A trip down Vancouver memory lane to a Cannery spin-off, complete with dated but charming seafaring decor. Our server's nickname was Teddybear, and he was a teddybear. Glasses of wine and food portions were generous. The salmon cake appetizer was really good, big enough for two people. The Salmon Wellington was a beautiful throwback to one generation ago when Beef Wellington was the star on many menus. Flavors were subtle. The freshness of the fish was prominent because of that. Still, a little overcooked, and the pastry was not the greatest, but it was delicious nevertheless. My partner's halibut was fine.
Pink Peppercorn no doubt would have been the best restaurant in BC 50 years ago, and it sort of feels like you have stepped back in time there, but now the big gun chefs are here from all over the world, competition to be new and exciting and unique is fierce in Van, many millions are pumped into decor, and old school can't quite compete anymore if fine dining is what you're after. But I think Pink Peppercorn has most of the other guys beat in restaurant finesse, which is cultivated over time, and from genuinely wanting to bring the customer joy.
Went there on a Friday night with friends.
Nice beer but expensive.
Extremely loud throughout. Do not go in if you want a decent conversation, you will come out hoarse from shouting !
Conveniently & centrally located. An easy to find bar, with a pool table & shuffleboard games upstairs.
We'd heard great things of this restaurant from friends, some of whom originate from the sub-continent, so we thought we'd give it a try last Friday evening. We'd also travelled extensively through the sub-continent & love Indian food, even though western menu items tend to bare little resemblance to the Indian dish of origin. Most dishes have been modified to suit western tastes, esp. by British culinary influences.
It's centrally located in the heart of town & is relatively easy to find. It's exploiting it's location & potential high clientele turnover in the price factor, but I was somewhat let-down by the whole experience.
The place is extremely neat, clean & tidy inside. It is popular & by selecting a window table you can watch the world go by on Burrard whilst you eat.
There was a great range of food, but it was extremely expensive for what you got. One poppadum "cut" into 4 cost $3.25 & each pickle offering was $3.25. Veg. options generally start at $15.75 & meat dishes from $18.75.
I like my curries extremely hot & asked accordingly on ordering, but had to send it back because it was so bland. It was meant to be lemon & coriander-based, but was weak in flavour & lacking substance. The dish that came back was different altogether - more tomato-y based. All our meals were somewhat watery, thin & on the small size. The garlic nans were great though.
There was no draught beer. There was a good range of bottled beer, prices of which started from $7.
It was a very expensive Indian, the bill for 4 coming to $160 !
Good to have tried it, but we wont be going back.
Just go to Vaades in North Vancouver, it's tons better value for money & has an absolutely excellent range food..
J, her hubby and their son stopped in while enjoying the sunny Vancouver weather. For an early dinner, the place was packed. After a good half an hour wait, we finally managed to get a seat. Normally I wouldn't feel the wait but the kiddo was really getting worked up about not getting served. Really want to thank the server for being comprehensive and talking to him all the while. Brownie points for that!
Once we were seated, things moved rather quickly. Our order was taken and appys started arriving. For the first time, I liked the pakoras over the samosas. Kudos to the one who recommended it. J and I especially enjoyed our chicken methi. It was probably one of the best I've had in a while.
More than the food, the service was excellent. The waiter was patient with us, even when the kid spilled all his drink on his shirt. Water constantly refilled was probably a sign from J who found the food a bit too spicy.
I am usually a sucker for comfort food, and so every time I make it to Vancouver, the Flying Pig is the place go to. Without question. There's something about this place that keeps on drawing me back, not sure if it is their pulled pork poutine or what, but the ambience is great. I love the nonchalant feeling to this place - it's like everyone is not too worried or hurried in having a good time - but all within the limit of course.
This time around, things weren't such as pleasant. We arrived for an early dinner only to find ourselves with a line-up at the door. Comprehensive and normal. Nothing to worry about. We were told the wait was going to be half and hour maximum but ended up waiting more than an hour. Okay, we can deal with that. What we couldn't deal with was the rude staff and manager. Had it not been for my friends, I would have left. Hoping this was a one time thing and won't happen again.
Best service and best French restaurant ever. We went here to celebrate the anniversary of my parents over lunch last week. We had baked escargot, lobster tempura/ scallop salad, lamb shank ( juicy and tender), salmon/ prawns / halibut ( melt in your mouth) platter, lamb chop and grand marnier souffle (soft and puffy).
We love this place. We had already made another 2 reservations for next month.
