sauce. Take out orders, I have to pay for the mandatory sauces, and even the soup.
All I know is that this store used to go by their food and not by the prices. Just cause they've moved to another store doesn't mean that they have to bloodsuck your money out of you. I would go there again knowing that eating just a plate of chicken rice or laksa would cost me approxiamately $12-$16/person.
Once again, another business that forgot how they started and the objective to their morals.