I Cafe is a Hong Kong Style cafe with international influences from the West, Singapore, and Japan.
I was last at IC a year ago, and since Mrs. C and I were in the neighborhood looking at computers we decided to give it another try. The interior was about the same as before except they now have decals covering the top half of some of the windows. Unfortunately they do little to block the intense solar radiation in the later part of the day. Luckily we got a booth that was in the shade, but a "generously proportioned" girl sitting on the other side of my bench/partition kept shifting the flimsy seat every time she moved around. I didn't say anything because I was afraid she would eat me. Other than that the restaurant was comfortable, but they should mop the w/c more often.
Service was good enough, and they had daily specials which always makes me happy. This time I had the beef with tomato sauce and fried egg on rice with borscht and iced coffee (dong cafe). Mrs C had the same soup and bevvy but with a chicken and fish combo on rice. Both were tasty and a decent if not amazing deal for 10 and a half bucks each.
A decent alternative if you don't want to drive to Richmond or Burnaby.
Entrance is on Heather w/stairs leading up to the 2nd floor as it's the corner unit w/windows facing both Broadway & Heather. Currently, no visible signage has been added on the Broadway side of the building.
The old booth seats seems to have been re-slip-covered while the tabletop for the booths look to be different, the legs they renailed down to the ground seems to be the old ones. The old loose tables & chairs are reused. The entire room, in general, does not compare in ambiance to what it was before, but it's still alright. As a matter of fact, the ambiance of their predecessor (K&M Vietnamese Seafood Rest.) was preferable, as it was a more open-room concept much like how I prefer I-Cafe's previous 2 designs over this one.
All of the cutlery has been changed to either new ones, or taken over the inventory left behind by their predecessor. The chipped plates are a sure indication as every other one looks extra tired and worn. The bowls used for the noodles & the pottery used for the baked items seems to have changed as well--probably their old stock was liquidated before they decided on a new location.
The food has gone downhill. I suppose it's too much to ask for a chef that's been working for them for yrs to go without pay for a few months or indefinitely until they figure out what's happening w/their business. That's just a guess on my part since everything seems to be made differently in appearance, portion, and especially the taste. Definitely avoid the super thinly sliced rib-eye steak that's priced at $16.95. Even the prime rib is cheaper, though that seems to have downsized in portion, too. So disappointing. Even the soup noodle items have changed. =(
Oh, also, they are currently, not sure if it's just temporarily, a CASH-ONLY establishment. It's just meter-park around the side streets or along Broadway.
Definitely not worth going back to anytime soon. I'll maybe give them another shot in a yr to see if things have improved by then.
These ratings are given in context of what you have to pay, and you can't compare them with similar ratings I give for 5-star restaurants, but the food and service quality here is consistently good, so it is a reliable place to go to if you want a nice meal but don't want to spend lavishly. The free 1-hour parking is a bonus. However, the last time I was there was a few months ago, and I heard that they were about to close or relocate due to the imminent redevelopment of this property, so check ahead before you drive there.
I've been here many times and can say this is still one of my favorite places to be.
Parking can be difficult around the area, but they try to remedy the situation by providing reserved parking in the parkade beside the Holiday Inn.
Decor is modern with 2 TV's for viewing sports. Not many HK style cafe's offer this.
The view from upstairs is fantastic. You can see views of North Vancouver if you are sitting on the north side of the restaurant.
Menu was easy to follow and they have specials during specific times that includes drinks. That is a bonus in cases where I decide to have dinner early.
Waiters & waitresses were friendly. Food is excellent for this type of cuisine. It is just a tad pricier than other HK cafe styles, but the are operating on the West side of Vancouver so that is expected.
Overall I am a regular there because of the food and setting and recommend anyone who hasn't tried this place to give it a shot.
I came here with a girlfriend a few weeks ago, because ever since they reno-ed, I've always wanted to try their food since the place looked so nice and sleek from the outside. So before going out, I suggested to go here.
The service was good at first, and we were seated quickly. The menu compared to other HK cafes were much overpriced. I decided to be "safe" (or so i thought) and ordered chicken spaghetti with cheese and cream sauce.
Unusually, my food came quick, and I looked at the plate.
I did not see any chicken, more so something that looked like squid. There were tons of mushrooms that weren't even cooked. The spaghetti was lukewarm. And no cheese. I asked the waitress if this really was the plate I ordered, and asked why there was no chicken. She pointed at this white stuff and told me that was the chicken. Well I HAD to believe her.
