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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews31

Simba's Grill

825 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC V6G2L7
Tel: (604) 974-0649
Neighbourhood: West End
  • Cuisine: African, Barbeque, Halal
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Not accepted
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner
  • Hours: Mon: Closed, Tue - Fri: 4PM - 10:30PM, Sat: 3:30PM - 10:30PM, Sun: 3PM - 10:30PM
  • Simba's is an authentic East African barbeque restaurant located in Vancouver's West End. They also have another location in Burnaby.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 31 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
tasty lamb and rice
By taaja of Kdale, Vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 10:27pm [Dine in]

I came here with a friend on a quiet Sunday night before closing. We felt bad we were their last call, but they were still really nice and friendly. I had the bbq lamb chops. They tasted great, and the rice was really nice, but I was disappointed that they were the small bony kind of lamb chops. They looked almost like little short ribs. I didn't think they were entirely worth the price paid, but still delicious.
The set of chutney's are really cute.

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Very Tasty Kebabs!
By darwin of New West (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 9:19am [Dine in]

This was a lovely experience. My friend and I thought we would try a restaurant we had seen in Burnaby one night while we were in the West End. We were welcomed warmly by a gentleman (the owner?) in a traditional outfit, which I thought was a nice touch.
My friend ordered a curry with spinach and chicken which she ate all of. Not because the protion was small but because it was delicious!
I had the lamb kebab and it was amazing. I didn't eat it all because the portion was too large. I took it home and my partner ate the leftovers the next day. He has a picky palate and loved it!
The food is delicious. There service is very attentive. The man asked us if we had any questions about the menu and it was very comforting instead of intrusive.
We had a coupon to use and I felt the prices were reasonable.

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A Favourite
By LadyQ of Coquitlam (12 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 8, 2013 - 9:14am [Dine in]

A colleague took me and my husband here for dinner one night and was such a hit that we actually used this place to cater a work lunch a few weeks later and now work in an office full of Simba fans.

Simba's is pretty small and there are not a lot of tables but it's comfortable and welcoming. The servers are friendly and know what they are doing and the owner is a gem!

The food is excellent - we had the Chicken Swara and the Simba Chicken and both were absolutely delicious. I cannot remember what we had as appies but whatever it was was delicious too. Desert was this mixture of riccotta cheese and other ingredients and it was excellent too.

Dinner was amazing, the service was very welcoming and the ambiance is cozy so we'll be back for sure. This is defintiely a place that we will also be bringing friends to :)

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Good food
By cyberspace of vancouver (78 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 5:27am [Dine in]

I went here last night for dinner and it was not busy when we got there around 6:15pm. I was with some of my friends from work and the service was quick. the food came quickly. I was going to order 4 entrees but the owner told me that we had too much food already. I thought ok I will take his advise and he was right. they give you good size portions and food was good. everyone in our group like the food and they also liked the Kenyan beer. Price wise it a little steep but if you are getting decent food then I don;t mind.

I would go back here again. By the way when we left the restaurant was full.

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An excellent dining experience
By SKTraveler of Vancouver (33 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 9:45pm [Dine in]

We arrived at around 8 p.m. and the place was full. We had to wait 15 minutes for the table, but it was well worth it. The food was excellent, with fantastic aroma and amazing flavors. We shared our dishes and each one was wonderful. I had the Ostrich and my friend had the prawns in green curry. It was so tasty. When it comes to service, I would say the atmosphere was casual and laid back and I found the server to be the same. They were non-chalant about things, kind of taking their time, but we were in no rush. Once we ordered, our food came quickly and the server returned to our table to explain the different chutneys available to us. Overall, very pleased with the experience and would recommend it as a unique and fun dining experience.

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Grilled meats!
By TimOnMain of East Van (22 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 1:41am [Dine in]

My family and I have been coming here for a while and always enjoy the food.The owner is friendly and asks if everything is good and always lets you know what is his recommendation.

