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

EatsFatsVancouverSince April 22, 2007322 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.8)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (2.8)
  • Value2.5 (2.7)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.7)


Displaying 141 - 160 of 322 Reviews Found
Refuel Restaurant1944 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
Lives up to the reputation
Submitted Monday, May 18, 2009 - 1:12am [Dine in]

There should be no surprise about what to expect from this place by now. When you walk in, everything is as it should be. Very "modern" clean decor, the staff are all very efficient and friendly (though I would say perhaps slightly coldly professional). No need to say more, so let's move on to the food.

We had the 4-course chef's menu. $64 this one. We let them know any preferences of course and off they went. There were no repeats or duplicates, each person had a different dishes (even the amuse bouche) so there was plenty to sample and talk about. The dish sizes ... well, to be expected, we thought we'd easily stuff it down and walk out of there. Oh so wrong, by the time dinner was over, we were rolling out of there. I don't know how we could've gone for the larger menus without fasting first.

Each course was definitely creative. Not something that you'd remember eating elsewhere. Of course, that is not without risks. My particular soup was just okay. There were one or 2 other "okay's", but no misses. One highlight for me was the pork. My gosh, yes, it was tasty pork for sure, but at the same time, also reminded me of munching down on a nice medium-rare steak for some reason. One of the most innovative and best pork dishes I've ever had.
Each dish came perfectly paced for a good dinner that involves a lot of eating and conversation.

Unlike some lucky souls, it'd be impossible for us to come here on any frequent basis. However, I would qualify this as a "must-visit" place to open your eyes once in a while to see what could be done. There are no "usuals" here. Highly recommended.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Damien's Belgian Waffles3891 Chatham Street, #2, Richmond
Good waffles, better bread
Submitted Monday, May 18, 2009 - 1:00am [Dine in]

Hidden out in Steveston, looks like not anything special here. Just another bakery. A couple of tables for a quick bite and that's it.

Oh but wait, Philippe the baker (not Damien, we don't know who Damien is) actually does a solid job and seems passionate about his product. Judging by his accent using my rather inexpert opinion, I would guess European French (Belgium or France). Totally family run, his 2 infant children are usually milling around along with his Japanese wife who takes care of the till. They're quite friendly and attentive.

There's only a few flavours of waffles so far, but it's all solid. No stupid ingredients here! Only the real thing. For $5, you can get a waffle, with real whipping cream, real fruit topping (in our case, pure raspberry compote, not even any sugar added) and premium loose leaf tea, which Philippe will do to order for you in his press. (He wouldn't let us touch it because he wants it done right and couldn't trust us to handle it :-)

The real surprise is the bread, which comes fresh out of the oven at noon on Saturdays. It switches every week, but I would classify their raisin bread as the best we've ever had. It's so good, we can munch it down plain, no butter, no toasting, no nothin'.

The waffles? Well, if you're nearby, go. If I had to choose between this and Patisserie Lebeau, I'd head to Lebeau if it were closer, for sure. If you're in Steveston, it makes a good wholesome snack or light breakfast. I wouldn't make a lengthy trek there just for the waffles (yet), but ... we'd go back for the bread alone. Maybe for that alone, or maybe because I'm feeling generous, 4 stars. He'll get the nod for the passion he brings to his baking anyways.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Bandidas Taqueria2781 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Decent food hobbled by lack of restaurant skills
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 6:40pm [Dine in]

There are restaurants for people who don't know how to make scrambled eggs and wouldn't know good food if they were crushed by a giant slab of wagyu. There are restaurants for people who know how to cook and know what a Berkshire is. Bandidas runs dangerously close to the former.

The food is actually quite decent, though not outstanding. We did like their own home-made corn tacos, which was quite tasty. But aside from that, the only people who would give this a big thumbs up are those who can barely turn Kraft dinner into something edible.

Their management skills are also SORELY lacking. The couple ahead of us waited about 5-10min. to have an empty table cleared. And then another 5-10min. for them to be seated and get a menu. And then we had to wait...
Then there was the food. We had the taco's (which as I mentioned, quite decent) and their breakfast. The Breakfast had salsa, roast potatoes , 1 chunk of roast yam (yes, seriously, just 1 tiny cube) and generous tidbits of mystery carbon, (a.k.a. burnt bits), a few shreds of cabbage, beans, scrambled eggs and a piece of cornbread. Hey, that was kind of tasty too! But you'd be less impressed if I told you about an hour had elapsed since we stepped into the restaurant before we got our food. (Oh, we were lucky. The couple ahead of us still didn't get their food by that time).

