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foodfanaticSouth VancouverSince August 26, 2005286 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.2)
  • Food3 (3.2)
  • Service3 (3)
  • Ambiance3 (3.2)


Displaying 61 - 80 of 286 Reviews Found
Zipang Sushi3710 Main Street, Vancouver
Slow in food preparation.
Submitted Monday, January 15, 2007 - 2:38pm [Dine in]

I remember the sushi chef (owner?) from about 2-3 yrs ago @ the Richmond Night Market when I had the pleasure of purchasing some of his takoyaki--fascinated as I was in how skillfully quick he managed to prepare the stuff, it became my favourite takoyaki stand. I recall asking if he had a restaurant location in the city as I really enjoyed watching him cook as he did it so well. He did not have one yet, but was flattered enough that he gave my friend & I a complimetary can of pop. Now, I finally got around to trying out this restaurant & who do I see manning the sushi bar? Yes, it's the same guy! Hayato-san. His takoyaki stand was named after him.

The sushi I've had for takeout b4 dropping by to eat in were cut much smaller than the dine-in portions tho even for dine-in, he was quite stingy w/ the uni nigiri as quite a bit of rice was showing thru the top of the pieces =P. The ikura was just ok.

The toro is nice & fatty as it should be & at the right temperature & texture. The negitoro roll had more negi than toro in it. Overall, the roll's definitely tiny.

The cooked food ranged from very mediocre to avg tho I did find their veggie okonomiyaki to be quite interesting. The batter of the pancake consisted more of egg than flour & the base was lined w/ greens (cabbage?) that gave it a nice crisp texture. This approach made it fairly light & quite a different experience.

The grilled fishes are tiny in portion when compared w/ other izakaya's. Definitely not worth the price nor the experience as it tasted pretty boring in flavour & texture.

The service is slow. Long waits between courses. One can see the sushi chef run into the kitchen to help out (other than prepping more rice for sushi-rolling) w/ the cooking.

The decor is a little bare, almost giving off a cafetaria feeling. All in all, I'd just wait a while to see if food preparation speeds up before going back to sample more as I'd love to support my favourite takoyaki stand chef.

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Prima Taste Restaurant570 Robson Street, Vancouver
Very positive experiences each time so far...
Submitted Monday, January 15, 2007 - 2:23pm [Dine in]

Love the dessert offerings they have since usually I only have the same couple of options like deep fried banana w/ ice cream, rice pudding, icy slushy stuff, but they offer here a tasty thick dessert soup that's not too sweet, and textually balanced w/ pieces of the crisp deep fried Asian doughnuts.

Roti Prata w/ Curry - 2 pieces of roti, prettily plated -- nicely crisped tho not the best i've had, but still very good. The curry dip has a nice balance of butter, curry & oil--again, a similar rating to the roti itself. The Laksa w/ chicken is quite tasty & u can spice it up accordingly w/ the tasty chili paste mix they incl. on the side in a condiment dish. The Hainanese Chicken is so far the best tasting as far as boneless preparation goes (tho not the best Hainanese I've had overall) it definitely wins over the "delight/d'lite" places by far. The fragrant flavoured rice is tasty as well & the side of soup that comes w/ it is alright, tho a little too oily for my liking. The chicken curry puffs are fluffy, lightly crisped & overall tasty. The Bak Kut Teh, however, was a little disappointing. A bit too greasy, and lacking in flavours.. a very basic preparation w/ no depth in flavours (doesn't come close to, say, Angel Cafe's version).

Portions are very reasonable w/ some nice plating work.

Service is very pleasant but nothing extraordinary.

The food overall would be a 3.5, but as it is, it deserves a 4 more than a 3 for the care in presentation & the cleanliness makes it deserving of the better of the 2 options. I'd readily return again & again for meals there so long as the quality, atmosphere & modest prices are kept consistent.

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Pho Hong6348 Fraser St., Vancouver
Solid all around.
Submitted Monday, January 15, 2007 - 2:00pm [Dine in]

$6 for small, $6.50 for large. 7.50 upwards for grilled lemon grass meat on rice, vermicelli, etc. iced coffee $3.50. prices include tax.

