From comfort food to contemporary West Coast cuisine, Enigma has something for everyone.
I have eaten here about a 1/2 dozen times now, and the consistent food quality deserves comment. As a prior reviewer said, there is nothing on the menu that jumps out at you at first visit, but you will develop favourites, as you try things. Mine is the goat cheese salad presently on the menu (great balance of flavours and a nice amount of goat cheese) and the sticky toffee pudding (with extra sauce). Tonight it was a moroccan lamb, not a cinnamon-based sauce as I was expecting but a little spicy and very good with a wonderful slice of lamb. But the nice thing is that there is something for everyone, including your grandmother, (as they often have specials like prime rib and yorkshire pudding). AND they list their specials on their website daily!. Always several specials, and plenty of the bottles of wine are within the $30 range. Portions are sufficiently large enough that appie, main and dessert is generally not doable for me, but after reading the other reviews I will definitely look into the baked brie.
I went to Enigma with some family and friends recently and was pleasantly surprised. It has a nicely lit and casual atmosphere; I like it when the chef can see into most of the room. The service is quick and efficient. I found the food and wines fairly priced and delicious. I ordered a spicy thai prawn dish which was a decent size and yummy. The others with me also raved about their meals. We took a slice of cheesecake home and it didn't survive to the following morning. I am looking very forward to going there again and again!
My typical Enigma experience typically involves me coming by in the early evening or around lunch time. Unless it's a special event night or Saturday around 7-8:00pm, you shouldn't need a reservation and you'll usually be seated right away. The servers definitely have personality and can sometimes be misconceived as being snippy, but are usually very prompt and knowledgeable about the menu. You generally won't have to worry about waving anyone down unless it's a particularly busy night. At least not any longer than six - seven minutes.
In response to what the other person said about the bread being from Safeway, I've inquired about this before and apparently they do bake it. I've received it warm and soft before.
The menu has a lot of variety and they often rotate through daily specials. Lots of great appetizers from seared Ahi Tuna to breaded chicken tenders. The food, in my experience, has always been excellent, though they serve their vegetables relatively firm. I don't know if this is deliberate or not, but if you don't like crunchy vegetables then I recommend you substitute it for something. The main courses are great with lots to choose from and ALL of the desserts are FANTASTIC, especially the sticky toffee pudding.
You _will_ often see the managers speaking to the servers and this will occasionally delay your server from getting to you. Try not to take it too personally. The managers, in my experience, are very friendly. My boyfriend and I went once and they were out of their calamari and we got an entire meal free, so they're different customer service oriented even if they are busy.
Ambiance-wise, Enigma is very cozy. Crisp and clean during lunch and very chic by night. There's lots of artwork on the walls from local artists and it's all great to look at it.
So I recommend to you all to disregard all the negative reviews you see here about Enigma and TRY IT at least ONCE. And get the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. It's to die for.
I have gone for dinner a couple of times. Once I had the combo with Moroccan soup, Moroccan lamb and creme brule, the other only a trout provencal style. Both were excellent. Bright, fresh flavors, perfectly seasoned, well prepared, nicely served. The house pinot noir is also very good, although the lamb needed a more robust wine, but it was my fault. Service is attentive but non intrusive. Excellent value, specially being in the expensive UBC area. This will be one of my favorite places.
We ate at Enigma on a Saturday at about 2:00 pm, and ordered off of the brunch menu. I ordered the Belgian Waffles, which, for $10, included a full plate of waffles with whip cream, fruit compote, syrup, and a variety of fresh fruit. My boyfriend ordered the Hungry Man special, and sure enough, was a full plate of food for about $13. Breakfast was excellent, service was good, and the atmosphere was relaxed. The location is great - about 8 minutes from the university, with lots of free parking.
We will definitely return!!!
We went for dinner a while ago and had the most delicious meal. Our server was quite busy but seemed to have a good handle on all of us. The carpaccio starter and brie dip starter were delicious. The 6oz steak on the specials menu was cooked and seasoned to perfection and the calamari was a treat. The curried prawns and naan bread were also outstanding. This restaurant is definitely worth the drive, the food is delicious. The portions quite large. There is a lot to choose from, and even though it does get very busy at times (especially brunch - brunch can be crazy but is SO worth the wait, definitely the best brunch in the city; worth the line up, worth the wait for food) you will not be sorry you went. Lest I forget: Do not leave without having a sticky toffee pudding for desert. How on earth this is not gracing the cover of every food lover magazine in North America I do not know. It is without a doubt, one of the best deserts I have ever eaten. I was going to keep this review short but find myself digressing over a pudding that is so delectable, so mouth watering, and so elegant that words do not aptly describe it. God bless the lovely lady (I was told it is the owner) who created this little moist and slightly wobbly ball of caramel toffee sticky cake goodness that will keep me going back, and back, and back again. People! You have not lived until you have eaten this desert. Truly. You have not lived!
