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lyndawitha_ySurrey, BCTales of a Wannabe Gourmand as I frolic about the Vancity AreaWeb siteSince January 19, 201113 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (2.9)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service2.5 (2.5)
  • Value3 (2.9)
  • Ambiance3 (3.2)


Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 Reviews Found
K K Dollar Hot Pot Restaurant4200 No. 3 Road, #200, Richmond
good concept, bad food.
Submitted Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 7:22pm [Dine in]

The boyfriend and I were driving in Richmond and stumbled onto this place. From its name I was expecting a no-frills, frugal hot pot place, but was totally wrong.

I was thrown off. The concept of AYCE hot pot here is a little bit different, but cool. Unlike the conventional hotpot place, every customer receives an individual hotpot (no fighting over what kind of broth!). Also, there's a little sauce bar where you can combine a plethora of ingredients to make your own custom sauce (think buffet line, or Mongolie grill). I get to make my sauce exactly how I want it!.

The restaurant's concepts are excellent, but I could not say the same about the actual food.

We shared a pitcher of lemon iced tea (which was sadly made from a powder mix), a Kimchi broth, and the house special broth. The meat slices were distastefully un-fresh, and their dumplings were extremely small and weird tasting. The vegetables weren't too fresh either. Everything else was at best mediocre.

Our server was nice. She knew that it was our first time here, and warned us when she worried we had ordered too much noodles. After that, she regularly checked up on us with smiles.

I know that you can't expect quality foods for AYCE, but some of these dishes were noticeably worse than their AYCE counterparts. Thus, if their food was at least mediocre, I would recommend this place. But it's not, so I don't.

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Cheesecake Etc.2141 Granville, Vancouver
a bite into a fluffy cloud
Submitted Friday, February 11, 2011 - 2:52am [Dine in]

Owned by a married couple, Cheesecake etc. claims to serve quality jazz to the ears and desert to the stomach. The place (recently expanded) is nothing fancy, but its dim lights and furniture ignite a very cozy and comfortable atmosphere.

I used to come here once a week and all the times that I have been here, I've only seen a pianist once. Usually they don't have music on, so the "jazz" aspect of this establishment is a bit questionable to me. That's okay though, I only come for the cheesecake.

Their cheesecake ultimately comes in two flavours: original and chocolate. You get different toppings, like chocolate, strawberries, whip cream and whatever special they have that day. What makes these deserts stand out is that it has the cheesecake taste we love minus the risk of it being too sweet and its super fluffy texture. As an associate once said, "It's like taking a bite into a fluffy cloud."

Their real homemade hot chocolate is pretty awesome too.

The servers are not perky and overly kind like many places. In fact, I'm not sure if I remember one smiling...nevertheless they are polite (enough) and efficient. I kind of like how they get to the point. They know what their doing and not once have they made any mistakes.

This place will surely satisfy your cheesecake cravings, and not put a dent in your wallet - if you do it right: come after ten (so parking's free), and avoid ordering hot water (they charge you for that).

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Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant4920 No. 3 Road, #102, Richmond
solid all around
Submitted Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 2:51pm [Dine in]

I've been here every now and then, literally through out my life, for weddings, dim sum, or just squab, and have ran into a handful of Asian celebrities. I stopped going for a while when I saw their inspection reports, but decided to give it another try the other day.

I had been craving Peking Duck for quite some time, and so my boyfriend took me here to satisfy them. But no, no duck today they told us. :( We settled for some Chinese New Years dishes which included duck lettuce wrap and smoked salmon with jelly fish. We also ordered a squab for my boyfriend's virgin-squab stomach.

It was a decent unintended no carb meal. Duck was good. The jelly fish and smoked salmon looked a little old, and came with generous amounts of greens to eat with it. The squab was a bit cold but still good to me and unimpressive to the boyfriend. Surprisingly, the dish that shined was our complimentary desert, red bean was not too sweet (a common mistake its counterparts make).

Overall, I suspect we ordered the wrong items, and the squab-cooks were having an off day. I give them the benefit of the doubt, only because I have had excellent food here in the past. I only hope it didn't go downhill.

As for their self-claimed exceptional service? The hostess and servers did not smile or talk much, but were polite. Service was really, really efficient: at one point we had our teapot checked on thrice in a minute. Not my definition of exceptional service, but I can certainly say its one of the better ones of its sort.

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Kirin Mandarin Restaurant1172 Alberni Street, Vancouver
they lost 13 customers
Submitted Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 1:46am [Dine in]

I shared a birthday dinner with a dear friend at the downtown location, the very location that started it all in 1987. I had chosen this restaurant because I had been to other locations and have been treated from mediocre to superbly, and served with excellent food. I guess locations play a role, because this was the worse dining experience of the year.