We had a pretty good meal here on Monday with a couple of my co-workers. I am no first-timer here, but what first captivates you of India Bistro is the ambience. Nicely decorated but kind of small, it worked. Where we get seated didn't really matter. Keeping our voices down wasn't really a speciality.
The food is made to perfection each time, I have yet to catch them serving something half-hearted. Portion sizes justify the price. The naan is soft and pillowy, and their chicken dishes are superb. But what really blew us away this time was the rasmalai. Thanks to the persuasion of the waiter, one of my co-workers finally tried it out. His tricks to adding water or milk to make it more edible for others.
Ganache Patisserie is one of those places you can never get bored of because their pastries are so good. Their caramel-chocolat pastry is one of the most delicious things I have tried, even though it has so much chocolate in it (not a big chocolate fan here). And it's not just me, I still feel it still manages to draw a crowd despite being high-priced. I like coming in the mornings when it is not too busy to eat some cake or get some croissants. That, with some fresh coffee, alone can really set your mood and get you going for the day.
We were so happy to find this place, the decor is cute, like in France — the waiters all dressed the part and they were even French. However, everything stopped being cute as soon as we started to (or should I say, tried to) interact with any of the arrogant waiters.
We sat at the bar and ordered drinks and some pomme frites. At one point the bartender made some drinks right in front of us and I tried to talk to him and he just contradicted what I said — I said, "wow, so close you can almost taste the drink" (the bar was super narrow, so he literally was right where we were) and he said "ah, maybe smell them". No biggy I thought, then I asked him something in French (I lived in France when I was younger, so I speak some French) and of course he immediately answered me in English.
Then when my partner accidentally knocked over his champagne glass (because the bartender had left all of his drink mix stuff right in front of us), he merely came over and said "would you like to order another drink?" Not, oh darn, can I get you another drink or anything.
I also heard the waiters talking and whenever a customer came in and wanted to sit in the window (like we did), they said "no, we have to save it for a table of 4" - but then some wanna-be big shot guy came in with his girlfriend, they let him sit there, even though they didn't know him either.
Anyway, we were very unhappy with the service and or civility with this restaurant. For sure we will not be returning.
I don't like this place. I've gone here may be 3 or 4 times. And each time, service was awful.
The food is just ok ... not good ... not great.
But the service ... I couldn't believe how awful it was.
Took forever for them to take our order.
Took even longer to get our bill. And when I went up to pay without the bill, she kept looking at my hand to see if I had the bill. No tea refill. No friendly smile. Awful!!!!
I come for the food. We all know White Spot food tastes the same no matter where we go. I come at least once a week. The service is whatever. But that's not the reason I go there. This location is about 5 minutes away from where I live, there is never a wait at the door, the food comes pretty fast. What more do I need? Once, I saw the manager get really angry at a server and she was on the verge of tears. I felt really bad for the server but who knows what the story was. Like I said, I only go for the food.
I'm not really into Vegan food because it usually tastes like cardboard, but this place definitely knows what they are doing. Maybe it's all the indian herbs and spices they put that give the food flavour. or its the rich chocolaty goodness the baked stuff has. I gave the service a 5, just because the staff is really knowledgeable about their vitamins and doesn't mind when I bombard them with 10 questions at a time. The Ambiance is a 4 because I prefer this joint over Drive Organics next door. This isn't 5 star quality interior we are talking about but it's just that this place feels inviting and warm. Drive Organics just feels a little bit colder. Not that Drive Organics isn't awesome.
I just prefer the vibe at this Cactus over the one on Ash. Maybe it's because I've been to the one on Ash so often over the past few years that I'm just so sick of the location now. I've never had a bad experience at the one on Ash, I just really like the vibe at this location. The interior is nice, not like the typical Cactus locations. The happy hour specials are such a good deal. Love love love the happy hour drink/food specials.
Not far from famous Bon's is another restaurant that offers all day breakfast near Broadway and Rupert. Inside, the Green Cafe is clean. bright and tidy with walls, floor and furniture in various shades of green. This apparent family run operation is nice and friendly. $3.00 breakfast is cheap and delicious which consists of your choice of either sausage, bacon or ham with egg (any style), toasted bread and shredded potato hashbrown. On the menu, there are other items such as sandwiches, burgers, noodle soup, chow mein, fried rice, curry meats and appetizers. This small cafe is recommended if you like fast service and affordable food.