??? Most dishes on the menu are variations on the taco or breakfast. Nobody in their right mind would make all of the stuff "fresh" for each order except the eggs. So I'm asking, do they know how to cook for a restaurant? A lot of that stuff should've been prepped that morning, so it should take no more than 10-15min. to deliver any table.

On the plus side, the price is decent, the food is decent. On the negative side, it definitely is not worth the wait for such unimpressive food. Except for the corn tacos, I could've whipped up the entire meal (yeah, including roasting the potatoes) and eaten it in less time than it took them to deliver, and it would've been just as tasty.

Unless they shape up, I'm seeing them heading for an epic fail, as there is no way they can achieve enough turn over to pay the bills.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Tenku Bakudanyaki8740 Charles St, Richmond
If you're going to do just one thing, it better be done well...
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 6:21pm [Dine in]

What's there to say? It's a trailer in the middle of what appears to be an abandoned parking lot. I've no idea how they went about getting a business license...(when we were there, they got a delivery too. What do you tell the driver? Uhh...the trailer in the empty parking lot?)
They guy serving is friendly enough and efficient tough.

So you go up and order these bakadanyaki things which is like a giant takoyaki. They're all the same except for the sauce on top.
It's freshly done though. Damn things are filled with goodness, cabbage, an entire quail egg and even an entire small octopus. If I had to grade it as a takoyaki, it was one of the best I've ever had. It tasted fresh, not greasy and full of flavour.

Take it home, take it in your car or just stand there. Doesn't matter, it comes in one of those little Chinese takeout boxes anyways. There are no seats or anything. It's kind of the perfect thing for this kind of food.

Options? None. They ONLY do bakodanyaki and maybe you can order a can of pop or something.

Is it worth a try? Yes. Is it worth a return trip? Well I could think of worse places to grab a quick, tasty, healthy snack, so yes. Thumbs up on this one.
Heck, if you're on a first date, take her here. If she comes back, she's a keeper. If not, she's not the right one.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Dae Bak Bon Ga1323 Robson Street, #201, Vancouver
More than just BBQ...
Submitted Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 6:10pm [Dine in]

Sure, almost every review here has been about the BBQ. So of course we have to go try it ... but not the BBQ.

We hopped up and got seated pretty much immediately. They always seem to be busy though, so you do have to flag someone down, but once you've got their attention, they do attend to you quickly.
While the place is definitely geared towards BBQ, that's not the only thing it serves. So, we targeted some cold noodles, a cabbage/pork wrap, tofu soup and other goodies.
No surprises, it was all pretty decent, but nothing really impressive either. They do have a fairly decent selection of cold noodles, so it might be a good place to hit in the summer.

There's lots of Korean options along Robson here, so depending on what you want, this one might be a good option. It has a few things that other places don't have as much of and you probably won't have to wait long to get a seat. Not that expensive either. We were filled to the gills and had spare to take home, and it still came to ~$15 per person.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Seri Malaysia Restaurant2327 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Surprisingly decent. Maybe even ... good?
Submitted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 1:05am [Dine in]

Okay, I have to admit I didn't have high hopes for this place given some rumours swirling about elsewhere. But hey, that's never really stopped me.

When we went (lunch weekend), it was pretty empty. 1 table. And the host was the waiter and chef as it turned out. (That would be a near-disaster later as just after our food arrived, the restaurant filled to capacity).

Nevertheless, he got our order in and we could hear him working feverishly in the back to get our food ready. Gado gado? I swear there was canned beans involved in the sauce, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt because it was DARN good! The roti canai was also a surprise. Quite light, though not as fluffy as some others in town (or in Singapore for that matter...). That was also a thumbs up for taste and lack of greasiness. Mee goreng? Enough spice to taunt, but not enough to torture, and overall taste was good.

Sure, there's not really an ambience to the place, almost bordering on cafeteria like. But it seems clean and organized and for the price, the food is surprisingly decent. Good, clean "homestyle" food, I've been to some of the more fancier joints in this town that didn't leave my tummy as happy.
Worth a stopover for sure.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Provence Marinaside1177 Marinaside Cres, Vancouver
Great service, great food at reasonable price. What's not to like?
Submitted Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 12:58am [Dine in]

Went back here for dinner, first time at evening service.

