2010 Vancouver Area Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM

NOTE: we almost always share our meals, ordering one starter, one main and one dessert for the two of us. That makes a big difference in the cost of our meals and the expansion of our waistlines. We don’t have the kitchen split the meals because ALE doesn’t eat as much as DM. We just ask for an extra plate and ALE takes what she thinks she should eat.

ALE and DM discussed adding ratings to our restaurant reviews and compromised on the following ratings:
HR: Highly recommended
R: Recommended
NR: Not recommended
A: Awful

This article: “Canada Wins Chinese Gold” in the February 2010 Condé Nast Traveler says that “Vancouver is home to the best Chinese food in the world.” See: http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/502251. We don’t know for sure but we think that Stephanie Yuen, local Vancouver Chinese food critic and writer, had a lot to do with choosing the award winners.

(Exchange rate US$1 = C$.97. The amounts below are in Canadian dollars)

1. West End

1.1 Asian (General)

1.1.1 R: Kam's Place Singaporean Cuisine, 1043 Davie St., Vancouver, B6E 1M5, tel. 604-669-3389, We spent $16.72 with “Buy 1 entrée, get one free—up to $11 value” coupon. The restaurant was packed and Kam was at the door greeting people. When we came in we got a table immediately but later on people had to wait (and did). The room is nicely arranged with good space between tables and good décor. Unfortunately, we didn’t like our server (the body builder) and that put a damper on the meal. The food was very good and the quantities ginormous. There are people to bring the food out as soon as it is cooked and it comes out really hot. We ordered 1 Attap Island green curry pork ($10.95) is filled with chunks of vegetables and has a base of coconut milk, 1 rice ($1.50), 1 Pad Thai ($9.95) a noodle dish with lots of shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts and ground peanut, and 2 tea (in a pot ($3). Our bill was $26.67 (a reasonable amount) and reduced by the special (-$9.95) to $16.72 (a great price). The food was good but not Singaporean at its best.

1.1.2 R: Chongqing Szechuan Cuisine, 1260 Robson St., Vancouver, BC tel. 604-568-0303, www.CQrestaurant.com . We spent $22 plus tip at this new (spring 2010) neighborhood restaurant and thought it was quite good. We ordered one Lettuce wrap with chicken ($9.95) that everyone in the restaurant seemed to be ordering and it was very good. We also ordered one Shredded Pork with preserved vegetables ($10.95) that we liked too. As with every good Chinese restaurant the tea is free and keeps being refilled.

1.1.3 R: Delightful Cuisine, 1745 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9, tel. 604-689-8399. We spent about $16 for dinner. We were given a 10% discount at this new restaurant, with clean lines and a short menu! It opened in July 2010 and it is Vietnamese. We had a very reasonably priced and very good meal, served by a lovely young woman. It is a family-run restaurant and we hope it does well. We shared one #22 Combination A ($10.95). It usually comes with a (fried) spring roll but we asked for a traditional Vietnamese Salad Roll instead, which was no problem. The Salad Roll had prawns, sliced meat, vermicelli, lettuce and was served with a homemade peanut sauce. It was very good. The combination plate also included grilled pork that was served with a innovative vermicelli wrapper (like a pancake) that was delicious when the pork and a little hoisen sauce (that was on the table) was put on it and wrapped. The third item on the combination plate was prawn wrapped over sugar cane that was served with a chili sauce. It was good and the sugar cane was very good. For dessert we had one #28 Rainbow Beans ($4.25) which is a red bean, white bean and green bean and tapioca drink with coconut milk over shaved ice in a tall glass. Dimitri liked it.

1.1.4 R: Khunnai Chang (Madame Elephant) Thai Cuisine, 835 Denman St., Vanouver, BC V6G 2L7, tel.604-801-6093, e-mail: khunnai@khunnaichang.com, web: www.khunnaichang.com. We spent $36.79 plus tip. We had a delightful meal in the family-run Thai restaurant. The server was pleasant and the owner came out to greet us. We shared everything and ordered one #24 Som Tam Thai salad with shredded green papaya mixed with long bean, tomatoes, garlic, chilies, lime juice and peanuts ($8.95) that was very good. The other dish we ordered was #61 Gaeng Daeng Gai/Moo/Khung which was a red curry with chicken (or pork), bamboo shoot, coconut milk and Thai Basil ($12.95) which was very good. We were asked if we wanted rice, we said yes and were brought a bowl (which turned out to be two orders of rice) and charged $5.00 (and left half). We also had one sticky rice with mango that was very good ($5.95). We had considered going to Tang Thai on Robson (at the corner of Denman and were glad we did not. The “yelp” reviews of it were not good and Khunnai Chang Thai was very good.