The broth for the noodle soups are fairly light though still noticeably oilyl. A lighter broth usually means less of the soup stock/MSG used. A large means more noodles (at $6.50) and still not really much in total meat content. For the most part, the noodles are alright but with a slight hint of flour pastiness. The small doesn't seem much worth it at $6, I wouldn't call that cheap even if the 6% food tax is included in the pricing--same goes for the iced coffee at $3.50 per shot (For a very good reason, I can no longer trust the condensed milk from this location, but the food's cleanliness & freshness seems fine). The grilled lemon grass pork chop on rice is average in taste. Any expectations of a side of soup that most other pho places offer free with your grilled orders, will cost you extra here.

The female service is pleasant while the old guy acts as if he's just tolerating your presence because you are there to give them money. The dining area seems relatively clean--at least the tables are and with decent ventilation while the carpet needs more attention, perhaps more regular vaccuuming between the meal rush time when maybe there are no patrons in the restaurant would improve the experience by a lot. But for the most part, it seems more comfortably "clean" than the usual pho place. It's definitely larger inside than I would have expected looking at it from the outside.

Overall, it was a solid experience with pretty typical offerings on the menu.

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Ebisu on Robson827 Bute Street, Vancouver
Looks fancier than it tastes.
Submitted Monday, January 15, 2007 - 1:48pm [Dine in]

Nice plating. Lots to offer on the menu. Some items didn't seem very "Japanese" especially the pumpkin/squash soup. It tasted pretty boring tho thick & rich as well--it seemed a little out of place. Now I'm curious about the burger offerings--will it be a hint of Japan or just a taste of... well... burger. The mentaiko yakiudon, quite large in portion, is also several dollars more than other d/t izakaya places that offer similar. It's also too heavy--possibly too much butter or mayo used. The tuna taco is pretty & textually nice but was boring in taste. The unachee looks better than it tastes (a lightly battered deep fried sushi roll). The smoked black cod's good but u can't go too wrong w/ the smoky flavour, it was a definite hit, but not by much. The deep fried softshell crab was just ok. The deep fried sweet potato fries (Thunder Fries) are nicely crisped & a bit better than the ones they make at Kamakura Kamei on Broadway (owned by the same ppl). But for the most part, I think the cooked food actually tastes better at Kamakura.

Also, if they're still passing around shooter-sized free trials of their lychee slush drink, I'd suggest u hold off ordering the full order of it otherwise, they'd just skip sharing some w/ u while u see everyone else w/ it, all u get is a shrug & giggle that "it's the same thing you have". Which is fine, just makes one feel a little left out of the party--in this case the "treat". I wouldn't have minded having a little "sample" sized portion as well, easier to shoot one down than to suck all of the lychee goodness out of the thin straw anyway.

Service is pleasant & efficient for the most part.

Love the space, seating, decor, location. Great for larger & smaller parties. I would definitely be returning more often than not for the location & atmosphere while you don't get the loud greetings upon entrance & departure like u do from the Japanese-run ones, you also don't get the long waits & the crowds for the time being.

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9th Avenue Grill1822 West Broadway St., Vancouver
They do ordinary well.
Submitted Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 8:51pm [Dine in]

Generous portions, decent prices, great variety of eggs, sandwiches and burgers to choose from. Stated on the door: Opened Daily 6:30 am - 3pm.

Two of us had a hearty brunch experience, each with an order of variation of egg with the usual differing combination of pancake/sausage/potatoes/bacon/toast and drinks all for $23.xx post tax, pre-tip.

The service is pleasant, but noticeably slow. Quite a number of table sitting around waiting for their food to arrive. Of course, the servers take it upon themselves to apologize for this, which always makes the wait not seem as bad--and the fact that I didn't go too hungry.

Both of the poached eggs and the omelette came out on the bland side. Very disappointing. The bacon strip is nicely crisped and the pancakes were huge and thick. Quite a dense piece of thing, but with only the usual packaged butter & syrup to flavour it, it was just alright. The sausage was so-so. The fried & flattened potatoes were boring, but less so than the eggs, I suppose. Even the omelette is in need of a more tastier smoke of ham to liven it up--as it stands, that, too, was like anything anyone can make at home w/o much effort, thought, or experience.

