Pinpin is a small spot featuring Filipino-Chinese cuisine. Offering a varied menu ranging from appetizers like Lumpia Sariwa, Kikiam and Tokwa't Baboy to soups and sizzling plates, chargrilled meats and skewers, as well as whole fried chicken or oxtails, pork hocks, milkfish, stuffed whole tilapia or even the Filipino style meatloafs, all of which are prepared skillfully and traditionally.
My wife and I were looking for something new, so we gave the place a try. There was a big line of people waiting outside and a full house inside, and they all happened to be Filipinos, so we figured this must be the real deal.
After a short wait we were inside. We were not disappointed. We had the calamares appetizer, which had big tender pieces of squid in a light batter, then we moved on to the pork binagoonan (pork in shrimp paste sauce) accompanied by pancit miki bihon (2 kinds of noodle with vegetable). Wow it was all great! Apparently, Philippine cuisine is not spicy but usually sweet, which Mrs. Chasiubow claims is the reason for the friendliness of most Filipinos.
I don’t know about that, but the staff was incredibly friendly and they made good eye contact, which is something my tribe could work on. We also found the restaurant to be extremely clean, and very new-looking. The food arrived quickly, and the presentation was very good. I did think $2.50 for the canned coconut water was a bit much (it is 3 for 1.99 at the market across the street), and I was extremely sorry that they ran out of corn pudding, but overall we had a very positive experience. This is as good as I have had anywhere. Highly recommended!
They've only just opened earlier this year and wow! Packed full nearly every evening (they're closed Mondays as I've hit the door twice on such a day thinking I'd sit in to eat) they are packed full (very small place)! There are sometimes a table or two free for a while, but they tend to get filled fast by walk-ins. Not sure if they take reservations.
I always try to order something different on the menu between eating in & ordering for pickup. Such unbelievably great value, too. Haven't tried the Chinese dishes they offer that are of the sweet & sour variety & pork buns, wonton, etc.. While it seems to be run mainly by Filipinos, I'm not sure how the Chinese part fits in. The appetizers range from a measely $1.95-$6.95. Their entrees average out to be $7 (some a couple $'s less, some $'s more). Where else can you get a whole tilapia/milfish for 6.50-9/10.50? You usually get gauged for even an inexpensive fish like that. The vinagry citrus sauce they provide to go with certain fish dishes go so well to mask the "fishiness" of it and make it juicy sweet with a hint of sour--seems to work better than squeezing lime juice by itself! Can't honestly vouch on authenticity since I am not at all familiar with filipino cuisine, but I can definitely vouch for the flavours and the constant 90% of patrons are of Philippine origin. They have the JUICIEST BBQ chicken skewer I've had in a LONG while. You can taste the BBQ-ness of it as well as the sweet juiciness of the chicken itself. Yummy! Food preparation seems quick. Everything except the rice was served perfectly warm. I've been waiting until I got to actually sit in to eat before posting a review since they were all takeout experiences prior, and boy did they secure yet another returning patron for as long as they keep up the quality, and not to mention, value! This experience has gotten me interested in trying the different filipino offerings around town.
Was in the neighborhood and decided to try this place. Looked inside and almost all the tables were full. I am not Filipino and so am not familiar with the names and the food at all. Ordered 2 of their combo dishes: 2 skewers BBQ chicken with rice and some kind of pickled veggie and a slice of cucumber and tomato; 3 thigh pieces of grilled lemon-grass chicken. It came with the same sides as the BBQ chicken. The BBQ chicken was almost like teriyaki flavored and the lemon-grass chicken was ok. Cost for each dish is about $9.95. We also ordered what I thought was a "spring roll"/wrap appetizer. It was a boiled veggie wrap, with chopped garlic in it and served with a sweet soy sauce. The wrap was $5.95ish, which I definitely thought was over-priced. Total was about $27.00 and I still felt hungry afterwards.