Portions are massive! If you like meat,you'll be pleased.For about $15 you get a large portion of kebabs with salad and rice or fries.Tried the curries too.They're pretty rich,but good.You'll have to pay a bit more for rice and naan but its all good.
The spicy chutney has a pretty decent amount of heat too,so you can add as much as you like.
Will be back for more.

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Africa on Denman
By wwl of richmond (14 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 7:39am [Dine in]

Felt like something different last night and decided on Simba's Grill. I ve ate at Simba's before but haven't been there in about six months. Arrived at about 9 and was starving. My visit:

Food: Outstanding, ordered BBQ chicken breast and found it to be very tasty, nice spice and flavour and very juicy. Often when you order something as simply as chicken breast restaurants screw your order up by overcooking but Simba's got this simply idea of serving it juicy right on. I remember the last time I visited and they also did this. Can't wait to try the rest of the menu now.

Service: The servers were good, but the thing that really took me was the owners welcoming nature. Going around the room talking to his customers one on one, makes your welcome and coming back to visit a friend. Very nice man.

Value: Solid. Dinner for two at $40-50 for good food, can't complain.

Ambiance: Solid. Nice little restaurant in the heart of Denman, very clean and nicely decorated.

Will be coming back next time around this way!

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Awesome Food
By skasaves of downtown vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, December 4, 2008 - 3:43pm [Dine in]

Great service. The waitresses are nice and the owner came over to suggest a few dishes and even threw in a few sides for free. The food was great and the portions were quite generous. The mushroom curry and lamb tomato curry were really tasty. However, the dishes are a little pricy, especially since they don't come with naan or rice.

Solid place - I'd definitely go back.

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Try something Different for a change!
By reece of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 4:39pm [Dine in]

I was in the mood for something different, untraditional. Driving along Denman we spotted Simbas offering African fare and decided to check it out. The curry chicken was a little spicy but SO tasty, make note that rice and naan are extra but worth the small cost, the french fry alternative was great though I cannot remember what they were called and they gave us a small sample to try at no cost. Pleasant staff all with a smile, the host was engaging, the servers more reserved in nature.

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A totally different kind of dining experience and worth it!
By WestCoastMunchers of Coquitlam (34 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 6:11pm [Dine in]

You have to really appreciate this type of Afro-East Indian cuisine. I am actually East Indian, though born and raised in England so have a very varied palate. This place rocks for the variety and imagination with their food. Totally delicious grilled meats and delicasies. The ugali curries and to die for and would thoroughly recommend them to you. Servings are good, service is very home-like and would most certainly recommend it to you. If you are not into spicy food and like the plain type variety, this is not for you. If you are adventurous and want a totally unique dining experience, get this stuff down into your stomach; it will settle very nicely!

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Nice place, but overpriced
By bearpaw of West End, Vancouver (23 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 26, 2007 - 12:25pm [Dine in]

Decent curry dishes, very flavorful. But not very hot, and when we asked if we could have it very spicy, since we like that, the owner flat out refused, saying that if we want it spicy we can add the sauce on the table. The sauce was a sweet-and-hot sauce, it was pretty nice and gave a kick, but I didn't want to add it since it's too sweet! Why couldn't we get a spicier curry made from the kitchen?

The appetizer was some deep friend won-ton filled with minced chicken. It didn't have much flavor at all and we had to load it up with that sweet-hot sauce. Not worth ordering that.

Also, the clincher was that with our meal we were served with rice, and we were charged FOUR DOLLARS for a little heap of rice?! Rice that must only cost a few pennies at most! And we ordered a side of Naan bread which was nice, but ended up costing another four bucks? The menu seemed to say it was 99 cents for an order of Naan.

I feel ripped off by the overcharging of accompanying dishes. My friend wondered: if we wanted to save money and didn't order a side of rice or bread, the curry would have come with *nothing*! How can you serve curry by itself? I would expect a restaurant to include, free of charge, rice or naan bread to eat the curry. Just like if you order a steak somewhere you usually get a salad or veggies to go with it, you wouldn't get a steak by itself with no side dish.