I took a bite, the cream sauce did not taste like ANYTHING. It seemed like I was just shoving tasteless mayo into my mouth. The mushrooms were cold when I bit into them, and the chicken was the worst. It was some sort of artificial chicken, those things you find in cans. Plus, there weren't a lot of these artificial canned chicken in the dish either. The portions were smaller than what you get at any other cafes, and the drinks here are horrendously pricey as well. Also the specials don't have much choice.
Not a lot of people were there, and it was dinner time around 6pm. I should have noticed this and should have left quickly, because this was the first time I have ever pushed my plate away and refused to eat this. Even with adding a ton of salt did I not taste anything remotely good in my spaghetti. I did pay nonetheless, because I did choose this plate.
So, do be careful what you choose. The rice dishes may not be any different. I know now that I will never set foot in this place nor will I be telling anyone about I-Cafe either.
I was on Broadway and saw I-Cafe. I remember reading about it here and decided to give it a try.
Walking up the steps, I was quite impressed. Obviously, the owners made some effort in doing up the place. Inside, the dining room is quite nicely done. Looks like the modern asian restaurants in Asia. A nice change for local asian restaurants.
Food was just ok. It was more my fault than the restaurant's though, for I ordered the instant noodle and the fried chicken wing. I just had a sudden craving for instant noodle. And the chicken wing ... I figure I need more than a bowl of instant noodle to be full. Hard to go wrong with both dishes. Hard to be good too.
Service was slow. I was there after the lunch peak period, and yet it took a while for them to seat me. The servers were not very professional either.
Ambiance. Modern and clean. The decor is nice, though I wish they added a touch of asia (like Nothern Delicacy) in the design. The Plasma TVs were showing Michael Buble's concert DVD. The place is cold though, or it could be just my seat. It was so cold that I did not order my favorite Vietnamese Ice Milk Coffee and settled for the hot lemon tea instead.
Speaking of which, there were 5 (FIVE) slices of lemon in my standard cup of tea. What were they thinking?????
Return? Not too sure. There are just so many alternatives in the area. Perhaps when I crave for instant noodle again.
The place is trendy looking but both the food and service were lacking. I went there with my Chinese friends and even though I clearly do not speak any Chinese, the waitress insisted on speaking Chinese to me. This made ordering next to impossible and when the order was screwed up, it took even longer to have it corrected. The food wasn't very good. It was a lot for the money but not the best quality.
The food is very cheap and they have a lot of variety. They have a few specials, which are reminiscent of the HK style cafe as you get an appetizer, entree, dessert, and drink. They have a couple of large screen TVs so it's good during your favourite sports season. All in all, I like the place.
Went there on a Friday night after work with my boyfriend. The place was quite compared to other Hong Kong Style Cafes. Ordered a few dishes, the escargot wasn't too bad, the toast was pretty good and the other dish was ok too, and it wasn't bad. Prices were reasonable. Service wasn't great but had no complaints either.
I would say that this restaurant has gone downhill since it moved from the corner of 8th Ave. & Cambie. Don't expect too much from their noodles in soup dishes...they are a bit too cheap on the food...in fact, they don't even give you reasonable amount of food (e.g. meat, vegie, etc.)...you'll end up just eating noodles!!!
Also, the meat tends to be tenderized too much, so it loses its taste & texture, otherwise, the dishes would have been very tasty...what a shame!
Prices are very reasonable considering the quantity and quality of the food. It has a wide selection. I would definitely to go back.
Had the craving for HK style food, arrived just after 10pm, there were no hours posted on the door but the hostess said it okay and seated us. Perhaps this was a factor as they were close to closing. Now the food: the Curry beef brisket I ordered tasted as I would expect from most HK style restaurants, but I couldnt believe my eyes with what was served, it was basically all rice, 3 peices of brisket and broken chunks of potatoes. My friend barely touched her noodles for lack of flavour. Maybe because it was close to closing but when I ask, and the hostess says its okay, I expect to this would not effect what I order. Next time I have a HK style craving, I'm driving to Richmond.
Went to I-Cafe tonight for dinner with some friends, my previous visit before tonight was rather disappointing and had discouraged me from going for at least a year.
I was disappointed to find out nothing has changed, service, food, menu...etc. It was dinner time so we expected the prices to be higher than the late night dinner sets. I had a smoked salmon salad which consisted of four thin slices of smoked salmon and some mixed veggies. It was poorly presented and I could barely finish it. My meal was $15, including a bowl of soup and a cold drink.
One of my friends did not order off the combo menu, instead he had noodles in soup and an iced lemon tea on the side. The drink alone was $3.50.