I decided to review Enigma as my 1st on dinehere. I have been here many times for brunch (although it has been awhile since my last visit). It is always great. The service is always solid (however there was one time where I found it a little on the slow side) and the food is always delicious. I love the banana bread that they start you off with. A very nice touch. All in all a great place for brunch....I will return soon.
I visited Enigma with some friends on several occasions. Food is not bad and there are some good choices on the menu. Decent location near the University and free parking is ample.
However, the atmosphere and the vibe is all over the place. A hockey/sports screen at the bar where people are cheering and talking out loud ... a big distraction to those who want to just dine without feeling like they're in a pub. Is it a pub, or is it a restaurant for dining? How can you expect anyone to be able to focus and pay attention to the live music? Having some nice jazz music over dinner would bring some class back to the place ... and then we may return.
I don't know what to say about this restaurant. Here are my random thoughts: very modern, delicious thai curry prawns (excellent bread came with the dish, sauce was very tasty, prawns were cooked to perfection), generously-portioned, to-die-for brie dip with oh-so-yummy apple crisps (i could have just came here to eat the brie dip and apple chips for the whole night), wine list is very affordable and the selection is pretty good (around $30 for most bottles), snapper was a bit overcooked, lamb was delicious, short rib has a very nice smokey flavour and their fries and onion rings reminds me of those you get at sports games! The restaurant was slightly hot. I think I saw the owner serving dishes as well. I will definitely come here again. It's a very cozy neighbourhood restaurant.
The food here was great. They serve delicious banana bread before the entrees. I ordered breakfast and the scrambled eggs were exactly the way i wanted it (creamy and fluffy). However, the waffles needs to be worked on a little because they were too hard on the side. The service was ok, the food took around 40minutes to arrive. But overall, it was a good experience.
I visited this restaurant the other night as a part of a large group of mother’s from our school and I was impressed. Our waiter was quite simply amazing! He gave us all separate bills, remembered our special requests, and always made sure that our water glasses were full, which was especially appreciated on such a hot evening. Although I didn’t get to sample the best of the menu as I had only a salad, by all accounts from others at our table the food was delicious. I will most certainly be back.
I've been to enigma a number of times, usually with my girlfriends, and almost all of those visits have been pleasant. Though the restaurant does boast a fairly large menu, there is something for everyone because of it, and so i can't complain.
Unfortunately, i was there with my friend last week for dinner and we had some of the most unfortunate service I've ever experienced there. I don't know if this guy was having a bad day, or if he was stressed, or if he was just plain off his game, but one thing he wasn't was attentive.
I arrived a few minutes before my friend, and they had a play-off special, $3.75 DRAFT PINTS!! (Exceptional in Vancouver!!) Anyway, my beer came quickly, but when she had arrived, it took him a solid 10 minutes to acknowledge her presence and then another 10 to grab a beer from the bar! I could understand this if it was busy, but this server had maybe 4 tables, and the time that we spent waiting for her drink i noticed him standing at the bar chatting with people instead of pouring anything.
Food was good, and came in a reasonable amount of time, but our request for ketchup (with fries...should've been at the table already?) went unanswered until we asked another server for it (Who was fantastically friendly and amicable i might add, kind've wished he'd been our server! -- Ask for the blonde guy with short hair and glasses next time you go!)
So we got our ketchup and ate our dinners, but when we were done, we sat there for another good 15 minutes chatting with dirty dishes at our table before he even came over to clear them :( Having your old dinner stare you in the face is not a pleasant experience.
When we wanted to pay, we had to ask for our bill (as he didn't come back again after clearing) and then had to go up and wait for him as it didn't show up at the table in the next 10 minutes. Waiting for the bill is the worst i think, it can put such a downer on your evening.
