Login or Register
Do a search below using the city or postal code search box if your city is not listed above.

3
  • Food2.5
  • Service2.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews30

Reef, The

1018 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L3W9
Tel: (604) 568-5375 Reserve Online
Neighbourhood: Grandview-Woodland

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 30 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Awesome Dine out!!!!
By princessgaga of burnaby B.C. (120 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 13, 2012 - 7:39pm [Dine in]

Where can you eat a fantastic 3 course meal for $18? What a great DOV deal!! Went with a group with reservations. We were sat promptly and the waiter promptly took out drink orders. The rum punch was excellent and good value in pitchers. We shared a few of these and we all recieved separate bills with the cost of all of the pitchers dvided evenly among those who were drinking it. So thoughtful.

Most of us had the plantain chips. I am not a fan of plantains but they were ok and the spicy dip they came with was incredible. Others at the table had a tomato type soup with cocomut milk and pronounced it deslish.

The main courses we had were jerk chicken or jerk tofu which came with peas and rice. Both were amazing and the sauce was spectaculat. Oh and the Johnny cakes - deep fried corn bread heaven. They were complimentary even with teh DOV menue and we got a second round free!

Dessert was fried banana with mango ice cream and caramel . No words. I could not even finish everthing, was suffed and stunned at the $18 tabl Best DOV value ever!

I will go back again.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Greasy Dine Out
By hungryjo of Vancouver (175 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 11:24am [Dine in]

It's Dine Out Vancouver again. I was looking for some cheap menu and found this place. What caught my eye was the Jerk Chicken. I had Jerk Chicken before at Lion's Den and I fell I love with it. And I like Caribbean/Jamaican food.
We arrived at 6:30pm on a Friday night. The place was 70% full. Once it hit 7:30pm, it was packed and there were groups of people coming in. This restaurant is not that big so they have no waiting area.
They were short staffed that day, or even everyday, I don't know. There were 2 servers, 1 hostess and 1 guy that brings out food. The service was lacking but I prefer it to be more attentive.
We had plantain chips & yam fries w/ jerk mayo, curry chicken w/ rice, jerk chicken w/ rice, creme brulee and coconut cream pie. Instead of serving bread, they made 2 fried balls with coconut butter. The appys were good but it kind of filled us up. The entres were ok. The jerk chicken was not as tasty as I expected and not spicy. The curry was good, nothing can go wrong w/ curry. As for dessert, the highlight was the coconut cream pie. The crust was flaky and cream was tasty.
When it was time to ask for the bill, it was so much work for us to get our server attention.
I think this place may be great for drinks. They have a full menu for that.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Drinking only please...
By WeLoveFood of North Vancouver (53 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 12:43am [Dine in]

I like the Reef on Main and we like the atmosphere @ the Commercial location as well. I used to live in the Caribbean for several years so the drink list is a big drawing card for me. Dark n Stormy's are hard to come by in Vancouver. But I've had several meals there now, each time trying something different, roti, curry, jerk chicken to name a few. Unfortunately, the food has gone from mediocre to sub standard to just plain yucky. What's that sauce they put on the jerk chicken? Not like any jerk sauce I've ever had, yikes! The roti's have frozen veggies inside and the curry tastes gluey and heartless. I will still go there for the drinks because I like the ambience and the music, but as for food I'll stick to yam fries and that's it. The service is very up and down depending on the server you get. We've had decent service there but last time we had a waitress that was clearly not in a good mood and didn't mind who knew it. She should get a job as a undertaker because those customers don't mind if you snarl at them.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Not overly impressed with the lunch selection
By diningdandy of downtown vancouver (56 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 20, 2009 - 8:21pm [Dine in]

I loved the drinks at this place and ive always wanted to try jerked chicken so i heard this place was alright. I was having a commercial drive day so i strolled over for a nibble.. the first thing i noticed
was the only jerked chicken was chicken wings and everything else was something i wasnt interested in. Or you could get jerked chicken strips on a salad but i didnt want a whole salad. There was a total of 10ish things on the menu. So I had the wings which were delicious and 2 mojitos which were made almost perfectly! My carribean friend wasnt overly impressed with the food and promised to take me to a better spot in north van. So the search for the perfect jerked chicken continues!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Nothing special
By genki39 of burnaby (82 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 10:27pm [Dine in]