1.2 French

1.2.1 R: Le Bistro de Paris, 751 Denman St., Vancouver, BC tel. 604-681-6550, web: web: http://vancouversrestaurants.ca/LeBistrodeParis. We spent $40.98 on a Wednesday night when all entrées are discounted 50%. We liked the décor and the service by Aurelie was lovely. We shared two entrées. One was the Melodie Forrestiere, the Chef's vegetarian creation (regularly $18.00, on Wednesdays $9) which had cabbage, mushrooms, cole slaw, spetzel, mashed potato, beets, ratatouille, carrots and asparagus all prepared perfectly. It was a huge plate and very satisfying. For our other main we shared a Flétan which was B.C. halibut pan seared with lobster sauce and garlic mashed potatoes (regularly $25.00, on Wednesdays 12.50). The lobster sauce was divine but the halibut was over-cooked even though we specified rare (and the person who brought it to us said it was rare as she put the plate down). The plate was beautiful, with the sauce and vegetables of carrots, asparagus, cabbage and mashed potato. We had 2 glasses of Frontera (from Chile) Sauvignon Blanc $16.00 which we like very much.

1.2.2 HR: Le Gavroche, 1616 Alberni St (at Cardoso)., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-685-3924, http://www.legavroche.ca/ We spent $66.10 plus tip and had a great meal. We went during the Lobster & Prawn Festival, 3 courses for $35 and shared one meal with one wine pairing at an additional $25. We were served by Shelley and Adam Rennick who were delightful. First we (each) were served an amuse bouche of a lamb spring roll that was crunchy and tasty. Then came baguette with butter. The bread was very good—crunchy on the outside and firm enough of the inside.

For our starter we chose the Lobster Bisque, Chives, Crème Fraîche. We told them we would share it at the table but they brought us two ample bowls of the bisque. It was really delicious and quite filling. The wine that was paired with the lobster bisque was a Cedar Creek Enrenfelser from Okanagan BC ‘05. It was crisp and smooth; very good. The one glass was nicely divided into 2 portions so that each of us had a glass in front of us. This is the first time we’ve tried this varietal. For our main we chose the Fresh Spot Prawns, Lobster, Cavaletti Pasta, Smoked Boar Ham and Parmesan Cream. We were brought 2 small plates so we could share it. ALE took a little lobster and a spot prawn with some cavaletti and sauce and was more than satisfied. DM ate out of the big bowl. It was an exquisite dish—the tastes of each item came through and the sauce was yummy without being too rich. With this dish was paired with a Domaine de Serame Viognier from Paye D’oc. It was described as having a scent of peach blossoms with a faint taste of peaches. DM identified that smell and taste in the wine. Again our one glass was nicely divided into 2 portions so that each of us had a glass in front of us.

For dessert we chose the Crème Caramel, Lace Cookie and it was a very good rendition. The wine pairing menu was supposed to have a Late Harvest from Chile served with the dessert but I guess Shelley and Adam forgot and so did we. The meal was superb and the service excellent. The historic house is charming and filled with beautiful and tasteful art (which is for sale). And we may return (which says a lot when we have so many wonderful restaurants to choose from). Our total bill was $60 plus $3.60 GST and $2.50 LQT = $66.10 plus a nice tip.