The fact that they source better ingredients is probably what makes them a bit above the $2.99 big breakfast places around town--as well as the cleanliness of the dining area, and probably the kitchen, too. However, the quality or the ingredients is made up for by the price differences, too. By being about $4+ more than those cheap breakfast spots, they can very well afford the better raw ingredients.

That said, I don't see myself returning for this type of boring homecooking away from home as I rather skip this type of brunch and shoot straight for a proper lunch at this point.

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Orchid Delight2445 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Disappointed twice.
Submitted Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 8:36pm [Dine in]

The 1st time was more disappointing than the last, but when it comes down to it, I'll not be returning for a 3rd trial.

The Laksa is definitely very much as described by another in its lack of flavours.

Since I've forgotten about what disappointed me the 1st time w/ the Hainanese Chicken dish when I had a full order, this time around, I ordered the smaller order that comes w/ rice & soup. The boneless chicken, albeit, better than Cafe D'Lite further down Broadway, is still lacking in the Hainanese flavours I love. Try this dish at Angel's Cafe on Fraser, both the one that comes w/ the chicken fat rice & the larger "half chicken" order (w/ the latter, you'll need to order rice separately)--you'll be able to taste the difference immediately from the quality of the chicken to the tantalizing flavours of a decently made Hainanese Chicken dish. The sauce that is offered at Orchid D. is definitely lacking as well. The ginger chicken oiled rice is the only redeeming thing in this order. The soup it comes w/ can't even be called soup--it was so soapy/detergent-like w/o any natural flavouring.

The char kwei teow was far too greasy, otherwise, it was just ok.

At least the fried greens w/ crushed garlic & dried baby shrimp did not disappoint even at $10/11 (It's their current "special" that wasn't on the menu).

The deep fried tofu is alright, too, still nothing mouthwateringly stimulating.

The roti canai is totally not worth it & not even worth attempting to eat. At $4.95 for 2 very thin slices of overtly buttered & oiled pieces of dough along w/ VERY WATERY buttered, oiled, w/ hint of curry dip. It was one of the worse roti's I've ever had (well, Noodle Box's is arguably worse tho w/ decent pita that is not at all roti-like, but decent if taken as simply pita bread w/ no Asian attachment to it).

The service is pleasant, and for the most part, appears to be family-run.

I had to find out if I was wrong about my 1st bad experience. And now I know.

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Honjin Sushi138 Davie Street, Vancouver
A relatively extensive menu.
Submitted Friday, December 1, 2006 - 2:54am [Dine in]

They offered more choices than I expected for cooked & raw. Some items were a disappointment while others were surprisingly tasty. The toro was pretty good, though too bad they offered bluefin tuna but didn't have it in toro form. The "live" saba that one of the sushi chefs recommended when I placed the order for saba tasted quite fresh albeit a little more on the lean than I'd have preferred. The uni is okay but the ikura has obviously been sitting to the point of being quite dry & chewy and didn't want to "pop" in the mouth. The skin of the egg/roe was so thick & dry & warmed that it felt like eating a sheet of dead skin tissue. The maguro/tuna w/ some kind of pureed potato/radish mix paste was quite bland & disappointing while the chef recommended Honjin tuna w/ mango dressing was quite good. The negitoro roll, though more negi than toro, had a nice balance of flavours.

Mostly fresh fish for the raw stuff while the grill items were huge disappointments. The black cod was nearly dry but it takes a lot of effort to dry out that fish, so it was still okay to eat, however, the grilled mackeral was too dry for us to finish, so that was left to waste--didn't even bother packing it to go.

Though it seems the chefs & the servers & the management are Chinese, they seem to offer mostly fresh fish w/ service that's slightly less professional, but still ok for the most part. The prices are pretty good, too. They certainly don't seem like what you'd expect from the Yaletown area. The restaurant is actually larger inside than I had expected looking in from the outside. I also like the location, right by Urban Fare! It's usually not that difficult to find street parking nearby.