It's a great location with a nice view out the marina. The decor and setup is totally inline with the location. Tough to do better here!

I have to give top marks to the service here. The waiter was very friendly, very attentive without being intrusive. It is not as "cold" and professional as some of the higher-end joints in town, but on the other hand, it made us feel very much at ease.
I noticed that they took the time to very carefully clean and polish their glasses (you can tell when the condensation forms on the glass, any dirt or impurities are immediately obvious), again usually I've seen this only at our top restaurants in town.

We had the special Poisson d'Avril set, so of course, fish it was. Cod cakes extremely well done, loved it. Also had the trio of smoked fish with salad. Very generous portion and the absolute highlight was the smoked trout.
Mains were sardines and halibut. What can I say? Sardines (filet, headless) were very good, very fresh and paired nicely with the rest of the plate. The halibut was an entirely different dish, much lighter and subtle, again paired perfectly with a shredded asparagus salad and risotto. The halibut, always tricky, was so tender and done to practical perfection. I'm putting this in the top 3 we've ever tasted.
Polished off with very generous portions of dessert. The desserts are competent, but not mind-blowing.
Believe me, we were practically rolling out of there, you won't leave hungry.

Price is not too bad either. Usually the mains are running similar or slightly higher than the chain restaurants in the area (e.g. Milestones, Earl's etc), so I'd rather hit this place ANY day.

Highly recommended. Can't wait for the ever-changing seasonal specials.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Traditional Chinese BBQ House3141 Kingsway, Vancouver
Good idea, poor execution, STAY AWAY.
Submitted Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 12:47am [Dine in]

We keep passing by this place and wondering, so it was time to stop wondering and see what it was all about.

In theory, this is a great idea. Traditional Chinese BBQ? Yeah! It's something not seen normally here in Vancouver (and I'm not talking about the "usual" roast duck/pork places).

Went on a weeknight and it was surprisingly busy. Hmmm... good start? Place looked reasonably clean and organized. But that was thie high point of the meal.
The host/waiter took a while to show up and wasn't terribly friendly or enthusiastic, but no real alarm bells yet. After sitting down and perusing the menu, we picked a few things and waited.
Not quite enough to be annoyed, but hardly snappy. Would've been okay if they did not fall down on other points. The complaints are many:
- Most dishes are NOT large, so it is not that good a value
- Most (all?!) of the dishes were WAY too salty. Perhaps great for a round of beer...
- The BBQ skewers are TINY. Sure they are 75 cents a piece, but they are not worth even that I think. Plus, they make you order a minimum of 6, which is not noted on the menu.
- The host/waiter was yapping on the phone while he took additional orders from us. Come on, either put the phone on hold or put us on hold. No surprise then that our additional items never came (yet showed up on our bill. We complained and it was promptly deleted).
- Food quality was in general, hmm... how can I say it, showed no heart. The last dish was also the last straw. It was a barbecued/grilled tilapia, great idea and potentially great tasting. It was covered in onions and cilantro, but what did it in was that the stuff wasn't even washed properly. There was still dirt all over the cilantro! Ugh! We're lucky not to have gotten sick I guess.

Great idea, but it doesn't seem the owner and/or chef doesn't really have their heart in preparing great food. The execution AND quality are not good and it isn't so cheap either.

Rarely have I ever given this advice, but stay away. It's not even worth a try. I hope that someone else will take up this idea and run with it better.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Finch's Tea & Coffee House353 West Pender Street, Vancouver
Over-priced, slow, mediocre ... avoid
Submitted Sunday, April 5, 2009 - 1:33am [Dine in]