1.3 Greek

1.3.1 R: Maria's Taverna, 1037 Denman St., Vancouver, BC, V6G 2M4, tel. 604-681-8500 (Dimitrius and Maria Tadoglou from near Istanbul). We spent $45.28 plus tip. The meal was huge and we had enough for another whole meal to take home. Our server was actually Marcos Tadoglou and he was good. The room is nicely spaced and decorated. The music was appropriate and the weather warm enough so all doors were open onto a seating area outside. We shared everything as usual and started with a Sikotakia ($8.50) which is pan fried chicken livers “seasoned to a delight” and sautéed with onions and mushrooms. It was tasty but not identifiably Greek. For our main we had Kleftiko ($17.95) which is described as “a generous portion of tender shoulder of lamb baked with our traditional spices and our house special sauce. Roasted to perfection and served with Greek salad, rice and roasted potatoes.” The meat was butter tender and delicious. The potatoes were excellent and the salad was a good rendition. The rice was good. With our main we had 2 glasses of house red wine at $6.95 each. We didn’t want any of the desserts on the menu. This restaurant does an excellent job. Yes, it’s more expensive than Stepho’s but we didn’t have to wait and we had very good service.

1.3.2 R: Stepho's, 1124 Davie St, Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-683-2555. We saw the line night after night and knew it had to be good but with one of us a Greek (as well as a foodie) we were skeptical. We decided to go on a rainy night and there was still a line, but shorter. It was great. This place is an institution and for good reason. The food is very good and inexpensive by any standard. We had fun there too. As usual we shared everything. We had one avgolemono soup ($4.75) which DM, the Greek foodie liked, one roast lamb plate ($9.95) which was excellent and huge with very good accompaniments—the potatoes were just like we like them roasted and were delicious. We had a half liter of house wine which was good. For dessert we had one ek mek ($4.75) which was also good.

1.4 Italian

1.4.1 R: Ciao Bella, 703 Denman St., Vancouver, BC V6G 2L6 tel. 604-688-5771, e-mail: ciaobella5@hotmail.com web: www.ciaobellavancouver.ca . We spent $51 plus tip and went on a Tuesday when they give a 50% discount on all pastas and have a wine special. We had fun there. We ordered a bottle of Diego Murillo Malbec, Rio Negro, Patagonia (Huberto Canale) for $19.95 (regularly $29.95). We had one Lasagna Della Mamma for$16.95 regularly (layers of pasta, meat sauce, cheese and Béchamel-mamma’s recipe) and one Pasta-Linguine with Boscaiola Sauce $14.95 regularly (spicy Italian sausage, sweet peas and mushrooms in tomato, basil sauce). Both were delicious and much too much food for us. We asked if they would make us Zabaglione for dessert and they did! It was excellent. Make a reservation; it’s small and the tables are very close. The service by the men is attentive. They’ve been in business for 20 years and know what pleases customers. There is free evening parking at rear off Alberni St.

1.4.2 R: Adesso (Modern Italian Cuisine), 1906 Haro St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1H7, tel. 604-568-9975, web: www.adessobistro.net . We spent $55.94 plus tip. We had a lovely meal on the beautiful patio with many other diners (at an early hour too). We had made a reservation and knew that there was a prix fixe “pre-theatre” menu for $29.95 that we would be permitted to share (served until 6:30 p.m.). We asked about wine pairing with it and although it wasn’t on the menu Lucianco (one of the owners, I think) said he would pair three wines for $20 (a little steep when you compare it to C Restaurant where the pairing for their early-bird 3-course meal is $15).

The first wine was to our liking a Santa Margharita Vale d’Adige, Italy Pinot Grigio and we had that with the starter we selected which was the Fritto Misto di mare (deep fried medley of seafood with herbs). The beginning of our meal was a little rough because the starter came but the wine didn’t. It seemed like an eternity that we waited for the wine while our starter got cold. We were served a delicious foccacio with herbs (rosemary), a dish of olive oil and 2 bread sticks (the bread is made there and is truly yummy). However, we were not served the amuse bouche that other tables (that didn’t have the prix fixe menu) were served (that wasn’t to our liking). Our nice server from France, Gaelle, got the restaurant’s act together, finally and brought us our wine. The Fritto Misto was good, not great. Of the three choices for the main we chose the Fresh fish of the day which was wild sockeye salmon, with crispy skin and served with chickpeas in a tomato sauce and a little fennel garnish. We had asked for the fish rare and it was nicely cooked and good. The wine that Lucianco proposed with the main was a Côte de Rhone which we didn’t want so we had another glass of the Pinot Grigio which went well with the fish. Of the two desserts we chose the yogurt panna-cotta with poached blueberries and candied almonds. It was good. So we had a good meal but not nearly as good as Le Gavroche or Raincity Grill.

