Wild Rice offers farm to table Chinese cuisine served in a chic setting blending the traditional and modern.
What a great looking room, right out of Wallpaper, nice tunes, and sexy staff. Cocktails are all too sweet and focus on pretty colours rather than showing off the booze. Wine list is the best in the Gastown/Chinatown hood although chill Winston and Salt have more by the glass. Food is mediocre at best and dessert shameful.
I've never been a big fan of fusions, and this place didn't help. I found the food portions small and tasted funny. This may have something to do with my dislike of sweet food. The waitress was very attentive and explained every dish to me but I simply don't like the food.
We had an ahi tuna/spring roll as an appetizer; duck trio and bacon wrapped bison as main course. They were all very good. I recommend the duck trio (duck thigh, duck consomme and duck breast w/risotto). The consomme is clear and rich in flavor, meat is tender, and the risotto is filled with chinese mushroom aroma.
Downside is the menu has too many phonetic chinese words (we have no idea what it means even though my GF and I are fluent chinese). Dessert menu was unappealing.
But overall, it was a really good dining experience in a casual and contemporary setting!
came here last friday night for dinner...i've always wanted to try this place, but never really had the chance too...food was bland (e.g duck wontons), the noodles in the kung pao chicken were too mushy...(although there were generous on the chicken), ribs were the only decent thing...a bit too quiet for a place that is supposedly "hip"...couches were comfy though...we had 4 dishes for 3 people, even with the entertainment book coupon it still came out to be over $60 before tax and tip...not going back...
Recently I took a date to the hockey game and Wild Rice before hand. This was a good decision as she hadn't been there before. The ambiance is the first impression for most guests and it has an impressive layout. We were early and therefore given one of the best seats in the house across from the illuminated bar. We decided to share 3 appies and 1 main course. The first appy was the Tuna Tataki. It was served in a chinese style soup spoon on top of some cabbage and black bean paste. The tuna was fresh but the sauces and everything else did not compliment it at all. The 2nd appy was the beef short ribs. This dish was huge and came with fries that looked like hickory sticks. The sauce was perfect and the dish was a huge hit. The last appy was the spring rolls which had fresh vegetables and did not seem too oily.
The main course we ordered was the Kung po Chicken. This dish was spicier then anticipated and a little too over sauced. The flavours were rich and spicy so it could have had 1/2 the sauce. We were unable to finish the dish.
The restaurant is very meat based and I would like to see a few more salads or fresh side dishes that would clean the palate and make the meal a little healthier. They also do not take reservations therefore it may be a wait if it's a busy night.
Went for dinner with a friend last night. Thank goodness we had an entertainment coupon! The place was not busy even on Saturday, but we had made a reservation a week in advance (didn't qualify for open table points though?!?!). We were placed at an inside small table despite the window table being open. Order 3 different dim sum options and a chow mein to share. Dim sum was $6 each and the chow mein was $18. These were all meatless. The sticky buns were 3 on a plate and were more doughy than filled. The potstickers were good - all 4 of them. And finally the drunken beans were a disappointment being doused in what tasted exactly like sweet and sour sauce out of a bottle. The chow mien was good, but not for that price. It had one exotic mushroom and other than that nothing stood out. We paid and left to get dessert elsewhere. We won't be back.
Three of us went to this restaurant for Dine Out Vancouver ($18 menu) and we all found the food and service to be excellent. I can't believe the previous reviewer said the Kung Pao Chicken was "bland" as I found it to be extremely tasty, nutty and spicy! However, I had the "vegan" version with tofu so I think the cook may have added extra chile peppers to mine. My two companions both had the regular version of the Kung Pao Chicken and also commented how delicious it was. They did not comment on the amount of chicken in it so I assume they had enough. Mine had lots of chunks of tofu, "twice cooked peanuts" (delicious) and broccoli. The rice noodles were excellent and short enough that they were easy to eat with chopsticks. I also found the dish to be HUGE and only finished half of it. All of us had to take a portion home.
Our waiter did tell us that the Kung Pao Chicken is a mildly spicy dish and that some people request it hotter, so if you like hot and spicy, just request extra chile peppers. The KP chicken is Wild Rice's most famous dish, and I found it excellent. My husband is a former chef and quite fussy and he was impressed by the food.
Our appetizers of crispy salmon wontons were very tasty, and the chocolate pudding we all had for dessert was more like a mousse (my husband was unenthusiastic about "pudding" for dessert but he enjoyed it.)
Certain aspects of this restaurant deserve special mention, including the fact that there are many vegetarian and vegan options, and they use wild fish and free-range meat when possible (according to their menu). For instance the chicken in the Kung Pao dish was listed as free-range from Maple Hill farm, a local organic farm that produces free-range and organic meat and eggs. If you've ever shopped for free-range organic meat, you know it isn't cheap, but it's generally better quality and tastier. So for a few of the earlier reviews complaining of small portions of meat, perhaps this is the issue. But I also think you have the obligation to tell the staff if you feel your dish isn't right, to give them the chance to fix it.