Wanted to try this new location as I've been to the main street location alot especially when it first opened, (even though the last time I went it there it wasn't very good). I had the curry goat which was okay, nothing special, I mean for a jamaican restaurant should be a little better I think. My friend had the chicken roti, he said it was good. Service was okay, maybe a bit sloppy at times but not bad. All in all I think it was just okay, don't think I'll be back.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
different from the norm
By alpha_dog of richmond (61 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 3, 2009 - 12:25pm [Dine in]

came here a while ago and remembered that i was not particularly fond of the food.. it is much different from the average restaurant in terms of the type of food they offer and you have to have the taste buds for this genre of food. if not, you will likely not enjoy the dining experience here.
our waitress was kind, she was around to give us refills when we needed and polite when we asked about the various items on the menu.
i felt the prices were fair for the proportion of food that was provided... nothing wrong in this department.
i personally would not return... the food does not appeal to me but for others, it could be worthwhile. i think one has to try it at least once to see what caribbean food is about.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

<More reviews below advertisement>

Where are my Johnny Cakes??
By jezzme of Burnaby (62 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 21, 2008 - 3:44pm [Dine in]

Three things that are good about The Reef: 1) excellent rum selection, 2) good vibe, 3) Johnny Cakes!

We went to the Reef this weekend after snacking at the Taste of Vancouver. It was later in the evening, and we were tired. Some drinks and appys should have fit the bill - the drinks were great as usual (dark & stormy = ****, Ipanema Calprinha = *****, double white russian = *****). But perhaps the fryer needs to be cleaned, perhaps it hasn't been cleaned in a long while, but the calamari was just kind of dirty tasting.

The waitress was attentive and friendly, but the second round of drinks just took way too long. And to top it all off, we didn't get our complimentary Johnny Cakes!

The Reef management has to be a little bit more consistent between their three locations.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
I sympathize with the other reviews
By semipicky of Vancouver (42 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 23, 2008 - 12:11am [Dine in]

We ordered quite a bit of drinks and a minimal amount of food. On the side we ordered yam fries. I think it was 5/6 dollars for badly "fried" fries. I think they were probably baked, not crispy at all. Almost black! They were soft and the skin was chewy .........a very small portion as well. This order took almost 30 mins after main dishes arrived and at first, one of the hosts brought us a wrong dish, leaves it on the table for a minute, promptly comes back and takes it back WITHOUT an apology or at least a friendly comment. Maybe this didn't include "johnny cakes" but we ordered a curry entree ($16) it was TERRIBLE. was it because it's curry and didnd't feature any of the "jerk" sauce? It was SO bland. I can make better instant curry from a packaged bag that costs a dollar. I wouldn't skimp on dollar a can coconut milk either. It was just horrible. A small plate that consisted of three parts, rice, a tasteless chopped coleslaw, and a small dish of curry (we ordered chicken) barely any. Overall, I wouldn't ever come back, I'll give the main street location a try and make sure I order something with the "jerk" sauce.

Service sucked. Waitress made a special note after we placed our order couple minutes later than we coudln't order a pitcher if only one person was drinking...hello? so what, it wasn't explicitly stated. We had to explain for a whole minute that hey, although others ordered highballs, doesn't mean we can't still share a pitcher. when we wanted to pay, (and we were seated 2 feet away from the cashier!) we waited a good 10 mins, eyeing which soon turned into glaring down someone to get the bill for us. finally we gave up, went to pay, what was outrageous was the 2 people behind the counter were having a [chat], my friend deliberately stared at them and waited to see how long it'd take. afterwards, no apology, nothing.

it's so friggen dark in there as well. I do like the washrooms though.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Questionable
By melanielinda of port moody evergreen (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 12:17pm [Dine in]