One of my fellow co-workers suggested this restaurant to me...been putting it off for the last month...so myself and a buddy of mine decided to check out Filipino food. Its a small restaurant across the street from Buy Low Foods. Parking was easy...just go to the rear for free 2 hour parking. We decided for 2pm lunch..just to avoid the lunch rush.(The last time I drove by there...hugh lineup at 5ish.) Got in and seated in no time. Service was solid..eventhough one the servers looked fried...Im guessing it was a hectic lunch hour or two. Ambiance...okay...nice pics of the fish market in the Phillipines. The FOOD...our order were Lumpia Shanghai (mini egg rolls), Inigaio Na Tagyang Ng Baka (chargrilled beef shortrib with a sweet garlic sauce), Sisig (pork with onion), and Pancit Canton (egg noodles with assorted veggies and meat). All were delicious especially the shortribs...smoky and sweet...the meat was fork tender!! The sisig was pretty good...super bacon flavor and taste..reminds me of the Chinese roasted pork but much finer in texture. My only complain..we did not have dessert...would have love to try the casava cake or Leche flan...oh well...definitely a next time. Our bill came up to $50 bucks with tip...and dogged bagged the rest for my dinner tomorrow.
The food is incredible. I've never had this good Filipino food ever! It says Chinese Filipino, so I guess the two cuisines mixed together is a perfect blend.
Went with my wife and her 2 friends, got there just before a line started outside (5:45pm on a Saturday). It was busy, but I did not feel cramped. The tables have plenty of space between them. Not great decorations or anything, but at least felt comfortable.
Ordered 5 dishes for the 4 of us. There were leftovers. Had the spicy coconut milk pork, Whole BBQ Squid, Some noodle dish, BBQ mussels, and the spare ribs in some special reddish sauce.
The spicy coconut milk pork did not look good, but it tasted addictively amazing. Can taste the creamy coconut milk and a touch of spicy pepperiness.
The BBQ squid was quite large and quite fresh. They BBQ'd it just right to get a nice smoky flavor and the perfect tenderness.
The noodle dish was great. No complaints.
The BBQ mussels were the ladies favorite. I don't particularly like mussels, but enjoyed this one. Not much sauce added, but again they BBQ'd it just right and there were about 16 mussels.
The spare ribs were my favorite. Flaky and tender, with this amazing sauce. Could not get enough of them. It was because of this dish that I overstuffed myself.
I wanted to get dessert because the banana crepe looked amazing, but got turned down by my wife :(
The price is right, so we are definitely coming back. Came to $60, so $15 per person, plus there were leftovers. We ate a whole squid, 16 mussels, a rack of spare ribs, noodles and pork. I'm convinced if you go to the grocery store, you might pay around the same for the ingredients alone.
I (a white guy) recently returned from living a year in the Philippines - during which time I ate Filipino foods across the country and from the poorest peasant shack to upscale fine-dining places - and was curious to see how well they could do Filipino food in Vancouver, so I took my parents to Pinpin today for our first Canadian Filipino restaurant experience.
The ambiance of the place is fine, the place is clean, and the service was also fine. In typical Filipino fashion, lots of people in the restaurant were also really excited about my ability to speak Tagalog! I would definitely recommend getting to the restaurant before 6pm though, especially if you're a larger party and especially on Sundays, as the place totally filled up and had a line out the door (consisting entirely of Filipinos - generally a good sign, right?).
I ordered the classic dishes for my parents to try: lumpia shanghai, pancit bihon, sinigang bangus, sisig, garlic rice, and halo-halo special. Everything arrived fairly promptly and was hot and fresh.
And the food? - Excellent. The pancit, especially, ranked in the top 5-10% of pancit I had ever eaten in the Philippines (and I had eaten a *lot* of pancit). The lumpia and rice were fine and the sinigang was spot-on, even having the luxury of de-boned bangus (since this is difficult to do, most places in the Philippines serve it with the bones still present). The sisig was also nice, though was different than any sisig I had eaten there - it was much crunchier and drier than the soft and oily sisigs I had eaten in the Philippines. For dessert, the halo-halo was lovely, with most of the typical ingredients (though it unfortunately lacked one of my favourites - leche flan!).
The value overall was definitely 5 star worthy - the portion sizes of each dish were easily double that of the portions served for these dishes in the Philippines, and we were all thoroughly stuffed by the end of the meal, with leftovers to spare for lunch the next day! (In fact, basically every group in the restaurant was taking home leftovers). And all that food only came to about $45.
While it was all great for me - a Filipino-in-spirit - I might caution uninitiated Westerners from diving right in without a guide, as the menu was fairly extensive and contained many things that are generally unpalatable to Western tastes. Even the sinigang (one of my all-time favourite Filipino dishes, and done perfectly here) was unpalatable to my parents ("too sour" they claimed). However, if you're the adventurous type, feel free to jump right in and the friendly staff will surely help you out!