Our waiter was extremely helpful and attentive, and the atmosphere is great, with funky music but not so loud you can't talk. The one minus is that the chairs (we sat in the downstairs area across from the bar) were high and a bit uncomfortable after sitting for a while.
We've gone to restaurants for Dine Out Vancouver for years, and this was one of the best experiences we had. I intend to return, maybe after seeing a movie at Tinseltown which is across the street (and their menu says they offer a 10% discount with movie ticket stubs).
Recently my friend moved into an appartment downtown near GM Place and found this little gem! It is a bit pricey, but the food is excellent and the service is good. The Kung Pao Chicken is probably the best I've ever had, and I like to eat a lot of Kung Pao Chicken. I would definately recommend this place on the Kung Pao Chicken alone.
Well,it's not what I was expecting last month when I visited with 3 friends.
The atmosphere was supported by the overpriced average food.Meaning you pay to sit in this place at the edge of Chinatown.Fusion idea is cool if the portions are substantial and the experience passes for an a real creative filling fusion.
Staff was a little slow and not very friendly (could be a bad server??)
Most people were actually drinking a nibbling.Nothing really to keep me going back.
I was very unimpressed when they sent the busser over to serve our food, and he spilled vinager into my beer as all the dishes almost slid off his tray. He didn't apologize and just took off with our food, and we jsut sat there looking at each other. I then told our waitress, and she was so lacking the ability to deal with my complaint. She was quite rude in telling me that there's no way that vinegar can fly into the tiny beer bottle opening.
Okay, so did the food make up for it? NO WAY. We ordered some game meat, elk and wild boar, but it was served covered in BBQ sauce and hoisin sauce. I know this restaurant falls into the fusion category, but the chefs really should learn that the Chinese cook their meats straight up, no thick sauces or gravy, as with any real ethnic gourmet, whether it be french, italian or asian. Real chinese chicken is served white. Not covered in sweet sour sauce.
I really hope someone at Wild Rice reads this, because you guys really suck (except for the bartender). I will never go back.
I went there on a Saturday late night. Wanted to try it ever since I heard about it - wanted to find out what Chinese Fusion mean...
The restaurant (or should I call it a bar) looks so nice! Everywhere is nicely designed, with good looking decorations. I especially like the hallway leading to the washrooms, it is decorated with wine storage and you can have a peek into the kitchen, which is kind of a show off but I always welcome that. Who doesn't like to look at organized, clean kitchen!
Food-wise, the 2 of us ordered Hot and Sour Soup, 5-Spice Chicken Wings, Shanghai Noodles with Beef, Peking Duck Wraps and a Lemongrass Tea. The food came pretty quickly, and the service was good. They all taste pretty good, but they are very different from the traditional taste. I think they've put a lot of thought into designing their menu.
We will definitely go back for a drink or hangout with some friends. But we probably won't go back for a "full meal" though. Because the portions are quite small - we paid $60 and did not feel full!
Along with a friend, I visited Wild Rice for the first time a few days ago. It was pretty early so we were seated at a comfortable sofa. It was quite dark but great ambiance. The server was quite friendly and helpful with the food and drinks menu.
We first started off with the Vegetable Spring Rolls. Wow, they were big and deliciously crispy and the sauce was just a perfect match. Next came our Chinese Barbequed Lamb Steamed Buns. For me, that was my favourite part of the meal. The lamb was tender, juicy, and flavoured nicely yet didn't seem out of place with the buns. Lastly, we had the Shanghai Noodles. Wasn't as good as the rest of the meal. It was pretty salty but the tasted very good. The vegetables in the noodle were crunchy and fresh. For dessert, I had the Five Spice Lava Cake. Although it was a little too cooked to be a lava cake, the combination of five spice and the chocolate was great. The spices weren't too powerful and it balanced well with the dairyless citrus ice cream.
The portions are generous since they are meant for sharing. The decor was chic and all the dishes were arranged very nicely. The menu is also vegan and vegetarian friendly so I would recommend it to anyone. I can't wait for my next visit!
I have just returned from my 3rd visit to Wild Rice.
I had wonton soup, kung pow chicken and chocolate pudding.
The wonton soup was solid, typical tasty wonton.
The kung pow however was probably the best kung pow I have ever eaten. I know that sounds a bit over the top but its true. The flavours were soo good and it was seasoned perfectly. It was hot but not in an over top the way, in a sneak up on your from behind kind of way. It also had a creamy coconut after taste. I want the recipe.
The dessert was a thick chocolate pudding but it was almost more like a mousse. It was paired with a ginger whip cream. WOW. Fantastic.
I am so happy and so full and totally recommend you go eat here. Yum!
Went to the Wild Rice for the 2nd time today. We were there about 4 yrs ago. I understand that the chef has changed since then. As always, the service was friendly and attentive. We never had to ask for our water glasses to be filled, and the service was very quick. They made a mistake and gave us an entree that we didn't order. Instead of taking it back, they said that it was on the house. Very nice.