Unappetizing meal, portion sizes were good, but the quality was not there and the spices were mixed up and strange! Prices are decent, but thats not value since you can forget quick service or cleanliness. The curried (?) chicken was convoluted, too spicy for my tastes and my friends said he didn't enjoy the jerk chicken and oxtail meals. I will definitely not be eating there again, sorry just not for me.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Super place on the Drive
By JazzyCat of Cloverdale (30 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 10:12pm [Dine in]

Two of us dropped in here for an early dinner on the Drive. It always surprises me that many places aren't open until 5:00....I'd love to try other places on Commercial for lunch other than Stella's, Havanas and a few others. It was a sunny day so we wanted to sit on the east side on a deck so decided on The Reef. We shared the Fanny Bay mussel special, Caesar salad with fried capers and the goat curry. All were really tasty and along with the complementary bread (I think they're called Johnny Cakes) were definitely enough for 2 people. We even took a small doggy bag home. Drinks were exceptionally good. I'll definitely be back!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
not really worth it
By fairymooncartoon of east vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 2:01am [Dine in]

i was really excited to try a new restaurant that it seems like everyone was raving about. i was so disappointed. the server wasnt friendly at all, she was actually kind of on the rude side. i ordered the eggs benedict with crabcakes. i was really looking forward to something that sounded so different and interesting, but it was the blandest eggs benedict ive ever tasted. the hashbrows were pretty good, but it wasnt worth the price for how disappointed my tastebeds were. i could have made a better eggs benedict at home, quite honestly. i will never waste my money at the reef again. there are many other caribbean restaurants 10 times better in this city.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambiance
quaint
By lyndawitha_y of Surrey, BC (13 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 7:24am [Dine in]

As you enter the place, you get good music and a friendly vibe from the crowd, the staff and the island-y interior. Even the menus were cute, with their item descriptions in a Jamaican accent. We were served with cute deep-fried bread balls, and our whipped butter had coconut in it! I was a little bit confused why our server only gave us one side plate. We ended up just eating the bread off the table.

We started off with surulitos and chana salad. Everything was mediocre except for the salsa that the surulitos came with: it was amazing!

Next up was Jerk Chicken, which, tasted like Jerk Chicken and a little bit of something else. Except it wasn't spicy. The coleslaw that it came in was delicious, and made a little differently; it was dry, but sour...almost as if the vegetables had been pickled? My friend got the Maracas Bay Snapper which was a little bit bland on its own, but tasted excellent when paired up with the green apple and chayote slaw it came with. I have no idea if your suppose to eat the two in one mouthful, but it worked for me, and is highly recommended.

The deep fried banana with ice cream, tasted as is, which is good. The mocha creme brulee was nothing special, except I was pleased to see it served right after its torching.

Service was friendly, and our food came out in good time despite the dinner rush. Only problem is that our server told us she would come back with water, but never did.

Overall, the food was not the greatest, but I probably would come back, just because I want to explore the menu. Everything from the bread, to the coleslaw had a little twist too it. Some twists were succesful, some failed, but it kept my taste buds at the edge of their seats.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Needs scrub
By eun.sing of Van Area, Canada (3 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 7:25am [Dine in]

Reef is a West Indian/Caribbean/Indian restaurant.
These guys are known for their roti I guess.
This place is a bit messy. I probably wouldn't eat anything from here again.
This place seems to attracta a lot of curious customers. Lets put it this way, if I say at work I am going to get roti, a couple of people will ask what it is like and they have heard of it and are curious.
The price is not cheap. You can get 2 roti and 2 balls for $24.75 (including tax).
I saw people ask for for other than roti, which but I wouldn't try it. Their beef patties are okay, nothing fantastic. I guess. They need a scrub.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
For dining, avoid this place!
By poutine of New Westminster BC (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 2:20pm [Dine in]

We ate there last week. My Dominican beef was good and very well done (I like my meat well done but I suspect re grilled!). It was served on a pile of mashed potatoes that hid two dried out microwaved potatoes. My dining companion's jerk chicken was served cold, not cool but just taken out of the fridge cold on a warm plate. It was unpalatable and was immediately returned. My Caesar salad was super salty, so much so that is drowned out any flavour from the lettuce or cheese. Paid the bill and got out as quick as possible. The place was 1/3 to 1/2 full but almost everyone is drinking. I think this place really a bar disguised as a restaurant.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Looks and tastes like frozen dinner from Superstore
By zoter of Burnaby (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 9:06am [Dine in]