Was there today with a few of my friends. One of my friends is a poutine junkie and really wanted to go to this place. I remember this place from commercial drive but didn't remember the food only the owner that appeared to be selling a used car when talking about his food.
As soon as I walked into this place dejavu, it was him again. Our conversation from 5 years ago was no longer was a bad memories but reality. Don't get me wrong he is not a bad guy but there is so much you can hear why his product was amazing and everyone else is bad. After the way we were talking we were expected a food explosion in our mouth instead all we received was an explosion of our wallet.
A small plate of normal poutine was $9. It not too bad but nothing special. The montreal smoked meat was also average but really pricey. I had a sandwich, beer and poutine that came to $35. If I am ever craving smoked meat or poutine I will jump in my car and drive right past this place. Overpriced, average and you leave with a headache listing to the owner. All four of us left the place unsatisfied with no intention of returning.
Have driven by this place many times, and decided today with a friend to come for dinner..... When we came in, we thought the ambiance looked great and were looking forward to a nice dinner.... We werw told we would be seated momentarily..... Time passed about twenty minutes ans no one came..... My friend and I just decided to get up and leave.........
Not recommended..... Will not be back
I have been here before, but it was a friends first time coming here and they wanted to come.
Upon being seated they brought us bread......our waitress came and took our order. I ordered a ceasar salad (for starters) spaghetti carbonara (with added chicken) and my friend got linguine with salmon and some beer. My ceasar salad came and it was $10.50 (for that?) It was on a small plate....I was like "ok....." good, ate it, it was not anything special....(There goes $10) afterwards came our entrees. It did taste pretty good, but portion size seemed to be much smaller than it was last time I came (you know that plate you get at milestones that has chicken appetizers? (wings, chicken bites etc.....) That was what our pasta was on.
But to be fair; the pasta did taste pretty good, but think portions should be bigger.
The service was pretty mediocre......nothing good, but nothing bad ither. The Ambiance was great.
Who knows. I might return; I might not.....who cares
On its surface, you could dismiss Vij's, baring you possessed some form of extrasensory culinary clairvoyance. I had criticized restaurants in the past that matched the straightforward décor approached by Vij's, but here, it's intentional and not the result of a limited budget. Vij's stands a proud achievement in a city of over half a million people that the most respected, most critically praised restaurant is so modest and unpretentious that it refuses to take reservations. Compared to the other dinners I would have on this Vancouver outing, Vij's not only came up the cheapest, but the friendliest as well. Of course, the day had to balance that experience with a depressing lead in.
I had arrived that same day, and after dropping my bag on the bed of the hotel, I hustled out and took to the road, guided my by TomTom voiced by Billy Connolly ("Turn around, if possible…it's important to turn your whole car around; don't just turn around inside the car."). Prior critics had recommended arriving around 5:00, thirty minutes ahead of the dinner service, if one had any hope of getting in on the first seating. My watch read 5:00, unaware that it would take 15 minutes to find a parking spot in this cursed town. I eventually stumbled into an empty stall mated to a Canada Trust that threatened to tow any car before 6:00 unless it was owned by a customer. Anxiety began to build. I couldn't remember if the doors opened at 5:00 or 5:30, and I began to worry that I'd be standing in line for hours, my empty stomach trying to convince my brain to eat the toddler in front of me while his parents tapped away on their iPhones.
Vij's is paired with another restaurant, Rangoli, owned by the same chef and promising modest prices with smaller portions. Rangoli also features a store where interested buyers can purchase prepackaged food and cookbooks related to the franchise surrounding the head chef and owner, Vikram Vij.
My substandard $15 dollar watch silently flipped to 5:30 and the doors opened, revealing the pleasant head chef and host, the celebrity himself. What modesty to welcome each customer personally? I managed a table at the first seating and took a moment to enjoy the décor, or rather lack thereof…well, what I could see in a restaurant as dark as an adult video store…I've heard. I did make out a painted but otherwise unfinished roof with exposed pipes and air ducts, bargain light shades only in fashion before 1979, and a cluster of female chefs clad head-to-toe in black like gastronomic ninjas frantically preparing the first set of orders.
The first waiter placed an unidentified brass jug on my table and I spent the first few minutes of the meal staring at it, unsure what could be concealed in its dimly-lit depths. As I pondered this culinary Lemarchand's box, passing waiters kept offering me free food. To start was pana puri, followed by glass of masala chai, a cassava root fry, and a vegetable pakora. My assigned waiter followed and poured water from the brass decanter still mocking me at the center.