We went because of the great reviews for this place. There's so much to say, so let's try be concise
- Organic? No, the eggs are free-range only. Government has strict guidelines on what is free-range & what is organic when it comes to eggs, they're not the same. There is no mention that the vegetables are organic, nor the bread. The milk & juice are definitely not organic.
- There is basically NO cooking going on in the place, they're just piecing together stuff for you. The ingredients are not unique either...
- Service is not great. It was just 15min. after opening & the waitress looked and sounded like she was sick of being there already. Not helpful. (And we were only the 2nd customers of the day).
- Service is SLOW. It took 13min to make 2 sandwiches. We saw it also took them that long for the customers after us. The sandwiches we ordered had only 4 ingredients, and that's including the mayo. For my Gypsy salami:
1) Cut baguette, ~10s
2) Slather on the pesto mayo (which frankly, I think they forgot). 2 sec
3) Stuff in the lettuce, cut a few slices of tomatoes and stuff them in. (I'm generous, I give you 1 minute)
4) Stuff in some slices of pre-cut salami. (30 sec)
Yeah, it takes longer for me to type this than to actually make the sandwich, but somehow that stretched out to nearly 15 bloody minutes! The Vietnamese sub guys do it way faster, as do Quizno's, Subway, nearly everybody else.
To add insult to injury, the sandwhiches cost nearly $8 a piece, and they are NOT large.
To all the people who think this is the best sandwich place in town, I feel SOOO sorry for you, obviously you have not gotten out enough. I'm pleased you are doing so much to make the economy go around though. Please, go back to your mother and ask her to teach you how to make a sandwich though. You might be surprised how easy & fast it is with pre-packaged ingredients.

The food itself, that was okay. I would've been happy were it only $3 and took 5 minutes to make. As it is, I could've walked to Urban Fare, bought an organic baguette & other ingredients and made 4 sandwiches in the time in took for 2 of ours, & it would've tasted the same, if not better and at significantly less cost. Remember, they are NOT doing any cooking there. They're just slicing the bread and stuffing pre-made ingredients in it, most (all?) of which are not even organic!

The real achievement is how they get so many suckers to pony up so much money for such mediocre food.
Will I go back again? I would lay my bets on NEVER. Would I recommend it? Only if you've got too much time to spare and money to burn. If you want something similar, take the walk to Sciue, there's much more choice, it's cheaper, it's better and a lot of the stuff is baked fresh right there and the staff is friendlier.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Szechuan Harvest Moon Cuisine4600 No. 3 Rd., 121, Richmond
Decent food if possibly a bit pricey
Submitted Saturday, April 4, 2009 - 11:24am [Dine in]

Went here for lunch with a ton of people. They had some lunch menu for $6.95 where you get a dish and rice and a bowl of soup, so, we ordered one of each (I think for a total of 13 dishes). Since some of the party could not take very spicy, we ordered extra mild. Some of the different variations turned out to be "repeats" in just spicy and non-spicy versions.

Ha! Good luck, the spicy dishes are still very spicy, so I suspect if you ordered it "normal", your pores will be leaking moisture like a fire hydrant.

We got pretty decent service ... because the restaurant was almost empty. not a good sign for Richmond! And we soon figured out why. The portions are SMALL. No, make that extra small. I'm quite capable (now) of running on a relatively small fuel tank, but even I found it skimpy. At least the quality seemed pretty good.

The good:
- Quality seems quite decent, and the menu is pretty good
- Nice clean place with reasonable service
- Strip mall provides for decent parking if you just stop swirling around the outside and just head for the top of the parkade!

The bad:
- Pricing. It is definitely NOT competitive when it comes to Chinese places in Richmond. (Now to be fair, these days, it could be because they do things "right" rather than serving crap, but I don't know).

I'll give it another chance probably, because, well, it's expensive to run a restaurant nowadays, so if the quality is there, I'd rather patronize a place like that rather than some place that keeps prices low but cutting on who knows what...
May try for dinner next time, but it'll be the last try if it doesn't meet expectations.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Pho Queen8368 Capstan Way, #1318, Richmond
Another decent pho place
Submitted Monday, March 30, 2009 - 12:31am [Dine in]

For a pho place, this was unusually roomy and clean. Wow! What's going on? Even the w.c. wasn't in terribly bad shape.

We were seated quite quickly and a scan through the (reasonably large) menu didn't highlight any surprises. So what to do? We just picked. Some house special pho, some of the "dry" noodles...
The dry noodles was a good hit, I would say maybe even one of the better ones I've tasted, so no complaints there. The pho was okay too, though there was nothing outstanding, the quality was pretty okay.

What was surprising was the slow service. There were only a couple of other tables in the place and normally this stuff comes out instantly. The only explanation was that they were making it "from scratch?"??? Either than or the cook was on break. Hmmm..

Anyways, not sure if it is worth a recommendation or not. While not one of the best pho places I've had in town, it does stand out well in Richmond. If you've got a hankering for pho and you're in the area, I would probably hit this place first.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Happy Day Metro House5021 Kingsway, #109, Burnaby
Good quality Korean eats & possibly the best fried chicken in town
Submitted Monday, March 30, 2009 - 12:26am [Dine in]

Unassuming little place here, which I always figured was just another one of those Korean joints. In some ways, it is, but in other ways, it was a pleasant surprise.