1.5 Indian

1.5.1 R: All India, 1188 Davie St., Vancouver, tel. 604-602-1558, web: www.allindiaondaive.com We spent $22.21 plus tip and shared everything. We ordered one Fish/Prawn Goa Curry ($13.95) [cod fish/prawns cooked with potato, thick onion sauce, vinegar and Vindaloo paste, plus one naan, one dal ($4.95) and tea. It was tasty and a pleasant place.

1.5.2 R: Robson All India, 1256 Robson St. (up one flight of stairs), Vancouver, Tel. 604-688-2101, web: www.robsonsallindia.com. (Parking was available in the back of the building.) We had a very nice meal in a (thankfully) air conditioned space. Although there are a few Indian restaurants on Robson, they are not owned by the same group or person. $35.44 plus tip and liked the food, the décor and the server. We ordered one Chicken Dopiaza (described as “chicken cooked in equal quantities in onions, finished with yogurt and 21 exotic spices”) that was delicious and served with rice ($14.95). We also ordered one Dal Turka (described as “creamed lentils fried in garlic, onions, butter”) that was also very good ($9.95) and one naan ($1.75). For dessert we had one Ras Malai ($4.99) described as “homemade poached cheese patties in flavoured thickened milk” that DM liked. We recommend this restaurant.

1.5.3 NR: A Taste of India Restaurant, 1282 Robson St. Vancouver, BC V6E 1C1, tel. 604-682-3894, www.a-taste-of-india.com and www.atasteofindia.ca. We had the lunch special and spent $7.34. We chose the Masala Dal which came with rice and naan. It was good, not great.

1.6 Japanese

1.6.1 R: Tanpopo Japanese Restaurant, 1122 Denman St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 681-7777, web: www.tanpoposushi.com. We liked this restaurant on the second floor that has a sea view. We shared 1 complete dinner ($16.95) that was good and 1 sake ($4.95). Our total was $23.50 plus tip. They say: “Since 1992 affordable” and it is.

1.6.2 R: Motomachi Shokudo Ramen, 740 Denman St., Vancouver, BC tel. 604-609-0310. We spent $9.40 plus tip for one Shouu ramen (but they usually have a 2 order minimum). It was good but we’re not sure what all of the fuss is about. It is closed Wednesdays and its hours are 12 to 23. There is always a long line and we had fun waiting and talking to the people around us.

1.6.3 HR: Kintaro Ramen, 788 Denman St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-682-7568. (Hours: Tues-Sun. Noon to 11 p.m.) We spent $20.55 plus tip and had a fantastic dinner. Incredibly, there was no line at around 7 p.m. on a Friday night. We were seated at a large table with others. The chairs had backs and were comfortable for us oldsters. The people at our table were interesting enough to be entertaining. We were told that this restaurant is the sister of Motomachi Shodudo Raman (above) but that Motomachi uses organic products and this one does not. The prices are less at Kintaro. We ordered one miso ramen (rich and fatty pork (not lean) described as Kintaro’s Best for $7.95 and it was huge, delicious and very rich). We also ordered a side of kimchee ($1.95) that was good. The other dish we ordered was their special summer cold ramen ($7.95) that was awe-inspiringly scrumptious. The cold sauce or broth was a vinegar, soy sauce and chicken broth combination that was ever-so-slightly sweet. The noodles were perfectly chewy and the huge bowl was full of interesting ingredients: egg strips, wakame, bbq pork, bean sprouts, etc. and a dab of mustard. Man, that was good! ALE could not finish the portion so we got a bowl (extra cost $.50) and took it home for lunch the next day.

1.6.4. R: Gyoza King, 1508 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1C2, tel. 604-669-8278 We spent $22 plus tip. It’s a kind of rustic restaurant and very small. We ordered one 5-piece oden dish which was a new dish for us. It was good. The fried baby squid that we ordered was very good. Unfortunately the other dish we ordered--pork stew--was uninspired.

1.7 Korean

1.7.1 R: Jan Mo Jib Korean Restaurant, 1719 Robson St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-642-0712. The place has a rustic look to it. The service was fast and okay. We ordered 1 Dduk Bok Gee ($24.95) and it was huge and described as: “rice cakes, noodles (ramen & extra chewy noodles), fishcake, ham, boiled egg and vegetables in homemade spicy sauce served in hot pot. Choose from little spicy, medium and spicy.”
The Dduk Bok Gee at Jan Mo Jib

We had enough leftovers for many meals and it was good (maybe a little too spicy for us even though we asked for it to be medium). The dish was served with “Ban chan” (which means side dishes) of pickled turnip, marinated potato and marinated seaweed—all were delicious.