Just water, huh? Kind of disappointed now.
Disappointment is being sarcastic. Some critics have pointed at the owner's boisterous attitude as being pompous, that the restaurant's refusal to accept reservations is inexcusable. My scholarly counter to such a criticism is to tell those people to bug off. Show up at 5:00 and swallow your damned pride; or better still, just avoid Vij's and drop twice as much money on a pretentious slab of cow you self-important philistine. I'm sorry that Vij treats each patron equally, regardless of the house they live in or the car they drive. There's no bouncer, no mandatory tie. Vikram Vij wears a scarf over an un-tucked kurta and doesn't ask for anything from his patrons. Expensive? Vij's was the cheapest place I patronized for dinner during my vacation, and maybe it might be expensive if what you're used to is the Indian equivalent of a culinary bukkake (yeah, I went there), where you're offered thirty variations of curries and kormas and can eat nonstop until you bankrupt Macau. Waiting twenty minutes is a small price to pay for the best Indian-inspired food you likely ever to find.
Don't expect butter chicken or masala chops; Vij's is about something entirely new, original recipes inspired by classic Indian traditions. The menu is a meek collection of dishes, scattered on the single page in seemingly no sensible order. I opted for the popular wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes. The dish was delivered with a side of rice and chapattis. Given the snacks preceding the meal, I hardly required an appetizer, although I would've liked to have ordered those somosas. Although I'm not one to enjoy tearing meat off bones, I found myself bravely diving in. There was no gristle or tough sections, the bones stuck up inviting from the large bowl and I alternated between them and the cream sauce, spooned up with rice or bread. The curry was without a doubt the best I had ever had.
The stress of my car's fate took hold and a rushed through the bill, racing to the stall to find my car still waiting patiently without a ticket. I wandered back to Vij's and dropped down cash for one of his cookbooks. The clerk asked if I wanted Vij to sign it. Yeah, she actually asked. While the chef signed my sister's name across the leaf, he recounted how easy the fenugreek sauce is to make at home, and that the secret to the lamb's tenderness is to marinade it in the wine for a full day. Oh, simple as that?
If I lived in Vancouver, or anywhere near it, I would make it my mission to order each and every dish on Vij's modest menu. I would run a blog dedicated to just this one restaurant. It truly is that good, even ignoring the demands imposed by its novelty. It isn't pretty, could stand with a few extra lights, and I did feel rather tight against other patrons, but Vij's placement on the upper echelon of the culinary elite is well earned.
OVERALL: 9 out of 10
By the way, I think describing a buffet as a culinary bukkake may be my most disgusting metaphor yet.
Of all the restaurants in my journeys, outside of Gordon Ramsey at Claridges (which is no longer Gordon Ramsey at Claridges), there has never been a more hyped restaurant than Tojo’s. They obviously wallow in the accolades—you can barely see through the glass door with all the stickers on it from various review sites like Zagat, Trip Advisor, or Yelp. I may never again encounter a restaurant with this much buildup. Hell, I was even discussing my visit with Jewel Staite. Jewel Staite! Jewel Staite? Yes, Jewel Staite. You know, Firefly, Stargate—oh forget it, those of you who know, care. She reaffirmed the apparent certainty that Tojo’s was one of the best if not THE best restaurant in all of Vancouver.
Would it then be a surprise that it didn’t fulfill such lofty expectations? I was practically guaranteed transcendence, and no one was more shocked than I at my reaction. It’s admittedly unfair; it already counts as one of the best Japanese culinary experiences I’ve ever encountered, but with this level of hype, I was expecting it to top the list, and it didn’t. As it stands, it’s unfortunately just amazing. I await retribution for stating Tojo’s as simply fantastic, merely astonishing, regrettably excellent.
Based purely on its décor, it deserves high praise. This is not a conventional Japanese restaurant, but a Japanese restaurant’s ecstasy-laced hallucination of itself. It’s enormous, with gaps of hardwood floor shockingly underutilized, still leaving dozens of tables and an expansive bar open as we entered. The bar was reserved for omakase.
No, that’s not some mid-level Yakuza boss in Grand Theft Auto 5, but the term labeled for chef menus in Japanese restaurants. I find the exclusiveness of the bar disappointing, especially since I wanted to try omakase. My girlfriend wasn’t, leaving me trapped at a table ordering the non-omakase chef’s menu…yes there are two chef menus. No, I don’t really know the difference. I could see the owner/head chef, the one that looks like Sonny Chiba from Kill Bill, behind the bar serving a half-dozen men clearly ending their shift as GQ models. How badly did I want to sit at the bar? So much so that the $80 price tag felt like a drop in the bucket, not that I’ve had good experience with omakase.