My other two friends had baked dishes and both could not finish their food, not because the portions were generous but because of the poor quality. One of them kept saying it was a torture while he was trying to finish his baked seafood rice, which had way too much sauce but lacked any real flavor.
The service was very slow too, took a while for the servers to acknowledge us when we walked in, although there were plenty of empty tables. Took a long time for them to take our order and bring our bill as well.
We weren't surprised by the high prices as we aware of the fact that it was dinner time and prices should be higher. However, with the quality of the food and service we received tonight, I cannot say it was good value at all.
With several other options just a 5-minute drive away, I don't think I will return to I-Cafe any time soon.
I have actually come to this restaurant on several occasions though the food doesn't blow you away the steaks are very oriental style and worth a try. The service is reasonable as they at least acknowlege that you do exist unlike most asian restaurants. Decor is nice and cozy. I would recommend to people as this restaurant does surprisingly well. The parking is a bit of a hassle but still good for a quick bite for lunch or dinner.
I was brought there by a friend of mine who frequents the place quite regularly. He and his friends like the food there. On this first visit, my impression of the place was "unfinished", decor was sparse. By that I don't mean "minimalist". The booth seating along the wall was nice and comfortable. However, I can't say the same for the rest of the tables and chairs. Basically, it's nice on one side with the booths, and then it's cafeteria on the other by the windows. The carpet added to the cafeteria feel. The place was clean though I must say. We ordered beef brisket curry which was good and sufficient, (not the South East Asian kind and I expected that so), and we shared the fried chicken wings with onion rings. My friend liked them more than I did. They were good but not impressive.
As for the service, we were greeted by a few servers and managers as we entered as well as when we were leaving. Could it be that the place wasn't busy when we were there? Although a bit on the pricey side (for a HK style fusion restuarant), the steaks were highly recommended by my friend. I didn't try so I can't comment on them. However, if I want good steaks, I would definitely not have them at any chinese/Hk style places such as this one.
All in all, I probably will come back if I were in the neighborhood.
I've eaten at I Cafe for a very long time now and I constantly enjoy the baked seafood on rice(one of the more pricey items) and it has always tasted great. I agree that the service is quite mediocre though since the waitresses are not fluent in english, only Chinese(although being Asian myself) I feel for the other folks having a hard time understanding them. I think that I Cafe still has great value and it is a good spot to enjoy a variety of Asian-Inspired Western dishes.
I have been going to I Cafe for a long time, and I have just had the worst experience ever!
The waitress kept forgetting us after she took us to our seat, we had to raise our hand for a few times and remind her that we want the meanu before she gave it to us. It wasn't like they were busy or something, the restaurnt was only half full.
Also, when we asked to waitress for cold water, she was looking at a different direction that we weren't sure if she heard us or not. So we asked nicely if she can give us cold water instead of hot tea, she nodded her head impatiently this time. However, after 10 min wait, she still gave us hot tea!!!
So we were not satisfied with their service, that's why we didn't give the full 10% tips when we paied the bill.
And what happened next? The cashier came to our table with the tray of tips when we were standing up and ready go, and he just poured the coins ou our table and told us: You keep it!
What kind of attitude was that!?
I am never going to this restaurant again!!!
If you are from Hong Kong or have been there then you can appreciate the authenticity of the food that iCafe serves. This style of cuisine may not be for everybody as a lot of the dishes are essentially "chinese-style" western food. Having worked in Hong Kong, a lot of the dishes served are like the ones that feed the thousand of HK workers during their lunch breaks. Service here is prompt and comfortable and the price is good for what you get.
This is one place my family enjoy to visit for a relaxing and quick meal. Come on people, don't be so cruel unless you've tried restarting and building a restaurant/renovate in this city during this hectic demand in construction.
If you want great steaks...... you're right....go to a steak house....as these type of places make it H.K. Style. Otherwise, the special mini meals are great for a quick bite. Hey, you can't beat these prices in a clean relaxing environment.
This was a place that I like to go because the price is right and the food is good. For a HK style restaurant, it was definitely clean and the TV's were an added bonus.
However, time and time again, the service has been really poor. The manager does not seem to care. We found a METAL SPRING in our pork chop and all the manager did was take $3 off our meal! Can you believe the nerve???
I will not be back.
I was there for a birthday dinner with my family. We had about 18 people there and one of us got our meals last after everyone else had finished. Management still wanted to charge us full price for that late meal. They should have discounted considering they automatically charge 18% gratuity for parties of 8 or more. We're not going back there next time. They should have given us that free meal for being late... since they were about 45 minutes late after everyone else got food. I would not recommend, their excuse was oh well large party and the restaraunt was busy that night. They are always busy!