1.7.2 R: Sura Korean Cuisine, 1518 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1C2, tel. 604-687-SURA, $10.45 plus tip. The room is nice in a modern way. Our server was wonderful and brought us extra “ban chan”. They serve toasted rice tea which was yummy. We ordered one Sundubu Jiigar spicy soft tofu stew with seafood $9.95 that is served with rice and we liked it. It was plenty of food for us.

1.7.3 R: Chungdahm AHN Izakaya, 832 Cardero St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-688-3632. We spent $28.90 plus tip. It’s a nicely decorated place where most of the diners are Asian (and seem to know each other). We had a table in the center of the room. There are booths along the wall which look very uncomfortable. The servers were friendly and helpful (and there were trainees as well). They bring tea immediately but do not serve little side dishes of kimchi and so on (Ban chan). We ordered two dishes which we shared. One was an excellent Tuna Tataki ($10.90) described as fresh sashimi seared tuna, sliced with special soy-based dressing. It actually looked like a salsa but it was Asian-tasting and very good. The second dish was another success. It was a Seafood Japchae ($14.90) described as glass noodle tossed with seafood and vegetables in sweet soy sauce and sesame oil. They gave us a free (and unusual) sweetened Korean rice wine and beer drink served on ice. We enjoyed the meal.

1.7.4 NR: Ap Gru Jung Korean Cuisine, 1642 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1C7, tel. 604-681-8252. We spent $31.25 plus tip. The service was good and so was the kan chan (potato, seaweed, kimchi and bean sprouts). The place is spaced nicely and we were comfortable. We may have ordered the wrong things but we weren’t happy with the food. We shared everything and ordered: pan fried chicken gizzards with sesame oil ($7.95). There were lots of good vegetables stir-fried but the gizzards were so tough they were like rubber. We also ordered whole chicken filled with sticky rice, ginseng, chestnuts and jujubes in a seasoned broth ($19.95). The broth tasted like water and the chicken didn’t have any taste whatsoever. There was a salt and pepper mixed to dip the chicken into—not something we like to do but the taste did improve.

1.8 Middle Eastern/Persian

1.8.1 R: Darya Restaurant (Persian and Mediterranean), 1795 Pendrell St., (at Denman), Vancouver, BC V6G 1T2, tel. 604-899-0700. This is a small eatery that is clean and has lots of light from the floor to ceiling windows. We ate–in and ordered Lamb Shank served with dill basmati rice, salad and fava beans ($12.99) and Ghormeh Sabzi Stew made of freshly chopped herbs, chunks of beef, red kidney beans and omani limes, served with basmati rice ($9.99). We also ordered Tah Chin (a rice pie) of chicken breast, yogurt, eggs mixed with saffron and rice ($11.99). It was too much but we wanted to try everything. It was good but not great; we spent $28 plus tip.

1.8.2 R: Sammy's Hot Wings, 1773 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9, tel. 604-683-3622. For lunch we spent $10 for 1 (good) falafel plate; that price included an exorbitant $2 for a couple of slices of extra pita.

1.8.3 NR: Darchin Restaurant, Fine Persian Cuisine, 1710 Davie St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-633-1710, web: www.darchinrestaurant.com. We spent $35.07 plus tip. We had 2 coupons from the newspaper for 1 glass of wine per person with purchase of $15 or more. Each glass of wine was generous. We were brought pita strips and garlic/yogurt dip which was good. We ordered: Gheimeh bademjan ($12.95) described as lamb stew, eggplant, tomato, yellow peas & dried Persian limes and cinnamon, with basmati rice. It was good but there was very little eggplant in the dish and it was a small portion. The other dish we ordered was Fesen-Joon ($16.50) described as chicken breast stew, walnut, pomegranate paste, and Persian spices. This dish had almost no chicken in it although the sauce was good. Each dish came with their Basmati rice garnished with Persian saffron. The server, Erika, was stress although she coped. For dessert we ordered one Sholeh Zard ($6.95) which was their version of rice pudding. It was more like jello and had too much rose water, too much sugar and too much cinnamon on it. This was a once in a lifetime meal but we had enough leftovers to take home (to be augmented by us).

