Village Taphouse is a popular pub that serves classic pub grub and over 40 different kinds of beer from around the world. This location is located in the Village in Park Royal Mall.
We came here on a Friday night after playing 9 holes at Gleneagles. It was busy but we managed to find a great spot on the patio for four. My first impression was that their hiring practices seemed awfully similar to Cactus Club only to the next level.
The service was really good for the two hours we were there. Even though it was busy, our food came out fast and beverages were never empty.
They have a beer tasting option where you can select 3 beers for $6.00, a great way to try a bunch of different brews. They looked like they were about 4 ounces which equals about a glass of beer, maybe not the best deal but still worth it because of the extra effort required from the bartender. (They even label them so you know which one you are drinking.) They have a wide selection of beers from many different microbreweries.
The menu consists of fairly standard pub food that you would expect at this kind of place and from what I saw, it was executed pretty well. I had potato skins and a margarita pizza and both were good.
Overall, I would return. The food didn't wow me as its pretty standard pub fare but it is done well from my single experience. I definitely like the beer selection and the tasting option; I would probably return just for that if I was in the area.
I was shocked to read that this location was bought up by Cactus Club (which has a location right across the street). Probably got it cheap because Steamworks was terrible and couldn't have been making money. It's now just known as the Village Taphouse or something. What is really a bit sad is within 100 feet of each other you have Cactus, this place, and Browns, which are all eerily similar to each other. Kind of too bad really as no need for this many places the exact same.
OK I lifted my boycott of this place hoping it would be better with Cactus management in place. Service was definitely better, pretty much Cactus like. I think they have made some changes in the seating, etc. too, there are even pool tables in the back. It was pretty nice and happening, tons of TVs for watching games, more a pub atmosphere than restaurant.
The menu is pared way down and pretty much all different, it's more like Browns next door. About half of the items are direct Cactus imports but there are some differences. Ordered their only burger on the menu plus $17 nachos. Ate the fries and they were not great. Tried the nachos and they were very stale. My hopes were dashed. For $17 for nachos I expected a lot, and these were the worst I ever had due to the staleness - I should have complained but I'd only had a few by the time they asked and was hoping they would get better. The burger on the other hand was very good, probably in the top 5 out of the maybe 100 different places I've tried. I'd go back just for it.
Basically their kitchen needs some more work as I can't believe they let $17 nachos go out stale (maybe nobody orders them at $17 so they go stale).
I'll probably give it another try hoping I got unlucky on one item.
I've never had a disappointing meal at either location, and prefer West Van. I found the service was perfect, my server was friendly and personable and the food was great.
I ordered the Won Ton soup with prawns and salad on the side. I love the soup, filled with vegetables, lots of prawns, won tons & broth was delicious. I was full with my meal, the salad was a great compliment to my meal and hit the spot.
I like how bright, airy their location was, and everyone seemed to be enjoying their meals.
West Van has always lacked decent spots for food and drink... when Steamworks first opened in the Village a few years ago, we gave it a try. The place was ill conceived and the ambiance was so off we only tried it once. Can't recall the food but I have never been impressed with the food of Steamworks even at the Gastown location.
But recently I ventured back since its renovation and ownership by the Cactus Club chain... really dig the new decor.
We sat in the lounge - love the fireplace - had a drink and a bit of food.
I had yam fries (a tad salty) and my companion had a side salad which looked really scrumptious. Both dishes were generous and good value at just under $7 each. My beer was on special for only $3.50.
Service was attentive and prompt. It was fairly busy for a mid week night.
Will certainly return now that it has a vibe that makes you want relax, and enjoy yourself.
Is the food good? Yes, sure it is. This place is a slightly upscale Cactus Club, but takes itself FAR too seriously. Small menu, over-priced, and the whole place has a very pretentious aura, from the decor to the 'hostesses'.
It's hard to say anything truly negative, though. The food is over-priced, but it is tasty. The decor is a bit ordinary, but it certainly isn't in bad taste. Service is acceptable, but it's clear that most hostesess were recruited more for the way they look than the way they perform.
Really, you could do a lot better than this. Go around the corner to Milestones - better service, better food, and better value.
Five of us went for lunch and everybody was very pleased with their food. I had the mixed green salad and was blown away with all the ingredients - it was colourful, tasty and a generous portion. One of my friends had the mini burgers as her entree and aside from being the cutest looking burger plate ever, she noted that they were very tasty. Two others had the seafood chowder and just about licked their bowls clean. My other friend had a sandwich with green salad and was very pleased.
The service was great - our server was very friendly, checked on us frequently (but not overbearing in any way), had a big smile on her face and just did everything right.
The ambiance was clean and comfortable.
I'll be back.
I've been to Steamworks on a few different occasions and find it to be a mixed bag - good food, bad service, bad food, good service - the only thing that remains relatively consistent is the ambiance, as even their beers (seasonal selection) are on a rotating menu.
Generally, I would recommend not to come to Steamworks on an empty stomach...their selection seems vast but none of it is really original or well-executed. Plus their entree items seem really overpriced for what you get. Their appetizer dishes are okay to snack on which you drink, which is really the only thing I would go out of my way to go to Steamworks for. Their beer is reasonably priced (somewhat saves their value rating) and fairly good. I'm a big fan of the raspberry beer myself, it's a shame it's not available year round!
The ambiance is decent, it's a pretty nice room but some of the tables can be uncomfortably close and it does get a little loud and rambunctious at times. Basically a relatively straightforward go-to place for drinks and hanging out with friends.
Since cactus bought this place it is just another CC, i.e 19 year olds serving half decent over priced food to 19 year olds. Steamworks before that wasnt anything special, but at least it was unique! Cactus is the same crap everywhere you go!!