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GareeVancouverSince January 24, 20059 Reviews
Average Rating
3.5 (3.3)
  • Food4 (3.9)
  • Service2.5 (2.6)
  • Ambiance2.5 (2.4)


Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 Reviews Found
Parkside1906 Haro St., Vancouver
Fine dining in warm residential zone
Submitted Saturday, April 9, 2005 - 4:43pm [Dine in]

My visit was during Dine Out 05, where quality of participating restaurants fluctuate significantly. However my experience at Parkside lived up to my expectations, which can't be said for most places during the event. Hence the lenient rating of 4, where 3.5 would be more appropriate.

Parkside possesses a different aura than most others in the city. Settled in a purely residential corner of the Westend, walking there from your car would feel as though you are visiting a friend's home. This mood continues into the restaurant where warm colours, soft lights, a low ceiling, and retro details give you an abundance of warmth.

Service is decent. Staff are easy to access and are the casual variety. What separates Parkside from other restaurants is that they open to 11pm and 12am. This means you can have a proper dinner at late hours, and not go to a pub and wash down their so-called food with beer.

We can only recall a blurred image of our foods that night. Ravioli was good. Veal shank was tendor and juicy. Dessert was quite interesting. Care was put into preparing the meal, and quality shines through. Their portions were much bigger than I expected and would still be large if it was not Dine Out. However, I do find their flavours to be very strong, and occassionally overpowering. An vege soup was steeped in aroma, while truffle sauce and veal shank jus was aggressively seasoned. Some foods need strong flavours to accompany, but not every course througout a meal. This is probably the biggest obstacle they need to overcome before they can venture into extraodinary foods.

Their main courses are now $24, and that is a good price. Add on large portions in a settling room and you have a winner. Although Parkside cannot be considered a top spot in the city (not yet, at least) it's certainy a good choice for casual semiformal dining, especially late in the evening.

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New Town Bakery & Restaurant148 E Pender Street, Vancouver
Excellent buns!
Submitted Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 3:38am [Dine in]

[Bakery Only Review]
Steamed buns are what they are famous for. This is quite apparent, as throughout the day there always seems to be someone transfer buns from the bamboo steamer into the steaming cabinet. And because buns are always kept steaming, they are always hot in a very good way.

The Chinese bun dough is above average, with a smooth and almost chewy texture that successfully survives the typically long time it is exposed to steam. Chicken bun is my personal favourite, with a juicy, tasty chunk of tender meat inside. Their Big Bun (not sure if it's the name) is an equally delicious premium extension of the chicken bun, with chicken, egg yolk, and other additions. BBQ pork bun is also worth a try, but does not carry as much sauce as some of the best Dim Sum varieties. Egg custard bun can be considered a light dessert, with a filling of smooth custard made perfectly sweet.

Some of their other items are very good too, such as: Cream Cones, Butterfly Cookies, Chinese Egg Balls, Chinese Rice Crispy, Chinese Fried Egg Crisps.

Starting at $1.10, I will easily choose buying a fresh, healthy, and very delicious bun here rather than eating at McDonalds. Even their homeless patrons know that.

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Hon's Wun Tun House1339 Robson Street, Vancouver
Why? What's with the popularity?
Submitted Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 2:40pm [Dine in]

My ratings for Hon's is pretty self explanatory.

However, I do wonder why it's so popular? Obviously, it's dead cheap. Also, the potstickers are the best in town. But otherwise, it's horrible. The noodles are either too tough, or too soggy. The dumplings are dry. The soups and stir fries all have the same flavour. The bbq items are tough and dry, with too much soy sauce. Service is on the lower end of the Chinese scale (meaning it's really bad). And it's as dirty as any other Chinese noodle place.
Also, do they really suggest that they don't use MSG? Cuz to me, everything tastes too alike... meaning they use the same flavouring for most dishes. And after eating at Hon's, I'm as thirsty as eating out at a Vietnamese pho joint.

I do give Hon's credit for hitting the jackpot in finding their target market: fast and cheap meals packed with flavour catered to non-Chinese clientele. But gastronomically, it sucks.

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Umami Tapas Bar572 Davie Street, Vancouver
Superb! Unique Foods!
Submitted Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - 12:51am [Dine in]

Gastronomically, this is a unique experience in Vancouver. From the outside it looks like any other izakaya, popular throughout the city. However, it is until you walk up to the door and read the menu that you realize Umami is much more French than anyone can imagine. Examples:
-Braised BBQ eel and Quebec foie gras on slow cooked daikon in dashi broth
-Rib-eye tagliare marinated in herbs, fleur de sel and garlic with fresh BC wasabi beurre composé, served on a bed of aregula
-Roasted Chilliwack duck breast, dried fig demi-glace with gobo, Japanese taro and cheese
-Albacore tuna spring rolls wrapped in nori and Shiso leaves, with fresh BC wasabi and Shanso, soy, Mirin, balsamic and red wine reduction
-Green Tea Tiramisu, with gold sheets

Food is of excellent quality. Flavours are well balanced, with the aromas of Japanese ingredients successfully coming through in what looks to be French cuisine. Presentation is also beautiful. Their Green Tea Tiramisu is the best in the city.

In a "tapas bar", you'd expect small plates of food to be shared. Small portions are exactly what you get, and it's reflected in the small prices ($6-$15). However, the nature of their dishes are difficult to share. Their menu size is also small, with only about 15 items. But there's no difficulty in finding things to order, since everything seems to be so appealing. Tapas or not, Umami should consider a price increase. They cannot justify charging that little money on food made with so much care.