1.9 West Coast Cuisine

1.9.1 R: Raincity Grill, 1193 Denman St., Vancouver, BC V6G 2N1, tel. 604-685-7337, web: www.raincitygrill.com. We spent $49.28 plus tip and had a delicious and enjoyable meal. We went at 5:30 p.m. to experience the “Early Prix Fixe Menu $30” and “Wine Pairing $14” and shared one meal and one wine pairing, as usual. It was plenty of food and wine for us. We had made a reservation (also we discussed our eating habit of sharing meals) with the manager, Gavin Stevenson, and he greeted us. (He seems to have to make an effort to remember to smile.) Our server (I think his name was Mark) was very professional, nice and knowledgeable. We asked lots of questions and he was obligingly informative. It was a gorgeous evening and we sat by a window with a lovely view of English Bay. For our starter we chose the Fraser Valley Mushroom Soup (described as “braised morels, garlic scape butter”) which was paired with Mission Hill Chardonnay ’07 wine pairing. The soup was fabulous and the morels were exceptional—DM thought it was more of a velouté and ALE agreed. There was no amuse bouche beforehand and the bread was non-descript but we forgave them that.

For our main, we chose the Organic Oceans Wild Salmon (described as “helmers’ potato gnocchi, rainbow chard, braised celery, birch glaze”) and was paired with 8th Generation Pinot Noir ’07. The salmon was perfectly cooked and the birch glaze was innovative and excellent. The gnocchi was good but the chard was too salty. We didn’t like the pinot—it tasted like grape juice. For dessert we chose the Hazelnut & Pears (described as “hazelnut cake, butter powder, poached pears, sabayon, mascarpone mousse”) which was paired with a Quady Black Muscat “Elysium”. The dessert was delicious and it was the first time we had tried butter powder. Mark, our server, explained how it was made and we were intrigued. The muscat was very good too. The early bird special with the wine pairing is a great deal and it was great to experience it.

We are really looking forward to volunteering at Slow Food Cycle Sunday on August 15 (http://www.slowfoodcyclesunday.com/EventInfo.htm) in the Whistler area (Helmers Organic Farm at about km 13 of the cycle tour) because Rain City Grill will be catering the lunch!

1.10 Other (Breakfast, Ice Cream, Ukranian and African Fusion)

1.10.1 NR: Breakfast at the Red Umbrella, 1707 Davie St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-688-7818, It cost $18 plus tip and we had 1 poached egg, juice and coffee and 2 eggs over easy, juice, toast and coffee. The server was nice and the place was fine.

1.10.2 NR: Breakfast at the Sylvia Hotel, 1154 Gilford St. (parking off Pendrell St.) West End, Vancouver, BC V6G 2P6, tel. 604-681-9321, web: www.sylviahotel.com. Cost $17 plus tip. We had one order of pancakes, 2 coffees and one juice.

1.10.3 R: Mum's Gelati and coffee bar, 849 Denman St., Vancouver, BC V6G 2L7, tel. 604-681-1500, e-mail: dbfour@shaw.ca (Roy Long, owner) We spent an expensive $4 for small cup of Under the Tuscan Sun (with a delicious grapefruit taste and not too sweet).

1.10.4 R: Casa Dolce on the waterfront walk in Coal Harbour, Vancouver, BC. The gelati were good. The smallest size is a “kid’s cup” at $3 and it is a good size for each of us.

1.10.5 R: Ukrainian Village Restaurant, 815 Denman St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-687-7740, about $35 plus tip. It’s a cute place and the service was good. We shared everything and had one Solianca ($6.25) described as a delicious soup with pickles, a variety of smoked sausages, ham, olives and served with sour cream. It was good and unusual for us (usually we would have a borsch). For our main we had one Ukrainian Dinner ($19.95) described as two cabbage rolls baked to perfection in the oven with crushed tomatoes and carrots, six (mixed: 2 cheddar cheese, 2 sauerkraut, 2 potato) perogies, Ukrainian sausage, served with vegetables, sour cream and lovely mustard. We had one Ukrainian Obolon beer .5L ($6.75) that was good. We liked the meal and had enough to take home.