My family and I have been going here for a few years, ever since it opened. We continued to go here because of the authentic food and affordable price. However, over the last few times I've gone to this restaurant, their level of customer service seems to be contiously deteriorating. Today was the worst experience we've ever had and my family and I have decided to forever boycott this restaurant.
We came in to place an order to go and sat down at one of their tables because we needed to look at the menu first. First off, their servers barely know anything about the menu. When you aask them a question about a certain product, they usually give you vague answers. Also, some menu prices are determined only after the food is made. For example, if you order a medium crispy pata, you will not know whether or not you get the medium because you will be told what size it is and how much it is after they have cooked it.
To add to the painful experience, after we had finished ordering, the server said to us rudely, "there's a waiting area over there." I can understand if the restaurant is busy and we were taking up room for potential customers. However, there were only two tables being used in the whole restaurant and there were only about 8 customers in total. I did not understand why the had to force us to move to their "waiting area" which is outside the door. Furthermore, their excuse was "it's our rules." For someone who has worked in the customer service industry for many years, I know that if the customer wanted to sit down even for a little bit while waiting for their order, there is usually no problem.
In other occasions, the servers have spilled water on me and barely even noticed, they never smile or seem to want to provide any sort of customer service, and make you feel like you're a nuisance there. Other times, they placed my order incorrectly and have done nothing more than provide the minimum service. Even when you speak to the Manager, there's "usually nothing they can do because it's how it is/their rules."
Overall, the service at this restaurant continues to disappoint me, my family, and friends. It's unfortunate because we used to enjoy coming here for the food. It's come to the point where we can't even try to enjoy the food anymore, without something going wrong.
This is one of the worst restaurants I've been to with their lack of customer service and disregard for customers.
This is the worst Filipino Restuarant I've been to and we will never come back.
Decent food and humongous portions! A great place to eat Filipino (Chinese-style) if you can't make Filipino food at home or you're just lazy. I really like coming in and having the Chicken Mami soup (Chicken Noodle) with ad appetizer and my wife loves their Topsilog (Fried Beef, Fried Rice, Fried Egg). My family really enjoys their Pancit Miki Bihon (Pan fried noodles). And for dessert, don't forget to leave some room for their Halo-Halo (Shaved ice with beans, condensed milk, and ice cream) or Buko Pandan (Young coconut dessert)
So it was that time of year again, my friend's birthday and a new restaurant to try. This year's selection was Pinpin.
As always on our birthdays, we like to go all out so we ordered the lumpia (spring rolls, 12 mini ones), garlic rice, crispy pata, tadyang ng baka, sisig, bicol express, some eggplant salad, halo halo and the jello with coconut.
I thoroughly enjoyed the crispy pata, tender pieces of pork hock along with a great sauce that goes good with the rice. We were told that there would be an extra $1 charge to make it crispy, which was a little confusing since the menu did say crispy pata and not pata (so no idea how that works!). Lumpia was a good appy starter. The baka was tender with lots of sauce and very interesting taste. Bicol express was solid, goes good with rice but probably slightly too coconutty for me and didn't find it that spicy (I can handle spicy so this was kind of mild!).
Now for the ones that I think are over-rated. First, the sisig. What is this dish? Tiny little pieces of meat cooked on a hot plate with onions, really not that much flavour. Eggplant salad (can't remember the name) was bland. They give you this salty fish paste with it and I gave it a taste - UM NO THANKS! Halo halo, it was ok but honestly, rather go get a HONE DOW BING at Golden Oscar. They cheap out on the red beans and although big, didn't taste as good as the chinese drink. It also had these other beans in there that added no flavor to it. And then the recommendation by the manager, some dessert with shaved coconut and jello. According to her, better than the halo halo. Well let me say this, IT SUCKED. Had not taste, jello was not sweet, coconut was not sweet, and whatever else was in there was not sweet. Terrible thing to recommend to non flips.
Service - you have to ask to get.
Overall, worth a visit but not as AMAZING as everyone says it is. I gave it 2 and 3 because it is decent to solid in my opinion but not outstanding.
Their crispy tadyang ng baka (beef ribs) is to die for, together with the crispy pata, sisig, pinakbet, and the tokwa't baboy.
The kare-kare can stand some improvement but it's already even better than some restaurants in Manila can come up with. The sinigang wasn't that great.
Their leche flan is awesome - reminds me of how it was made in my home. Try the halo-halo but instead of topping it with ice cream mix about half a leche flan into it - calories be damned!