We arrived on time for our reservations. I went up to the hostess to let her know another individual was coming, and was answered with a quick "yep." I had not told her which reservations she could add the seat to. After minutes of pondering of whether she knew which table, I approached her again, this time with a "Hi, we had reservations under - "

"Okay just go in." She interrupted me.
"Oh okay, I just want to let you know there will be one more person."
"Okay just go in and tell the waiter."

I led my thirteen friends into the dining hall, expecting someone to greet us or at least an empty table ready. No one and no table. A server told us turned us back to the hostess, and then the hostess turned us back to the dining room. Then finally a server diffused the situation.

Yes, it took over a half hour for us to be seated. The next challenge was to get an extra dining set for my last minute friend. Not understanding our request but assuming so, our server rolled her eyes, sighed, and moved the dining sets on our tables around, giving the friend with someone else's set. Yea, that took a little bit of time to diffuse too.

They gave us a kind of competent server who made a few mistakes. I admit, as the 10+ courses came by, my mood may have dampened from our super-difficult seating what I thought about the food: meh. Same Chinese food you can get anywhere else. Except it didn't feel like super greasy, I guess.

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Reef, The1018 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Submitted Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 7:24am [Dine in]

As you enter the place, you get good music and a friendly vibe from the crowd, the staff and the island-y interior. Even the menus were cute, with their item descriptions in a Jamaican accent. We were served with cute deep-fried bread balls, and our whipped butter had coconut in it! I was a little bit confused why our server only gave us one side plate. We ended up just eating the bread off the table.

We started off with surulitos and chana salad. Everything was mediocre except for the salsa that the surulitos came with: it was amazing!

Next up was Jerk Chicken, which, tasted like Jerk Chicken and a little bit of something else. Except it wasn't spicy. The coleslaw that it came in was delicious, and made a little differently; it was dry, but sour...almost as if the vegetables had been pickled? My friend got the Maracas Bay Snapper which was a little bit bland on its own, but tasted excellent when paired up with the green apple and chayote slaw it came with. I have no idea if your suppose to eat the two in one mouthful, but it worked for me, and is highly recommended.

The deep fried banana with ice cream, tasted as is, which is good. The mocha creme brulee was nothing special, except I was pleased to see it served right after its torching.

Service was friendly, and our food came out in good time despite the dinner rush. Only problem is that our server told us she would come back with water, but never did.

Overall, the food was not the greatest, but I probably would come back, just because I want to explore the menu. Everything from the bread, to the coleslaw had a little twist too it. Some twists were succesful, some failed, but it kept my taste buds at the edge of their seats.

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No. 9 Restaurant5300 No. 3 Road, #812, Richmond
Decent food because of MSG galore.
Submitted Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 6:16pm [Dine in]

No. 9 is one of the restaurants I dislike, but will always return to. Partially because it's opened 24 hours, and partially because I crave their food (for some reason). The food is cheap, comes in a variety, and in decent portions. The strategy of the restaurant is probably about table turnover because you'll notice that they come to take your order within minutes, food comes out quickly, and so does the bill.

I haven't tried their whole menu, but I've tried a chunk of it. I usually go for a congee combination (pig intestines and silverfish -sounds gross, I know), or their calamari (mmm salty) and minced pork and green bean. You definitely can't go wrong with the beef rice noodle.

I'm giving their food a mediocre rating, only because when I leave the restaurant I feel really really gross from all the MSG.

So there's nothing else open and you are planning on coming here?
1. Bring cash, they don't accept card. (Although they have an ATM inside the restaurant)
2. Drink lots of water/tea. (The MSG is going to make you feel really gross).
3. If you can't choose, order dishes with pictures in the menu.
4. If it's a late weekend night, use the washroom before you leave for the restaurant, because drunken clubbers are going to trash it.

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Coza! Tuscan Grill20065 Langley Bypass, Langley
Could be outstanding if I didn't go on a weekend night?
Submitted Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 6:17pm [Dine in]

Came here with the boyfriend last night, and loved the food, hated the service. The service was absent pretty much the whole time, so it was impossible to ask for simple things that could have made our dining experience a little bit better.

Every meal comes with unlimited bread and salad. The salad had a little bit too much dressing, but I enjoyed the tuscan bread! Couldn't find anybody to ask for more "unlimited" appies. =( I had the "Antipasto Platter Basil." It was delicious except there was only a slice of bocconcini =(

Next up was the Pappardelli with Spicy Italian Sausage, and the boyfriend's Coza! Signature, Spaghetti Trio. Mine was so awesome. So, so awesome. The sauce, the sausage, perfect. It would have been great if they offered some freshly grated cheese. The boyfriend's Spaghetti trio included pesto, alfredo, and meatball sauce. "Why choose?" the menu charmingly asked. He didn't get a spoon with his spaghetti, and no one checked up on us, so he had to begrudgingly eat it solely with his fork. lol He found it mediocre, but I liked their pesto.