The ambience is very nice, African-motif. Very pleasant surroundings. The owner was there, and he was running things smoothly, but he seemed rather grumpy and a little scary even. When he gave directions to his pleasant Asian lady staff, he had a "if looks could kill" stare at them.

Overall, it's a ripoff, and we will never go back unless we have those 2-for-1 coupons you see in Entertainment books (and maybe newspapers?). It's waaaaaaay overpriced for what you get. Even with the coupon it'd be a fair value, not a good one. There must be better spicy restaurants out there.

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Good food, way way overpriced!!!
By ryyeung of Richmond (35 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 10, 2007 - 12:32pm [Dine in]

This place was quite quiet on the Saturday night I came here. Only about 10 ppl in the restaurant during the dinner rush on a nice day.

Food: I had the chicken curry, which was delicious and second in excellentness only to Mui's Chinese curry. It was green colour, and had a good cocunut flavour. No to spicy, and the creaminess was just right. Delicious! However, at $14, the dish was a little bigger than a bread plate. Also, here's the catch: there is NO side dish included, like rice or naan. WTF??? How do ppl normally eat curry? I asked my fellow dinners who had been here before and they said rice comes seperate. So I ordered rice and naan for $5 total. So the total cam to $19 not including tax tips. That is just too much for a bowl of curry!!! I'd rather head down to Mui's or have a BBQ duck anyday.

Service: Not very professional: Server took our order leaning against an empty table. Even though my glass of water was empty, they never came by to fill it even though they were not busy. Tried to sell us the desert, but I was already poor after the entree.

Ambiance: Clean, nice African atmosphere. Nicely lighted.

This restaurant has a lot of potential. Please owner, Big Simba himself, reduce the prices a little bit, or at least include rice with your curry for the love of God. It's not an entree if its just a bowl of curry! Unless prices come down, I don't think I'll be returning here.

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Decent African food, but not amazing
By nogami of Coquitlam (39 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 6, 2007 - 11:29pm [Dine in]

I went to Simba's on a weekday evening with a friend of mine. She had a beef kabob of some sort, and I ordered the ostrich house special.

The appetizer was a fried pastry with a chicken&herb filling. Quite good, but also quite dry.

The meal arrived quite quickly, and the meat was tasty, but I found the side of rice a bit dry for my likings. I would've also like a slightly more interesting salad (instead of just a regular green salad).

Was also a bit more expensive that I would've expected. I think I'll probably go again, but next time I think I'll go for a curry dish instead of the kabobs.

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Not sure if it met expectations
By Azusa of Burnaby (38 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:09pm [Dine in]

Whenever I walk by the Denman, I see this restaurant and have always wanted to try it. The opportunity arised when my girlfriend and I was in the area wanted to go to Zakkushi (which is right beside it) but it was packed full and the queue, too long.

When we got in, to say the least, it felt... Strange. Tables are too close to each other and the background music was odd.

I ordered the lamb skewer with the fried cassava root and my girlfriend ordered the cornish fried hen. We had a bit of problem communicating with the waitresses (either it was because of the background noise or they are ESL students, as they looked oriental, not that there is anything wrong with that) but we managed to get everything we asked for. It took a while to arrive but I won't blame them since the place was packed full.

Now, as for the food itself. The lamb skewers were... gamey, to say the least. It tasted more like goat than lamb. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting (probably too used to Greek food?). As for the hen (or chicken), it was fried, OK. However, I don't think I saw the sauce as the dish suggested. So, in the end, it was just plain fried hen. They have side of yogurt and tamarind (?) chutney, which matched well with the naan.

Service was OK. The waitresses made sure the glasses were full but the owner... Well, he was a bit scary as he spent the whole night checking at all the customers, as a mafia boss.

Overall, as mentioned in the title, I am not sure if it met expectations. The cassava roots were good (think starchier french fries) and the taste of lamb was different. But the hen was a bit of a let down. I might go again just to other dishes so that I can make a better assessment. But if what we had is an indication of the rest of the menu, I will then pass.