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Sala Thai3364 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Submitted Friday, December 1, 2006 - 2:29am [Dine in]

The Tom Kah Gai is okay. Nothing exceptional, but has a good balance of flavours. The Gai Haw Bai Toey (marinated chicken wrapped in pandan (?) leaf then baked or what have you) has a nice aroma to it, but was on the dry side--still interesting, especially the thick sweet sauce it comes w/ that's topped w/ white sesame sprinkles. The stickiness of the sauce helps to attach the sesame to the chicken when you dip it in, resulting in a nice crispy texture w/ each bite. The chili dipping sauce gives it plenty of kick. Their "specialty" green curry chicken comes quite bland... mostly just very milky w/o the curry flavours while the chicken is too rough & dry. The Gaeng Daeng Gai (red curry chicken) is equally lacking in flavours, and hence "bad" but not as bad as the green curry. I'd still avoid the both of them anyway.

I don't see any reason to return at all.

Though the flavours & decor were preferable in the downtown Burrard location, I'd NEVER go back to there because of the service. The service at this location is pleasant though the decor is a little aged and seemed a bit thrown-together but functional.

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Jolly's Indian Bistro2928 W 4th, Vancouver
Very average experience.
Submitted Friday, December 1, 2006 - 2:13am [Dine in]

Quite disappointing actually. Been meaning to drop by for a while now, ever since it came highly recommended by a Kits resident I met outside of East is East one cold winter night when we were both waiting for our take-out drink orders almost a yr ago.

Upon entering, I had a feeling that it might turn out to be dumbed-down flavours catered to the not-as-adventurous western tongue. My fear of such was confirmed with the uneventful dinner. The butter chicken (just over $10 post-tax) was "eh" while the chicken was bordering dry, the sauce was very nearly devoid of flavours. The portion isn't great, just that the bread it comes w/is impressive in portion & the only memorable part of dinner. The veggie thali ($13.95) and the beef thali @$15.xx) are a part of the menu now, if it wasn't b4. The portions for the thali doesn't shout value--it's about standard. The papadum it comes w/ has a nice blend of crunch & potato-y softness to it, but not enough spice. Most of the flavours come from the mango dressing that's used to prettily plate the order. The drinks are poorly made. The chai came luke warm w/ lots of powder left undesolved. The ginger lemonade (lemony ginger ale soda with some ginger powder and... salt?) tasted mainly of salted 7-up to me.

There was a noticeable wait for the entrees when there were few (3 tables) to serve.

The food had more flavour than, say, Chutney Villa, but definitely not worth returning for though I'd have no reason to avoid it either.

The service was alright. Just a single young student waitressing. She got the job done with nothing extra, and nothing noticeably lacking.

I was a little worried about the linen used for the table cloth. There were still bits of crumbs and black-somethings (herb from previous servings of...?). I'd have preferred bared, but cleaned tables over questionable tablecloth covers. I guess it's too much to expect them to shake them out or actually change them with every seating.

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Khunnai Chang Thai Cuisine835 Denman St., Vancouver
Love their curries!
Submitted Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 12:34am [Dine in]

Based on the promising reviews, I made my way there for a late Monday lunch.

The stuffed chicken wings had a nice chicken juiciness to it. The lunch specials are decently portioned for just under $10. They packed more than twice the original eat-in portion of fresh rice w/ my leftovers! The green curry was so good, I ended up slurping it up w/ the help of the extra rice that same night! They even threw in an extra cup of soup since we were sharing a lunch special that should really just come w/ the 1 cup. Pretty standard salted clear veggie/chicken soup, but a nice gesture all the same.

Now, Wed rolls along & it's pretty obvious where we ended up for dinner! Had the Pad Thai which was nicely sweet tho, I'm don't think adding shrimp ($11.50+2) is worth it since those pieces were few--chicken would have sufficed. The noodles were perfectly springy & tasty. The Tom Yam Gai has me looking forward to trying their Tom Kha Gai. Very citrusy, tasty w/fresh mushrooms. The massaman curry is good, too, tho I find myself preferring the green curry. The chicken in everything was nicely tender. Definitely request for more kick in the food.