The entrees are called sharing plates on the menu, but once they arrived, my son says that they look like tasting plates. The portions are very small for the price that is charged. The short ribs were quite salty, but the squid and halibut were done very well. If only there weren't so little of it.
All in all, a pleasant place to go if you like a laid back, semi-casual dining experience, but not if you want quantity for what you pay.
Yes this place is a bit pricey for Chinese food but the food is tastey and the decor and service are good. We ordered 4 dishes - kung po chicken, beef tenderloin, salmon + risotto, and one more. All were good. Price is good with the Entertainment Book coupon. Will return again for lunch.
For me "fusion chinese" is usually an excuse to "experiment" with their menu and, in the mean time, jack up the price threefold, and I Wild Rice is no exception. Some of the dishes are variations of menus from some other very upscale restaurants, but value and quality was not there. I can tolerate the "fusion" in the food had (I still think they mask poor quality with a lot of flavour), but I felt cheated in the end. The staff was fortunately, very friendly to us.
I don't usually complain about the service as long as it's ok or post reviews anywhere but I must say this was the worst services I've ever encountered in my life!
I will give credit - the food was decent, enjoyed the ambiance and the front staff was very pleasant. However, our server was absolutely terrible. First, it took him forever to come and greet us. Then it took forever for him to bring our water and to take our drink order. Hardly saw him again after we received our drinks and made our food order. The final kicker was, we ordered our dessert and he forgets one of them. We were still waiting for the final dessert when he finally shows up with the bill. I asked him where my friend's dessert was and his response was "Oh yeah, I forgot. Well, I could go and get it for you and redo your bill or you can just take this bill and finish up." I was speechless!
The day after, my friend said it best - And the dude at Wild Rice needs to get his head out of his A#S. He was so cocky and gave off this "this place is so cool and you waited an hour to get seats and because it’s so cool we can treat you poorly".
I am hoping that it was just a bad server. It is really too bad because I did enjoy the food and the ambiance. However, the service left such a bad taste in my mouth that I will never go back!
Having read the review for Wild Rice, on this terrific site, it seems to me that there are those who love this restaurant, those who really did not enjoy their experience there....and no-one in between.
Last night was my third visit to this restaurant, which I always find provides an intriguing and most enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately, someone has lumbered them with a "fusion" label. Personally, I think that this is inaccurate and unfair. I'd suggest that "up-scale, contemporary, chinese cuisine" would be a more accurate description of the food.
Carnivores all, our foursome shared platters of walnut stuffed rabbit, wild boar (completely addictive), bison, bbq pork and peking duck, along with extra scallion fried pancakes and chips of yam, sweet potato, yucca and taro root.
How intriguing can a dinner get?? I found every dish to be equal parts fascinating and delicious. The service was excellent, and the wine list, by bottle or glass, is balanced and well selected.
An all-around delightful evening!
My friends and I (party of 4) made a 7:30pm reservation there about a month ago for a combined birthday dinner. We chose Wild Rice because I was there before and I actually had a great meal there. This time, it was the polar opposite. We got there 10 min late because of an unexpected road closure. We called ahead to let them know but the hostess was not very pleasant about it. When we got there the hostess said that our reservation was for 7:45... even though I had email confirmation that it was in fact, 7:30. We were then seated at a terrible table meant for 3 people, not 4... and the table was really low and the couches were uncomfortable, and we were cramped. We were told that people were still eating at the table meant for us. So we decided to wait it out and ordered some tea. The tea was really good; however, it took them at least 45 minutes to come back and actually ask us to order. When they did, we found out that they didn't have what we wanted. They ran out of the duck! (If they had come and asked for our order we might've gotten it!)! They said it was really popular and they couldn't substitute anything for it and they weren't offering their a la carte menu either. So they can't be bothered to stock enough food for only 3 entrees that they'll be serving. They first said they had limited supply... then they said they had it but it would take 2 hours to prepare. Wouldn't you think... after nearly two weeks of dine out vancouver, Wild Rice would stock more of the duck? They know it's popular, why not anticipate huge orders? I would understand a little more about them running out if our reservation was later... but we were at a prime dining hour. At first they wouldn't even compensate us for ruining our evening, but somehow, after everything, they gave the birthday celebrants a $25 gift certificate and the tea was complimentary... which we appreciated. It is just such a big disappointment when you plan to have a great experience at a restaurant and it just falls flat... especially on a special occasion.
Wild Rice better smarten up!
Went there for my birthday with family, hot pot was bland, my sounded-amazing-strange-name menu item was some rice in a wrap with a couple veggies. My heart SANK at the first bite. I can make 5 star stirfry at home and the rice was a paste and unflavoured. The drink menu was EX-PEN-SIVE and I don't know how anyone can afford to eat or drink here on a Saturday night. Service was pretty slow for 4:30pm on a Sunday. Took 30 min to get the food. No birthday dessert offered, so we ordered some. I actually thought my finger-size cake thing was disgusting. Never to return.