Desert was a blackberry Pancotta, it was delicious and didn't make me feel guilty about my new years resolutions. The boyfriend agrees.

I can go on and on about how service sucked from beginning to end, but let me try to summarize it:
1) Four ladies behind the hostess podium thing saw us enter the place, but didn't greet us.
2) We received our appetizers before I received my Bellini. The server had forgotten, and so when she served, it had already begun melting. Did not offer to make a new one.
3) Absent of our server: our drinks, appetizers, entrees, or dessert was never checked on, and we were seated in a corner so we couldn't flag down another server.
4) Food runners were polite, but it'd great if they placed the dishes in front of us, and not randomly on the table. My bellini was served to my boyfriend too lol. It'd be great if they could wait for us to finish our appies before they come in with the entrees. (table isn't that big)

Bill came out to be $60, my boyfriend gave her $81 and asked for a ten back. We got the ten back in change. (Servers should only employe the give change in change method if they haven't been tipped yet!)

Even though the food was delicious (maybe even better than the Olive Garden!) I probably won't return, although I am a little curious on what else they offer on the menu. If you plan on going, try to do so not during a weekend night. Perhaps service and ambiance will be a little better.

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Salmon n' Bannock Bistro1128 West Broadway, #7, Vancouver
Should be called Potatoes and Bannock
Submitted Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 9:37pm [Dine in]

Came here last night with the boyfriend for dine out vancouver, and I had a wonderful experience. The restaurant is a little difficult to spot on the street at night, but it's across from Tojo's and under Tomakazu on West Broadway close to Oak. When we entered we were instantly greeted by smiling faces and seated.

The place was contemporarily traditional. Dim lights, blood red walls, and abstract Aboriginal paintings, set both a contemporary and traditional tone. Quaint, and comfortable.

To start, I had the BBQ Smoked Salmon mousse with Bannock and their signature "salmon crisp." It was delicious, but painfully small. I wouldn't say mousse is the right word for the dish though, more like pate. The salmon crisp added a nice touch of texture. My boyfriend had the Navajo smoked pork and corn chowder, which was full in taste and equally delicious. My cornish hen was good, but nothing special. I'm usually not a fan of mashed potatoes, but I was crazy about theirs! They were awesomely fluffy, sweetened with honey, and was topped with roasted honey glazed nuts. Mmm! My boyfriend's salmon sounded delicious in writing, but it was dry and I couldn't really taste the butter it was "infused" with.

Oh yes, and the bannock is awesome.

Their wine selection is limited as they only serve four grapes from Nk'Mip Cellars (an aboriginal winery from Osoyoos). We chose the Chardonnay, but found its acidity to overpowering for our dishes which tend to be more subtle in its flavours. Oh, and they don't serve their wines in wine glasses either.

The only thing I have to say is that they did not refill our wineglasses, but maybe as a server I'm being a little too anal. Aside from that, no complaints. One of the friendliest staff you'll meet.

I am planning to come back here after dine out vancouver to try their regular menu.

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Tojo's Restaurant1133 W Broadway, Vancouver
Is the trade off between price and quality worth it?
Submitted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 1:52pm [Dine in]

I've been here a a couple times, once, after a stressful week of exams, and once for a romantic dinner with the boyfriend.

I find service here great. The first time I was here, my friend was over thirty minutes late, and the servers made sure that I was not bored by taking turns and having simple conversations with me. The second time, service was slightly worse, but better than most places. It was also pleasant to have a lady in a traditional outfit walking around smiling and greeting you too. I have been reluctant to speak to Tojo, who can be within an earshot range of you based on the word that he's a cocky little guy. But one day I would love to speak to the chef who claims he invented the California Roll! Nevertheless, he looks like one of those cute old Japanese anime characters, and he's fun to watch.

The place is fairly new, given they moved to their new locations within the last few years, so ambiance is outstanding. It's a little difficult to find the place on Broadway during the evening though, there's no bight lights pointing you to the restaurant; look for a little flag sticking out with the writing "Tojos."

As for food, I have tried the $80 and $120 dollar Omakase, and I enjoyed it! Omakase is what Tojo's is known for: you're entrusting Tojo to make your meal for you. All you have to do is tell the Server you want the Omakase and that you prefer ____ but you hate _____, and they sort of just stir something up.