The deep fried banana w/ ice cream is prepped fairly quickly but tasted decent enough. I'll definitely be trying out the other dessert offerings. The Thai Iced Coffee is okay. I wish they had Thai Iced Tea on the menu, but it wasn't listed so I didn't ask.

This time around, a different server, also voluntarily gave us extra rice w/ our leftovers! We weren't told of it the 1st visit, but this woman let us know there's extra rice. So sweet of her. We weren't expecting the same kind of consideration when we saw that the other server wasn't anywhere to be seen. I really didn't mind that both times though, we were the only table there, but then again, we've been going off-meal hrs, so... I hope their business keeps up so that they'll always be there for me!

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Go Thai Restaurant502 East Columbia, New Westminster
Clean establishment.
Submitted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 1:41am [Dine in]

After having read the earlier reviews, I was excited to have a new Thai place to try out. So some time in Sept, I made my way to New West. Couldn't find it at 1st, but as we were about to give up, we saw the difficult-to-miss sign. It shouted Nuffy's & not an ounce of "authentic thai" other than in bold print on the signage. Inside were 1 solo diner, another 2 tbls of couples. It's like the clientele of the old Nuffy's were left behind during the changeover. Immediately, turned car around & unanimously voted on dinner plan B.

Now, 9 positive posts later, I just couldn't resist going back & never judge food by the decor, right? Ok, now some window dressing has been added, etc. The server of the night & kitchen staff seem Thai except for the dishwasher in the back. Later, a caucasian couple came in behind the counter & serving. They gave off the air of ownership tho maybe it's just a partnership--I didn't care enough to inquire.

The prices seem reasonable enough. The food though were more of the homecooking variety. That's the sense I got. The Tom Ka Gai was very coconut milky & buttery. I tasted more butter than any other flavour, but that was definitely the highlight of the meal. The rest was mostly disappointing. The green curry dish was also very buttery & mainly filled w/eggplant that sponged up all of the butter/oil it seems. The chicken was all nicely tender. The deep fried wings were tastily crunchy, otherwise, just okay. The rice they served tasted of lower grade & definitely refridgerated a bit too long. It's nearly bordering on powdery. Definitely avoid the Pad Thai. That's been stirfried w/ too much dark sauce/oil & for a little too long that it's just mushy & clumped together. Didn't touch much of it. Packed it to go, picked out the prawns the next day & threw out the rest. As for the packing bit, they didn't pack our soup! That was the only leftover I was looking forward to having the next day since though milky & buttery, was still tasty enough.

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Shaktea3702 Main Street, Vancouver
Bland & disappointing teas.
Submitted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 1:02am [Dine in]

Great bakery items though! Love the chocolate cookie as well as the complimentary ginger snaps! Can't fault the bakers & wholesalers they order their food items from. However, their teas are disappointing. I may very well be spoiled by what Steeps has to offer. The problem here might very well be that you don't get the tea leaves w/ your little kettle so it didn't get brewed or steeped long enough to make the flavours more obvious & I really have to wonder if they use the same stuff to make multiple portions for other customers (i.e., re-dry them). In either event, whether or not that is the case, it was a very disappointing experience--again, except for the baked goods--those were delicious! I wonder if they'd let you in on their suppliers' names.

The prices are mostly a dollar or bit more than at Steeps as well. Also, since there are no leaves included in the kettle, there probably is no point of refills if there is even such a thing.

The artsy ambiance makes the place seem cozy enough. The least comfortable seating might very well be the cute little bench they have by the window w/ the paper-thin seat cushions. Though I can see how it can be a nice young hippy hangout, I don't find it inviting enough to spend a couple of hrs there sipping tea--if my little kettle even lasts that many cup fulls. I wouldn't want to waste more $$ trying other flavours either as I've already been disappointed w/ the watery leafless pot we each received.

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Fortune House Seafood Restaurant4700 Kingsway, #2199A, Burnaby
Still as disappointing as I remembered.
Submitted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 12:50am [Dine in]

It's been at least a yr since my last visit. I've only been returning every couple of yrs or yr at most to see if they're just as mediocre to boring as I recall. They used to be better back in the day when there were few restaurants to choose from but now that there are more, either their food has gone downhill or I've become more picky.