Inside was surprisingly well kept, including the w.c., which was spotless. Always a good sign.
They seem to run quite efficiently, basically staffed with just a hostess and waitress taking care of the whole place. Still, the service left nothing to complain about. It was prompt and friendly. I noticed they also chilled their beer mugs. Hmmm...

The food was pretty good. It does sport quite an extensive menu, though most of the things will come as no surprise to seasoned Korean cuisine veterans. What was more of a surprise was the quality. It seemed a small notch above most of the other places, everything seasoned just right, not too salty, good flavour and fresh ingredients. We had a dumpling soup (we gladly finished it, do we need to say more?) and jajang noodles, which were also quite decent (not sure if I believe it is hand-made though). We noticed everyone ordering the fried chicken, and upon a previous recommendation, we also ordered one of those. Excellent pick! No other fried chicken in town (at least in my memory) can touch this! Tasty, juicy, yet not greasy. Usually by the 2nd piece (at, say KFC), I'm almost forcing myself to down it. Not so here, the only limitation was my stomach space.

As far as value goes, that was also a winner. Most dishes between $10-20, and usually much closer to the low-end of that range. Yet the portions are more than substantial (oh we packed about half of the food to go). Much tempted to give it 4-stars, but in the end, I'm not sure it was _that_ good.

Recommended if you're in the mood for some inexpensive Korean eats with good quality. I think I'd rather hit this place than the Jang Mo Jib just up the street.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Samosa Garden Restaurant3502 Kingsway, Vancouver
Decent food for low expectations.
Submitted Monday, March 23, 2009 - 1:06am [Dine in]

Yes, I'm sorry to say I did not come here expecting much, so maybe that explains why I'm giving it decent marks.

Starting with the entry, I noticed this is not like other Indian restaurants. Hey, it looked like it might be clean!
There isn't really any service to speak of, so good thing we decided on the buffet.

So for the food ... well, it's alright. They had a decent sampling of dishes on the buffet and for Indian style, it leans a bit heavily on the meat side. I managed to sample just about everything they had and it was all , well, decent. That's all I can say. Nothing suprising, nothing super outstanding. Butter chicken, some curry goat, tandoori chicken, etc. It was all edible, except the raita, which tasted like some vanilla stuff scopped from Safeway. It was safe to say that was the worst raita I've ever had. (Maybe it was only pretending to be raita...)
Total cost for the buffet I think was about $16 per person. Given the variety and quality of the food, I would call this acceptable.

So what's the verdict? Is it worth a trip? Hm.... not really. Okay, let me say this, if I had a craving for Indian, this might be one of the top 5 places I'd hit in town, but that is not necessarily saying much since there is such a big gap between the top 3 and the rest of them (my opinion). You could do far worse, but I was hardly amazed or impressed here. This only passing standards. But hey, where else you gonna eat?

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Yoshoku-Ya Restaurant774 Denman Street, Vancouver
A big fuss over not much.
Submitted Monday, March 23, 2009 - 12:57am [Dine in]

This place has been around seemingly forever. It looks like it inside too.
When we went in, it was pretty full. A lot of young Japanese there and the whole place was exclusively young Asian people. Hmmm....

The service was okay enough, not super-friendly, but they come fast enough.

The menu is quite short and simple. There's no need to ponder much over what you want to order. It's all Japanese-style Western food. We picked up a cream of corn soup, the tonkatsu and another pork in gingersauce. The stuff came out on big dishes with the rice on an entirely separate dish. Yeah, you get an idea of the volume then, it's not too shabby.
Tonkatsu was okay, but as has been noted, not terribly juicy and a little thin. Not bad, but no where near as good as the one we had in Kyoto :-)
The other pork dish was a bit better. The accompanying vegetables were also decent, nothing to complain about. Biggest surprise might have been the rice, which was very nicely done.

I won't go on too much about it, as there is nothing special to write about. It's decent enough food, I suppose you could call it comfort food, but nothing special, even for the price. If you need eats, I suppose you won't regret eating here, but if you want to eat this kind of food and you're not starving _right now_, I'd rather walk down the street and head to Barefoot Kitchen instead.