Service was slow (approximately 45 minutes) even though there was only 4 or 5 tables to serve. The food presentation was terrible and the taste forgettable at best. Upon informing the server that the food was mediocre the suggestion was to add a bit of the sauce to it, to improve the taste. The title of this review should spell it all out.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
what is this?
By jamila of North Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 7:36pm [Dine in]

The food was disgusting. Warning to everyone. The goat meat was about two weeks old and there were flies around the table. I initially ordered a small soup. after realizing I was still a bit hungry, I ordered goat meal. However, I was alarmed and disgusted to find a long Hair in my dish of meat. This was gross!

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
no trini roti here!
By foodslueth of east vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 2:50pm [Dine in]

I visited the Reef on Commercial drive recently. The ambience is very warm and cosy and the service was good. The DJ was playing authentic trindad calypso tunes. I looked forward to happily tucking into a delicious Trini roti as it is stated on the menu. Sadly this is no Trini roti. Not even close! The roti wrap is nothing like the deliciously soft and strechy Trini style roti, it seems hard and chewy, doughy even. Then the filling, quite a scant amount of vegetables, and not seasoned in tradtitional Trini style. As someone who has feasted on numerous Trini rotis at many an authentic Trinidad restaurant I was sorely disappointed. How can they even call this a Trini roti?

It seems as those of us with a passion for authentic Trinidad cuisine will still have to make the long trip out to Port Coquitlam to chow down at Rahannas Roti.

Nevertheless, i appreciated the warm ambience and music.
I might go back for drinks but probably not for the food.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Disappointed
By ivant of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 10:42pm [Dine in]

I went with a friend coz she's into sampling different foods. We had one mishap after the other. First I lost my appetite after I saw how they handle food and cash all at the same time. Hand washing means nothing here. They touch the money, then punch the grimey cash, then touch your food, then bring the glass and never think twice about it.
Second, and this is deliberate, they overcharged us. I called them on it and they didn't apologize. Just changed the bill. I suggest you memorize the prices and compare with the bill. Hope this helps

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Better then last time
By yummynotsoyummy of Kerrisdale (25 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - 6:03pm [Dine in]

We recently tried the Reef after not eating there for 3 years. We used to go there often and when their food quality went down we stopped. We were in the neighbourhood and were hungry so we stopped by on a Sunday afternoon. We noticed the menu now is limited. Some of the items we liked before are no longer on the menu. We ordered the roti. The menu says that it's trini style roti though it is not. It's their best attempt at it. Better then a tortia though not real trini roti. For around 10 you get a roti with your choice of veggie ( tofu) or meat selection inside the roti skin. I had the veggie and my husband had the chicken. It comes with a side of coleslaw. It was tasty. The roti had a good amount of stuffing inside. We were surprised that the roti had improved. We left fairly happy and full. Good place to have some drinks and a bite to eat.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
I used to be such a fan....
By ahall77 of New Westminster (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 31, 2008 - 2:43am [Dine in]

Well, what can I say? The title shoud say everything. I wrote a glowing review for the Main Street location, which I find myself having to retract. But this odd for the new Commercial location.

1) Staff didn't seem comfortable with the style of food at all.
2) Apps: we had the beef patties and wings. The patties were flavorless, almost no spice or substance. What makes the Jamacian Beef Patties what they are... Just wasn't there. They were a far cry from what they once were. The chutney was neither up to the past. As for the wings I didn't have so I can't comment.
3) Main dish: Jerk Chicken Roti - Funny I raved about it before but I can't do it this time. It's not that it was bad, it just wasn't really all that good. Certainly not worth the hour wait for it.

Who knows, perhaps they were understaffed in the kitchen, but overall this was a terrible experience. Compiled with the increasing drop in quality and service at Main location, they lost 3 long time customers tonight.

I would no longer suggest to any real far of Caribbean food.

3) Service: p

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance

Images

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 Images Found