Haven't been here for dinner for a while now, so I can only comment on the dimsum--which is definitely mediocre to MSG-filled but somehow still boring. The siu mai is just weird. Oversized in a way, but tasting "different" in a not very authentic sense. There were just a couple of better than "ok"'s like the baked fluff pastry w/ bbq pork, etc, filling, topped w/sesame. That was perfectly crispy & tasty all around. It isn't exactly cheap here either, so I can only guess the crowds happen because of the convenience of the location--I don't know why else. For 7 ppl, costing $100.xx before tip, I suppose is pretty standard, but we had ordered pretty standard stuff, too. Oh, right, avoid the Shanghai items as those were obviously bought frozen or simply pre-frozen to the point of after steaming the xiao long bao, it was still thick, doughy, w/o juice but the spicy wonton was no good either.

For a similar cost, I'd rather go back to the usual Richmond haunts.

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Sushi Hachi Restaurant8888 Odlin Crescent, #1278, Richmond
Relatively fresh at inexpensive prices.
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 5:54pm [Dine in]

A small little place w/the unisex restroom opening into the dining area, this Japanese couple-run sushi bar seems to do well for itself just being open several hrs a night for dinner. The clientele is an even mix of Japanese regulars & other asians.

The price is relatively cheap for sushi in that one can, say, get saba & various others for $1 ea., toro @$2.50, uni @$3 & so forth. Mirugai sashimi is $18 while saba is $7.50 & the battera for the same fish is $9.50. More raw than cooked food is offered here as the cooked variety is mainly of the torchable kind such as fish head, mackeral & even geoduck/mirugai.

The quality of the toro is quite good, except that this is the first time I've had regular toro w/ still some of the skin attached as if the sushi chef didn't notice how close to the skin he's been slicing. I always thought skill mattered as much as taste in the art of sushi making.

The saba battera was somehow disappointing so it might have been a better idea to just stick w/the regular nigiri pieces. Same disappointment goes towards the spicy tuna roll. It was rolled w/ so much rice, though it had a fair amount of tuna, tobiko & cucumber in it, in the end, all I could taste was the rice itself--which isn't seasoned quite right & possibly refridgerated a little longer than I'd have liked.

My favourite item was the mirugai sashimi. It was nicely sweet & perfectly textured. The uni was just okay though the colours looked good.

The entire time while I was dining here & after, I was regretting missing my weekly exquisite dinner @Sushikan just down the street from here. Though the quality of the fish may very well be a bit above average, the overall experience turned out to be below. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it was agreed upon that Torarenbo, at slightly inferior quality of sushi, would have been a preferable replacement at half the price tag, too.

It costed the 2 of us, before tip, just under $86 w/ no alcohol consumption.

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Place Restaurant, The8028 Granville Street, Vancouver
VERY dirty... but cheap & flavourful.
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 5:27pm [Dine in]

I've always been meaning to give that Shanghai Palace on Granville a try but they were closed for a staff vacation. The pictures & menu posted outside of this particular restaurant right next door seemed tempting enough. There seems to be a good number of diners inside enjoying their late lunch meal. I was excited to try the xiao long bao and the szechuan beef noodles, etc. So in we went. To be greated by the first empty table closest to the door. It's grease-filled w/ leftover food bits from the previous set of diners and beyond. It seems only the dishes were removed while a quick dry paper napkin swipe of the grease filled table was made before running back into the kitchen area to prep the next bunch of orders.

Filth aside, the prices are quite affordable. The xiao long bao's were somewhat disappointing, but they were large & relatively inexpensive & pork & sauce filled--nothing interesting in the soup content. But it was alright overall since at least it wasn't dry inside. The beef was prepared nicely as is the homemade noodles themselves. The broth is flavourful. The spicy wonton dish was different--nearly gelatin in texture, but it's still not bad.