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Devine eating!!!
By foodslueth of east vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 1:57pm [Dine in]

The food here is soooo delicious!
Me and my boyfriend took a chance on this african restaurant while walking down Denman street recently.
We left with huge smiles!
The food was beautifully prepared, the flavours perfectly balanced.
Our dinner was served with an array of delicious sauces and chutneys, fresh mango hot sauce, coconut chutney, tamarind chutney, yogurt sauce, ect... beautiful fragrant saffron rice.
The staff was warm and the ambience atmospheric with low lights, candles and african music.

I highly reccomend this place!

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Simba's needs something more ?
By 99north of Squamish (29 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 10:02am [Dine in]

We had wanted to try this restaurant for ages and one night we had the opportunity to try it out. We arrived just after 5 PM I think,,,there weren't very many people there at that time, so we thought that the food and service would be good. It started to fill up pretty quick after that though.

We ordered an appy with chicken wrapped in a Phyllo pastry, it came pretty quickly, but it was dry and we had to ask if there was a dipping sauce. The owner ,a giant man who appears to be very gruff, said "yes we needed the sauce "and promptly brought it to us himself. We found it funny that EVERY waitress there was Japanese with limited english, even the cook was Japanese. We also had to ask for water 6 times to get refilled !

The chicken was merely a sausage and could have been any kind of meat, not distinguishable at all. The sauce was pretty good ,hot ,but then that's African fusion I suppose. Overall the appy was dismal at best,,,,I wouldn't order it again.

For the main course, we split a Simba's Chicken, which is actually a cornish game hen, completly deep fried and cut up, it came with Mogo, which is deep fried cassava root, which were VERY limp and cold to boot. The hen was done alright,,but was very greasy and we had to ask for towel wipes,,

We decided to opt out for dessert, at this point, we had had enough Simba for one night and decided after some thought that we wouldn't be returning.
The place is very pricy for what you get, there are better bets out there for the money,,,,,,,the feeling of being watched by the owner was also a bit disconcerning as well,,,he hovers around and asks why you don't like this and that if your not gobbeling up your meal.

Maybe it was a bad night, or who knows what,,,We were very disappointed with our first visit, after reading the review in the Thursday Province newspaper, we had wanted to try this place for quite awhile and this will be our last visit. Sorry Mr Simba....its just not for us.

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Good to Try..
By feel100 of richmond (29 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, July 21, 2008 - 9:09pm [Dine in]

This is good experience if you have never tried Africa food before.

Food is already. It's a little bit similiar Malaysia food. But i think they need to provide more topic. There is only 10-15 items to choose.

Service and ambiance are alright. Nothing surprise me.

Price is little bit over.

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will do in a pinch
By dwightcharles of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 13, 2007 - 4:28pm [Dine in]

The food was tasty enough, although not plentiful and tended to add up price-wise. I am a great fan of African food, but my high expectations were not met. Ambience is ridiculous--unless you like the roadside 70's diner feel...

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Outstanding experience
By jecadjura of Richmond (2 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 16, 2009 - 10:58pm [Dine in]

We decided to try a different kind of food and were very pleased by this choice. Simba was very friendly and suggested several main dishes. Food was great. Not greasy which was just what we were looking for. Main dish does not come with rice or naan but we ordered them separately. Portions were good sized (big) even for two very hungry people.
The ambiance is very nice, with African art on the walls and even on the ceiling (nice touch).
We found Simba's walking around and making sure people were satisfied very courteous.

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The best food and the worst service in town.
By CJSS of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, June 17, 2007 - 12:06am [Dine in]

If you like great food and bad service, this is the place to go! This was probably one of the worst dining experiences of my life and should've walked out when I had the chance. Be prepared to wait 20 minutes before getting menus, another 15 minutes for drink orders (if the waitress remembers to ask) and being ignored by wait staff until your ready to pay, oh wait, you have to wait for that too.

I would understand if the restaurant was full but there were only 10 people including myself. The wait staff consisted of 4 people, and only one of them was really good (doing the work of 4), she obviously wasn't our waitress. This restaurant has so much potential and I really hope for their sake they improve their customer service and realize it's just as important as having great food.

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