I won't not recommend it, but neither will I recommend it. There's really nothing new to discover here. Unlikely to be back.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Lam Chu Kee Restaurant3779 Sexsmith Road, #2118, Richmond
A missing link... with decent food.
Submitted Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 12:28am [Dine in]

I found it. This is the missing link between the old congee noodle houses and HK tea restaurants. Not in the most visible of locations.

Service ... aaaah, yes, the good ol' congee noodle house service. A little gruff maybe, gets the job done, but don't expect any niceties. The same goes for the ambience.

The menu is "compact". The prices are slightly high and dishes are slightly small (by Richmond HK tea restaurant standards) . So how do they manage to survive? The food. The quality is a notch up on the HK tea restaurants.
Keep in mind that is not saying much! It may be worth a 4 star rating by Silicon Valley standards, but not by any stretch of the imagination by Vancouver standards. I'm being really generous here by giving it 3 stars even.

That being said ... if I had to go for lunch during work in Richmond, this just might be one of my top picks. The dishes are big enough to keep you full and I'm willing to pay that extra buck for that slightly better food. If you're not in that situation ... I don't find a reason (yet) for a visit.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Continental Seafood Restaurant11700 Cambie Rd, #150, Richmond
So much antiquated, passable dim sum
Submitted Monday, March 16, 2009 - 12:09am [Dine in]

Been here several times for dim sum (not my choice, work-related).

For me it's like a flashback to 20 years ago. The dim sum is still pushed around in carts and it is still the "good ol' standbys".
Nothing to complain about the service, it's not good, but it's at the level of most Chinese restaurants like this, so don't be expecting too much. You will get served, don't worry.

The price doesn't seem to be a lot cheaper than any other dim sum place. On top of that, they have absolutely nothing that is "new" or unique. That could be forgiven if they had stunning execution, but sadly, no. It is passable, but that's all I can say about it.

Haven't tried the dinner here, and I've not urge to do so. I won't say anything bad about this place, because there isn't really anything unexpected at this level of restaurant. But neither is there a reason to go here of your own free will. There's lots of places in GVRD that will get you better food similar prices.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Axum1279 East Hastings St., Vancouver
Nice clean place with some of the best Ethiopian in town
Submitted Sunday, March 15, 2009 - 11:57pm [Dine in]

I concurr pretty much with the previous reviewers. Although it may not be the best side of town, it's actually not too bad. It's a quieter side of the neighbourhood, parking is easy and once you step inside, you're greeted with a very clean, well organized restaurant. Okay, so some aspects of the decor may be funny to some, but I think that's part of the ambience. I like the fake grass patch in the middle of the table.

The cook/chef works right there, the kitchen is open to all the diners, so you can see how they work and that the kitchen is well taken care of and clean. The waitress (hostess, owner?) was friendly and helpful and did assist in selection of our dishes (though it is not our first time at this cuisine). It's a decent menu, though maybe just a touch smaller than some other places. However, all the "expected" items are all there.

If you're on a budget, yeah, believe it or not, the $10 vegetarian combo is actually enough for 2 people. But in addition, we also ordered the "spicier" lamb dish (sorry, can't remember the name, it's the first one). Absolutely delicious! We found later, in addition to the herbs and seasonings they use a special fermented butter, that was probably the "secret sauce". The injera was good, I think as good as the other places in town, though slightly less sour. (I don't know if they make it in-house or if they all get it from the same place). Big, big thumbs up on the food. Though we rolled out of the restaurant stuffed to the gills, we were happily and comfortably stuffed. The food was not greasy and neither was it too salty or overly flavoured.

Value? Yeah, the prices seem to _include_ taxes, so all in, we snuck in at about $11 per person, but as mentioned before, we would've been full at _half_ that.

We will be back, if for nothing other than to try the big Ethiopian coffee ceremony (it's $25, so bring a group. The beans are roasted in front of you apparently). Is it my favourite place? Not sure, I'd have to try Fassil back-to-back to be certain, but this place is a lot more accessible and is in the same league. If you've never had Ethiopian, this is a nice place for first try. Definitely recommended.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Sawasdee Thai Restaurant4250 Main St, Vancouver
Maybe one of the better Thai places in town
Submitted Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 12:29am [Dine in]

We've been hurt by a long string of failures in Vancouver. Oh the unfulfilled promises of what could be! So we entered this place, despite the raft of good reviews, with a fair bit of scepticism.