I found nothing especially wrong with the food, just that it's not worth a return visit as I'm sure the kitchen, the ingredients, and the utensils & dishes are kept just as unsanitary as the dining tables & spoon that she brought out to me upon request--apparently dishes were not done/cleaned, so she was out of the soup spoon I wanted, and offered me a stained metal one instead.

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Hachibei778 West 16th Ave., Vancouver
Great udon soup base.
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 5:02pm [Dine in]

It's been about 8-9 yrs since I've last been here. My impression back then was that it's a little pricey at the time but was alright though didn't warrant a return visit--destination chosen by my date. Now, yrs later, I've been curious about how the place has held up as I've passed by a few times enroute to another dining establishment and have spotted a review popup on this site. Figured it was due time to return for the sake of nostalgia if not for the food itself.

Definitely not the place to go for sushi as tuna and maybe salmon is all that they have to offer. The udon with soup has quite a tasty broth but not worth the price tag... for udon @ $7. The "BBQ" fish is a definite avoid especially the mackeral variety as it's just endless bones from a skinny little pike makeral fish that seems to have been pre-frozen then deep-fried & lightly battered... it definitely was not a straight up "BBQ" and very much overpriced. So avoid the seafood. If you're okay with paying a little more than standard for a bowl of plain udon, try it here, it's tasty enough--the noodles are perfect as is the depth of flavours in the broth itself. Avoid the fish dishes, and go for the meat. The veggie gyoza can be skipped altogether unless you're hungry, it makes for a relatively inexpensive filler at ~$3.50. The fish combo dinners are far from being worth the value.

It is humourous to see "Authentic" this & that on the menu. If I walk into an ethnic cuisine establishment, of course, I'd expect that the chef/cook there is serving his/her own interpretation of what "authentic" is to them for that cuisine--but I suppose it could have been North American-ized. Anyway, I found that amusing if nothing else.

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Kingyo871 Denman Street, Vancouver
With great potential.
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 4:56pm [Dine in]

Just a block away from Zakkushi, there are some familiar faces like one of the servers I could almost swear she was from Zakkushi or Kintaro though my companion swears it's the former. Though the usual loud greetings & partings are called out, it felt more like it's a part of playing the hip & friendly Japanese hangout than being a heartfelt friendly greeting.

The menu sports a nice variety of foods including all of the common izakaya items. Though the prices are similar to that of, say, Hapa Izakaya, the portions are definitely smaller here (eg. Mentaiko Kimchi Udon $7.80). On the menu, they explain the different salts they use, but they fail to warn you that quite a few of their dishes, especially the grilled fish (~$7.80) comes a little too generously salted--it's not all because of the seasalt or whatnot used, but also because of the choice of sauce for the dish. That aside, a lot of the items have great potential. Nothing is particularly bad, but nothing stood out too much either. The tofu custard dessert is better at Hapa, but the green tea (rice) pudding is quite interesting here & only @$3.50 a pop. Some of what is included in the menu description was absent in the actual dish when presented, but it's probably just a matter of the current chef of the night needing to familiarize himself w/ the menu/recipe a fellow chef came up w/.

The decor is a trendy mix of Asian, w/ the wood chairs (comfort or there lack of aside) & tables/counters. The bamboo "wall" in the centre of the communal bar makes for less awkward communal sharing while being quite pretty to look at. The restrooms are spacious enough w/ a separate men's vs women's room.

I will definitely return but possibly give them a few more weeks or months to smooth out things & change the music. W/ all of the conversational noise & the decor & the cuisine, the instrumental jazz music playing that night didn't quite suit the atmosphere at all.

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Northern Dynasty8391 Alexandria Road, #1170, Richmond
Best xiao long bao's in town!
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

They make the best one's I've ever had so far in the Greater Vancouver Region. Try the regular xiao long bao's--juicy soup, not just the old pork sauce, and really well-made thin skin/wrap for these soup dumplings--it's like popping peanuts into your mouth--I just want to keep going & never stop until my stomach screams in protest. The special crab version just costs more for smthing that is inferior to the regular pork one. The king crab dinners are superb & generally one of the best bargains in town when it's in season. Don't order the set dinner menu stuff since they incl. a deep fried sweet & sour fish that's horrible. Everything else is pretty tasty. From brunch, lunch to dinner, I never get tired of coming here for the food as the highlight is the xiao long bao, but the soy drink/soup is good as well as the lighter fried rice cakes with preserved veggies or cabbage or what have you as I tend to avoid the soy sauce/brown version that's extra greasy in any Shanghai restaurant in comparison. They don't seem to cheat you on your king crab legs/orders either like some places (*cough* Empire @ the London Drugs Plaza *cough*).