The restaurant is a small dark room. There's no doubt the focus is on the half-open kitchen, which seems to be always busy. Their staff is also small. Busy night or not, you may have breaks in between courses. But when it comes, you will be satisfied.

Umami serves absolutely superb food. They are true examples of Japanese-French fusion. To top it off, they make it all happen at a price you would not consider fair.

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Pho Thang Long3710 Main St., Vancouver
Best Pho
Submitted Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - 1:17am [Dine in]

Wow, I didn't expect to see my favourite pho place on a website. But here it is! The broth is first class. The meat are all as good as it is suppose to be. If you are not on a diet, try #7, which has pieces of fat. I love it!
Prices have gone up from that 3.95 in the early 90's. 3 sizes available; Small 4.95, Medium 5.xx, Large 6.50. They've also renovated the place 2 yrs ago, which was much needed.
Pho is the only thing they serve, and they serve it good!

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Fish Cafe2053 West 41st Ave, Vancouver
Bargain Seafood
Submitted Monday, January 24, 2005 - 6:08am [Dine in]

This is NOT a fish & chip establishment. Although there is fish & chips, they also have their assortment of grilled or deep fried salmon, halibut, cod, swordfish, snapper, or whatever their daily specials are. They also have a solid crab cake, which does not look the prettiest but has the right taste.

Personally, I like the grilled snapper with lemon-butter. Moist, flavourful meat with a simple aromatic dressing. It's the way fish should be prepared.

The room is small, but very comfy and cozy. There is enough service to go about in this small place. Prices are very attractive too, ranging from $7 for cod & chips to $15 for swordfish.

If fish is in your diet, the price alone should be able to lure you in. You might be in for a pleasant surprise.

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Shiru-Bay Chopstick Cafe1193 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
I don't see the charm.
Submitted Monday, January 24, 2005 - 5:54am [Dine in]

It only deserved a 2.5 overall rating, but there is no such selection. Therefore, I gave them the benefit of the doubt that this is actually a better place than I experienced.

First off, I reserved early in the day for a group of 7. But instead of offering us our own table, we were given a corner on the big communal table on a not-so-busy nite. It was incredibly difficult to share our plates on such a large surface, and impossible to carry a conversation 3 seats beyond my chair.
Perhaps another reason for not being able to chat with my party is the constant rumbling in the warehouse setting. This continuous distortion is quite unsettling. Yes, modernism is very much based on minimalism. However, the bits and pieces of ideas in this room does not translate to style.
Food was not disappointing. Yet I do not find the appeal beyond that of Guu, Gyoza King, or Hapa. But sure, there were flashes of brilliance hear and there (namely the mango shrimp sushi, braised duck on a carrot, and natto ice cream). However, the menu needs to be expanded.
Portions were small. Prices were big. The green-tea-in-a-special-cup gimmick was simply a blatant attempt to steal money. I did not read the menu before ordering it, because who would expect to pay $3 for a glass of tea in a Japanese restaurant. I admit, I probably am stupid.

Amazingly, I find that they are receiving a good praise from all directions. Could it be the "hip" in the Yaletown location, warehouse decor, or Modern Izakaya? Or did I really miss something special? Perhaps the hype was beyond its real worth.

Quite honestly, I don't see why I would prefer Shiru-Bay over the much cheaper and similarly presented Hapa.

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Gyoza King1508 Robson Street, Vancouver
Why am I a regular?
Submitted Monday, January 24, 2005 - 5:11am [Dine in]

The reasons:
1. It's cheap.
2. Vegetable & Spinach Gyoza: how much better can a dumpling be?
3. Nabeyaki Udon: how much better can a bowl of udon be?
4. Beef Salad: simple, yet they have the right blend of beef, oil, and seasoning.
5. Robatas: hm.... they all seem to taste deliciously.
6. Chazuke Sake: Rice and salmon bits in a broth. Seems very simple and uninspiring, but is my equivalent to chicken noodles.
7. Well, everything else on the menu seems to taste great.
8. It's cheap!

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Phnom Penh Restaurant244 E Georgia St, Vancouver
Probably the only Cambodian food in the city.
Submitted Monday, January 24, 2005 - 4:31am [Dine in]

Make no mistake about it. The reason I go is for the food. Not the service, not the location, and not the ambiance. Not the whole menu is great, but order the right stuff and you'll go home happy.
Highlights (sorry for the makeup names):
Shrimp Soup - Sour, but deliciously so. Full of fresh stuff.
Dry Noodles with Everything - Incredibly sophisticated bowl of noodles. Again, full of ingredients from flavourful minced meat to aromatic cilantro to crunchy inerts.
Beef Luc Lac Rice - Sweet addictive sauce with beef... more rice please!
Fried Chicken Wings - Perfectly fried, perfectly seasoned.
Chicken Curry with bread - Exotic blend of coconut milk, curry spice, and sweetness from the yam. Perfect match with the bread.
*MUST TRY: Durian Sticky Rice - a layer of aromatic durian pudding minus the garbage-like odour on top of a bed of warm sticky rice, smothered in a thick coat of coconut cream. It's mind-boggling that durian can taste this good.

So, order the correct dishes and the meal will be rewarding.

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