Some people may not like the price because you are getting the same ingredients served in a regular Japanese restaurant for 20X the price, but compared to normal Japanese restaurants, there's a genuine delightful freshness to it.

However, I'm not sure if the tradeoff between price and freshness (that some people don't seem to notice) is worth what Tojo is charging. I would come back here again, only if I feel like real quality foods...but that probably won't be for a while.

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Al & Jan's Fish & Chips9014 152nd Street, #201, Surrey
a homey mom and pop shop
Submitted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 2:57am [Dine in]

I used to come here all the time in high school, so when I moved back to Surrey after I graduated, I was so glad to see that Al and Jan's shop is still open and still offering all you can eat!

But now that my metabolism is what it used to be, I can't find myself eating that many pieces of Fish, so I usually opt for the oyster burger which is fresh, simple, and delicious.

Their fish and chips never fail my cravings. I believe that they make their own tartar sauce as well, but I'm afraid that I'm too used to the more flavorful and texturized Heinz tartar sauce to enjoy it.

This is the local fish and chips, ma and pop shop. Strangely, the outdated, tacky and cheap ambiance of the restaurant makes it feel homey.

I am usually served by a nice lady, and sometimes they have a male helper. All servers are very courteous, check up on you during the right times, following every rule in the server's handbook for good service.

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Bavaria Restaurant33233 Walsh Avenue, Abbotsford
Everything but service, was awesome
Submitted Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 3:51am [Dine in]

The place is decorated in a mixed contemporary theme, I think. As I walked up the stairs to enter the restaurant, I enjoyed the dim lights, homey brown hues, and "trendy" music. The place was packed with people of all stripes enjoying conversations.

Although the staff that showed us to our seats was pleasant, I found that our server was not.

It took a while for our server to show up to take our drinks order, and another while to receive them. We were ready to order, but she excused herself to find a pen she lost. After having watch her walk around the restaurant doing everything but looking for the pen for ten minutes, she returned.

I was appalled that she interrupted a couple of our sentences: "I would like a filet-" "how would you like it?" And the pen really didn't help her. My boyfriend ordered a rare filet mignon, but received it medium. I guess she misheard our order of escargot in mushroom caps, because she gave us escargot with wine an brandy. She never returned to check up on us for the appetizer, so we decided to just eat. It took her a while to return to check up on our entrees, and my boyfriend was hungry, so he just ate that as well. I had the Bavaria Schnitzel, which came with decent potatoes, and tasteful goulash. All the dishes were good nevertheless.

Although I enjoyed the food, and the ambiance was good, service was a huge turn off. Given that there are better restaurants down the street, I won't return.

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Luxe Chinese Seafood Restaurant19653 Willowbrook Drive, #138A, Langley
Only decent Chinese food in Langley
Submitted Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 3:35am [Dine in]

When I was introduced to this restaurant, I was relieved that I did not have to drive out to Vancouver or Richmond for decent Chinese food. I have been a regular customer for a few months now for dim sum, and look forward to coming in for dinner when the time is right.

The place is neatly decorated, giving the restaurant a sophisticated and authentic feel to it.

The food is not outstanding, as I suspect that some of the dishes were not made freshly in the kitchen (as opposed buying them frozen from a supplier and steaming them). But as I have tried all the dim sum dishes, I can say it is decent. This place can satisfy my dim sum cravings.

The price for dim sum is a little bit above average, but I'm fine with that, as long as the food, service and fact that I don't have to drive so far, is in tact.

Although I see mainly the same employees every time I am there, I feel that the service is a little bit inconsistent. It may be my imagination but I feel that the staff is less attentive and friendly if I enter in a big t-shirt, sweats and no make up. Today I walked in dressed rather professionally, and received really good service.

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Sui Sha Ya Japanese Restaurant5300 No 3 Road, #221, Richmond
I always find myself coming back here...
Submitted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 2:57am [Dine in]

I really don't understand why my mother and boyfriend always drags me to this place. It sucks.

Although the servers are not entirely rude, and clean your plates at a super efficient rate, they never talk to you. They always kind of slam the dishes on the table anywhere that's convenient for them, and not for us. Some of our food is almost always forgotten as well. Even typical low-class Chinese restaurants have better service than this.

The food is very poor as well (with the exception of Kaki Motoyaki - it's okay). The food comes out really quickly and sometimes it's cold, as if its been cooked before you've even ordered it and has been just chilling on the counter. The rice to other ingredient ratio in the sushi is lame, and the sashimi isn't always the freshest.

But I guess it's pretty cheap, so we can't really expect much from it. Although I would love to stay out of this place, there will be people like my mom and boyfriend who will drag me back in because of its convenient location and value.

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