Quality food offered at relatively bargain prices! I've enjoyed almost everything they have to offer since they opened up several yrs ago replacing the previous "So Che" restaurant in this unit. Some parking at the crowded parkade at the back, otherwise, it's the usual paid street parking outside.

Of course, reservations are always recommended and sometimes a necessity.

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Noodle Box, The1867 W 4th Ave, Vancouver
Funky though overpriced.
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 4:11pm [Dine in]

Love the decor. It's a nicely dressed up fastfood establishment w/ relatively fresh ingredients. As such, the prices seem a little steep for noodles but if you think full-blown restaurant prices, I suppose, it's reasonable, though it's served in a fancy cafetaria setting here. Don't ask for hot, as you will find your food loaded w/ not simply hot sauce, but a mini-boat load of chili peppers & seeds throughout--enough to set your insides aflame for days. Simply "medium" is still quite hot, but at least it's not impossible to work through & causes less damage to your insides & definitely not visibly loaded w/peppers. After eating through enough of their noodles, you may or may not come to realize that most share the same ingredients w/ maybe 1 or 2 variants. They also share the same problem of being either VERY salty or noticeably salty. I get a similar feeling of having gone out for some vietnamese noodles by the end of the night. Thirsty & w/ a similar aftertaste left in my mouth. AVOID the disgusting curry dip for the roti! Who in their right mind can even call that curry?? It went straight to the garbage while costing $5.50 just to keep the 2 quartered pita bread.

Seating is limited if you're eating in, so be sure to reserve your seats before lining up to order otherwise you may have to get your order(s) to-go instead. The take-out paper boxes definitely holds less food than eating in. During the summer when I tried this place for the 1st time, they served the noodles inside of a relatively large round bowl which seems to offer more in portion & easier to eat w/ than their current, though funkier, noodle-box designed pottery bowls. I'd be interested in purchasing several of those to host some potted plants in. :)

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Steeps895 West Broadway, Vancouver
Can't get enough!
Submitted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 3:53pm [Dine in]

Love the rooibos chai, frothy matcha latte & the mountain of teas to choose from--served from a bodum w/unlim. hot water refills. The white hot chocolate drink just isn't my thing as white choco is generally throat stingingly sweetened but it's just a matter of preference.

The cakes offered hail from various bakeries. They taste relatively fresh, not too sweet, nor too heavy though the pumpkin varieties are a little too moist, light & foamy--a problem shared by the non-cheesy cheesecakes. The others, ranging from carrot cake to apple, etc., they all taste like a very basic angel foodcake only fluffed up w/fruit(s)/carrots instead. The banana loaf is nicely moist & definitely preferable over the other cakes. The lemon tart is sugary & buttery & not quite citrus-y enough, but still ok.

Since 3wks ago, after reading the reviews from this site & passing by numerous times in the past, it's become a difficult habit to break... several times a wk. As I'm no coffee drinker, this place is perfect! The service has been pleasant every time--usually very mellow--suiting the mood of the place, though I can understand how chirpy friendly could add to any establishment, I didn't find the service here anywhere near offensive...so far. The least smiley or most frown-filled one might very well be the only gentleman I've seen behind the counter though I've only barely interacted w/him as I prefer to hail the service of the others. I'm usually served by the Japanese woman or the brunette w/glasses.

The different tea cups you can choose from is nice, except the finer china ones, I've found at least twice so far to be quite dirty inside. You should look carefully, as it's pretty obviously bumpy & stained w/ light traces of filth--probably since they're not dishwasher friendly. Just watch out for those ones, as the rest seems perfectly clean.

I'm not so sure there is wifi offered from Steeps themselves, but WiFi is definitely very much accessible.

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