All that being said, the food was good and everyone else we interacted with in the restaurant was extremely pleasant, it seems that they're selective about their staff, so i'll give this experience a mulligan and just avoid the big, broad, dark haired guy with the well-groomed hair next time :)
I'd recommend this restaurant, and will be going back there in spite of this most recent experience!
wow their menu is all over the place, why not do less items and try to specialize on a few good things instead of a bunch of bad to okay things and the menu is not very creative its basic bar food
with a touch the 80's time for a update I dont know how the owners can think the kitchen can do like 80 items and keep the quality up?
This is a great spot with excellent food, service and atmosphere. The owners were kind and attentive. I have tried a few of the other restaurants in this neighborhood but this is the best. It has a friendly neighborhood vibe. I am a return customer and would highly recommend this to anyone. The live entertainment is also great!
Enigma Restaurant offers exceptional food, outstanding service and a wonderful ambience. This retaurant is not only affordable and easily accessible with ample parking, but the service is flawless and the food is varied and consistently tasty. I have been going to Enigma since its opening and I am always blown away by the kindness and hospitality shown to me by it's owners and staff. Moreover, I have only ever had outstanding meals there. This, coupled with it's overall very appealing menu, make Enigma an absolute must and a favourite of mine. Nothing is too much for the owners who attend personally to all their patrons. From the delicious curries to the unbelievable salads, choice of burgers, array of various pastas, fish and main meals, I am yet to be disappointed by any of the meals I have had. Brunch is a must - try their delicious smoked salmon eggs benedict cooked to perfection, amazing omlettes and their South African sausage. The desert menu is incredible as well...my favourite is the sticky toffee pudding and the chocolate fudge cake. Visiting Enigma on a Saturday night is a treat - live music is always such a nice addition to one's Saturday night! I have nothing but positive things to say about the food, the service and the owners who go out of their way to ensure that a good time is had by all. I recommend this restaurant unreservedly!!!!
We are new to the town and wanted some place cool and original. The ambiance was fantastic, nice and dark, moody.
The food was over priced and just ok. I mean come on a pound of mussels? More like a pound of shells.
The odd part was that old lady following the ONE goofy clumsy server. I mean they had a "reserved" sign on our table but it was filthy.
So they both began to clean it off but she would move the salt and pepper while he was cleaning the table guess what? The two did meet! Pepper all over the table again.
That wasnt the bad part....the worst were the drinks. Horrible. I ordered a margarita for 7.50 and all I got a some sweet suger with ice. After 20 minutes of waiting to get our servers attention and after we had eaten out meal, her comes over and I ask him if it were a virgin version.
He states "she probably forgot to put the booze in" I mean what????
My girlfriends Mojito was just as boozeless. I mean if you go dont expect a lot of food and please do not order mixed drinks! Your money and time will be wasted.
It seems like if you get your food hot these days, it's a plus. if your food arrives on time, it's supposed to mean that the restaurant is good. What happened when those things were standard a few years ago?
The food here is okay, no worse than a Milestones, no better than an Earls. The relaxed atmosphere is nice but the prices are a bit high or what you get. All the items that get listed as 'homemade" taste like they come pre-made in a bucket or bag but hey, that's the going rate these days with most restaurants of this calibre.
Well, where to begin?! We literally lived around the corner from this place. We went there for brekkie, brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks on so many occasions.
A very stylish, sleek, modern interior but very warm and welcoming at the same time. All the staff are super friendly and always make your visit seem too long since the last.
Brunch: There is plenty to choose from, satisfying the health conscious and those of us with ginormous appetites equally well. Dishes include a variety of egg white omelettes, pancakes, french toast and several cooked breakfast options. A selection of fruits is available with most dishes.
Lunch: Burgers, salads and sandwiches are extremely tasty at fantastic prices.
Dinner: Will cater to a casual diner or those looking for a more sophisticated choice of West Coast fare.
A very modern cafe serving a wide array of contemporary western food. The artworks on the walls are beautiful, and because everyone is seated at the same level (those not on the upper section sit at tall tables with long-legged chairs) it is also excellent for seeing and being seen.
Friendly and attentive service, and gourmet foods.
I recommend sunday brunch--it's a stylish and delicious ritual at Engima.
Ive waited quite some time before writing a review of this place... Ive been there about 15 times now. At least once a month for the past year. My first experience was bad (service) but I am so happy I gave it another shot... because it is truly a gem in the rough.. I can't really comment about lunch or dinner, but the weekend brunch is UNBELIEVABLE>.. A great experience all round.
Not to mention that there coffee is excellent. The banana bread would be better warmed but is still decent.
The breakfast is truly fantastic