Well, at least it was packed and busy! Always a good sign. And the interior decor was reasonably done. Maybe the dark made it looked cleaner than it was, but a short trip to the w.c. didn't cause any cause for concerns.

Servers were okay friendly, definitely helpful enough and dishes came out in good time, so no complaints there, especially given how busy they were. Help was appreciated as the menu was relatively sizeable (though to be fair, many are variations on the same thing).

Now the food. Hmm.... actually not bad! We had the tom yum soup. For $10, it was enough for 4 people and unlike any other place we've been too, it was loaded with big, plump straw mushrooms and prawns. The tasty was pretty good, though not the best I've had (and perhaps I'm being overly critical now). It lacked a bit of that "bite" I like from either the lemongrass or lime leaves. The green papaya salad, also quite decent. We also ordered a pineapple fried rice and a chicken curry. The currey was very fragrant and quite satisfied with that.
If there was one complaint about the meal, it's that both the soup and rice semed overly salty (and maybe it's just our sensitive taste buds). And maybe I'm being a bit picky here because there's not much else to grumble about.

Total price including everything was about $25 per person, but we also ordered too much. Compared with other Thai places in town, the portion sizes were quite decent for the price.

Is there a better Thai place in town? Maybe. Cheaper place? Probably. But a place with food this competent, and such reasonable portions and still manages good service? Maybe not. There's a reason they're so busy and have such good reviews. I'd say it's worth your patronage at least once to see if their cooking is to your liking.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Ma's Restaurant5628 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Not the same Halal place anymore, but still decent
Submitted Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 12:18am [Dine in]

Ignore the other review about the restaurant being closed. We saw the ads on TV, yellowpages still lists it and we were just there, same address, same name, so clearly they're thinking of the old Ma's on Main, not Victoria.

Used to be a special place serving Halal cuisine from the provinces way out in the west of China. Well, not so much anymore. I was prepared for a let down, especially when I saw that they seemed to have even re-used the old menus, but slapped a sticker covering up the Halal note/symbol.

The place is your "usual" Chinese restaurant (sadly), which is to say, passably clean, but best not to think too much about it.

Service was decently friendly and they seemed to be eager to assist in selecting the dishes, so at least that's a good sign.
And to be honest, we were pleasantly surprised. Apart from one particularly (unreasonably) cranky member of our party (ironically, the one who wanted to come here in the first place), we thought they did a pretty good job with the food, especially given the price. Noteworthy in my memory was the duck. Wasn't roast duck, but it was tender, tasty, nicely done without falling apart and they managed to keep the fat away (which is very tricky with duck if you have the skin on), so thumbs up to them. The ol' belly didn't complain afterwards either, so goody.

I lament the loss of the old Ma's, and perhaps this will never fill its shoes, but this is a pretty decent place to drop by for a meal. They do have a handful of "unique" dishes, so worth a first try. It won't hurt the wallet too much anyways.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance
Ukrainian Village Restaurant815 Denman Street, Vancouver
Err ... is this as good as it gets?
Submitted Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 12:37am [Dine in]

This place is what I imagine it might be if I were Ukrainian (or maybe Russian) and walked into my grandma's restaurant. Except for that horrible, horrible elevator music that continuously plays in the background. Oh, I guess it's a unique atmosphere.

Looks like a lot of high reviews for this place, so we went. And all I gott say is WHAT? You can't tell me this is as good as it gets for Ukrainian food. If it is, I doubt life is very happy in that country.
The soup we ordered (1 borscht, 1 special) was pretty good, nothing mind blowing and, geeze, arguably not even as good as the borscht we make at home. I deliberately stayed away from the perogies for now to avoid being disappointed, so we ended up with some chicken meatball dish, a meatloaf dish and some pelemny(?). The pelemny seems suspiciously like Chinese dumplings and was not bad. Chicken meatballs were passable. So was the meatloaf except for that glop of stuff that was supposed to pass as gravy.

I think it might be good if I made it at home, otherwise, I was quite unimpressed, but we did have plenty of leftovers.

Strangely though, we still had a good time anyways :-) .... maybe it's the music...

There's not a lot of choice in town, so I guess if you need a sampling of Uktrainian food, it's worth a trip. But I suuure hope the previous reviewers are wrong and this is not indicative of really good Ukrainian cuisine....
Don't get me wrong, we did enjoy the food (though I don't know why), it's just distinctly "homely". Maybe too much so.

  • Food
  • Service
  • Value
  • Ambiance