This is my first choice for Filipino food in Vancouver.
Their Crispy Pata is second to none. A lot of the items we order repeatedly, like their bihon, bangus, kaldereta, are all excellent.
Service is generally great and fast, sometimes we had barely started talking after our order, and the food comes! But they do get extremely busy. The ambiance is not fine dining, it's more of a casual Filipino restaurant.
I've taken my non Filipino friends here, and they loved it.
Let me put it this way: my mom is the best cook in the world, from Pampanga, and this is her favorite. That says it all.
It is a DISAPPOINTMENT! We ordered Fiesta tray. The grilled pork and squid, baked shell fish, BBQ chicken and pork were all hard and dry to chew. I'm sure they are old. I sometimes have one of those old - heated over 3 times in my fridge. The only fresh and juicy is the tilapia cooked in banana leaves. We paid for $48.00 something for this left over. I don't know why I don't complain and make them cooked again that bloody 48 bucks fiesta tray again. But I'm one of those people who avoid to much complains. I walked out of that restaurant feeling cheated. Right there, I promised myself not to go back there again. My world will continue without Pinpin restaurant. Likewise, the Pinpin's world will continue their fraudulent practice to the Filipino customers.
What Pinpin lacks in service, they make up for their authentic Filipino dishes!
It’s a common sight for customers to be waiting outside for a table even in unpleasant weather condition. The seating arrangement is tight as they are maximizing the use of their space.
If they could move to a bigger place and improve their customer service, I would go to Pinpin more often.
Don't know what the big deal about this place is. Any good reviews that have gone in is probably from the owner or friends and family of the owner. The waitress was rude, and the people in there were rude as well, customers included (must've been friends or family). I don't normally feel out of place in any kind of restaurant but when you have a rude waitress, and other people in there staring at you, you start to feel a little alienated. Then the food came, god, was it horrible, stale glass noodles, rotten meat ( i swear it was rotten). I politely brought it up with the waitress, and she just yelled at me! Criticizing how rude i was that i basically insulted the cook. Come on, what ever happened to customer is always right! If anyone wants good filipino food, this is not the place for it!
I often order for a take out. I love their food. But the waitresses need to practice to smile more often to their customers and even the owner of pinpin. Everytime I visit pinpin and order food for take out, I notice that the owner yell to her staff. That's a turn-off... The place is a bit small and people would line-up from outside.
The sisig here is to die for! You have to go mid-week though because if you go during the weekends, its likely that they're run out already. It's that good! Everything else I have tried is great as well like their Bicol Express, Pusit, etc.
PinPin is the kind of restaurant you'd go to if you want a good meal that will hit the spot without bruising your wallet. The lineup of people outside the door tells you something - I've never seen this happen at a Filipino restaurant. Admittedly the ambiance is a bit lacking, but who cares. You'll be so busy licking your plate that you won't even notice. The service is attentive, the food came quickly, servings were generous, and the food absolutely delicious. I can't wait to go back. (Tip: Go for the grilled platters).
My friend and I ordered quite a bit when we were there: lumpia shanghai, kare kare w/the garlic fried rice, pancit palabok and the filipino meatloaf (don't remember the name). The spring rolls were presentable but lacking in flavour. The pancit palabok was lacking in flavour and the noodles were brittle, the sauce looked/tasted off. The other 2 dishes were ok, but I think I like josephine's better esp. the pancit palabok.
I wouldn't really go there again, esp. when the main dishes were lacking in flavour.
The service was ok, waitresses came by every so often. The atmosphere was ok, although the restaurant is a lil' small (we had to sit right next to the entrance).
everytime I've eaten at PinPin, I've had a great taste experience. The food is served family style, everyone gets a taste of each dish. We always order the Beef Short Rib, Sinigang with Hipon, Laing, and Lechon Kawali.
Of and for dessert we ALWAYS share halo-halo. A good thing about their halo-halo is that they serve it with ice cream AND UBE!!! yum yum!
We went on July 8, 2010 for dessert with our guests from Los Angeles, California. We ordered the "Halo-Halo" and the "fried banana a la mode". It was really a disappointment to eat the halo-halo with hard ingredients.(Who is your supplier for your Halo-Halo ingredients? Better change now). The fried banana was wrapped in a certain wrapper that was really hard to chew.
We left without finishing the desserts. What a waste.