In another feeble attempt at self-glorification, the last time I had a full-on omakase was at a restaurant in the New World Mall in downtown Hong Kong. Against a backdrop of fireworks blasting beyond a window overlooking Kowloon Bay on the final day of the Autumn Festival, as the Blade Runner-esque cityscape of the Admiralty fired lasers into a starless night made ever blacker by rampant pollution, I enjoyed a $300 omakase. It also gave me food poisoning, which is a tale in itself. A chef obviously lower on the totem pole, but one of some obvious talent was supplying my dinner in Tojo’s. My tasting menu included five courses of what I expected would be alternating variations of raw fish and rice. I held my chopsticks the proper way in anticipation, ironic that most of the delivered dishes were in dire need of fork. I consider myself a chopstick master—got a technique down and everything—I don’t even squish the rice. All but one of the dishes I was served was nearly impossible to enjoy with sticks, but at no point was I offered a fork. Some of the bites were as minute as Adam Sandler’s box-office draw.
The first dish, a tuna tartare, was one of the greatest dishes I’d ever sampled, followed by a salmon sashimi, followed by…I honestly don’t know what it was. I mean it was good, and I recognized the bed of morel mushrooms it sat on. Carrots, I saw carrots. All that led to a dish punctuated but what felt like slightly undercooked tripe, a dish so disappointing, I had to break a personal policy and share my displeasure with the staff (in the most polite way possible, of course). It was only after that was I served some actual sushi, five various pieces of exceptional refinement. Of the five courses, two disappointed while three overwhelmed, a fact obviously perceived by the wait staff, who obviously conveyed this to the chef, and the previous setback was redeemed with a complimentary green tea crème brulee, a dish of which all future crème brulees will be compared.
Tojo’s reputation is obviously well earned; it has reached that critical mass where no bad publicity can stop it. Like a G-type main sequence star, Tojo’s is unlikely to dim in the foreseeable future, feeding on a nearly inexhaustive supply of publicity garnered from celebrities like Anthony Bourdain, Tom Cruise, and Jack Black. Wait…is that…Pat Morita (hasn’t he been dead for eleven years?). By the way, funny that Bourdain is the only one labeled; even Cruise is listed under just…”people”. Heaven forbid I offer up a negative review, not that I would give one. The experience, taken on an average of décor, service, and the six dishes served, still comes up with a top grade across the board. Odd that I walked out still…disappointed. How does that work?
Should you visit Tojo’s? Hell yeah. I’m required to visit different restaurants each time I visit Vancouver and I still want to try omakase. It was absolutely worthy the visit...if you have the money. Remember, such a reputation does equate to rather lofty prices. The only sushi combo dinner offered is a staggering $55. That price I quoted for omakase was only to start, with the cost likely to increase, up to triple depending on the details. Thank god, my girlfriend only ordered the California rolls. I left her out of the review until now because her comments perfectly reflect the justification of my review. She hates sushi…hates it. I can’t get her to try anything, but she ordered California rolls, and said they were the best she’d ever had. Thank you, Tojo’s, you might have finally opened up my girlfriend’s culinary horizons, and for that, I cannot offer a greater score.
Enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Fable while visiting Vancouver. The atmosphere is fun, hip, friendly, casual, and warm. Dishes were variable and tasty, especially the sausage stuffed pork loin and the smores desert. Service was friendly and helpful. Reasonably priced, wonderful service. This is perhaps the best farm to table place I've ever been to. I will return every time I come back to Vancouver.
|1.||Stepho's Greek Taverna|
|6.||Phnom Penh Restaurant|
|8.||Kobe Japanese Steak House|
|11.||Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar|
|16.||Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro|
|19.||Ebisu on Robson|
|20.||Glowbal Grill and Satay Bar|
|2.||Seasons in the Park|
|4.||Talay Thai Restaurant|
|5.||Diva at The Met|
|8.||Guu with Garlic|
|10.||La Grotta Del Formaggio|
|11.||Salade de Fruits Cafe|
|13.||Pink Peppercorn Seafood House|
|15.||Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar|
|17.||Khunnai Chang Thai Cuisine|
|18.||Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, The|
|20.||Terracotta Modern Chinese|