1.10.6 R: Simba's, 825 Denman, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L, tel. 604-974-0649, e-mail: info@simbasgrill.com, web: www.simbasgrill.com We spent $25.73 plus tip. The room is air conditioned and is comfortable, having chairs with padded seats. The tables are close but not too. The service was good and the owner, Kurshid Khan from Kenya, was serving too. The food was unusual and tasty. We shared everything and ordered: one Machicha Masala: spinach cooked in tomato curry with kondoo (lamb) for $14.99 and one side order of Ugali (African maize meal or white polenta) for $4.99. It was good for the experience.

2. Heritage District (Area)

2.1 R: Nuba Restaurant, 207 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC Suite B-1, www.nuba.ca. We spent $41.44 plus tip. Our server, Stasia, was efficient and professional. The room was really hot and being below ground was less than optimal. Our first reaction was that it was too trendy to have good food. The food was very good indeed and we enjoyed our meal. We ordered an eggplant with Lebanese ratatouille $7.50 [layers of sautéed eggplant with Lebanese ratatouille and a pomegranate-red wine reduction]. It was excellent. We also ordered one Mjadra Organic green lentils and rice with onions and jalapeno served with avocado and caramelized onions ($6). It was also very good. Another small dish we ordered was lamb hushwie ($8.25) sautéed lamb with onions, peppers, pine nuts and spices over hummus. And it was delicious. We had 2 glasses Chilean Adobe Chardonnay $12.50 ($6.25 each) which we liked too. For dessert we had one frozen yogurt with pomegranate sauce and figs and nuts in honey ($6) that DM, the dessert expert said was only okay.

2.2. R: Urban Fare, Store #7615 Coal Harbour, 305 Bute St., Vancouver, BC V6C 3T6, tel. 604-669-5831 web: www.urbanfare.com. We had two soups for ($8.38) that were good.

3. Downtown Vancouver

3.1 R: H Mart Food Court at Korean Grocery Store, 590 Robson St. (at Seymour), Vancouver BC V6B 2B7. We probably should have tried the Korean but we were more in the mood for an udon soup so we had one Udon soup with veggies at Matoi Sushi at the H Mart Food Court for $5.95 plus 12% GST. It was good.

3.2 R: Doux Crêpes, 1371 Richards St., Vancouver, BC (on Richards between Drake and Pacific, Ground floor of the ‘501’ building), tel. 604-683-8890, web: www.douxcrepes.com. We had a delicious mango smoothie for $5 plus 12% GST.

3.3 R: Thai House Restaurant (Robson St.), 1116 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6E 1B5, tel. 604-683-3383. We spent $7.88 plus tip for the weekday lunch special for $7.50. It was okay and very filling (for 2 people). Included were soup, spring roll, salad plus we chose Kaeng Kiew Waan Gai (boneless chicken with green curry paste, eggplant, bell pepper and coconut milk).

4. Gastown

4.1 NR: Cobre Restaurant, 52 Powell St., Gastown, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E7, tel. 604-669-2396,e-mail: info@cobrerestaurant.com, www.cobrerestaurant.com. We spent $45.81 plus tip. It won Gold for Best of the Americas in the 2010 21st Annual Restaurant Awards by Vancouver Magazine-- “At Cobre (Gold), the pan-Latin menu ‘zings regional ingredients with raucous spice: albacore tuna Ceviche, pulled duck tacos, and salsa d’sablefish all stand out.” There are 2 parts of the restaurant, one seating area near the bar and open kitchen and one seating area in the mezzanine upstairs. We sat near the window to the street (and away from the blowing air conditioner) in the upstairs area. We shared everything as usual. We started with a soup described as Yukon Gold Chilean Chupe ($8) which was very good and on the spicy side. With that we ordered a cornbread azul famoso and sweet chili butter ($5). The cornbread was delicious. For our next dish, we shared a Baja style battered rockfish, jicama slaw y chipotle aioli ($12) which was actually un-distinguished. We had 2 over-priced glasses of Finca Los Mores Malbec (at $8.50 a glass). We felt that the restaurant was poor value for the money.

5. Yaletown

5.1. R: Rodney's Oyster House, 1228 Hamilton St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-609-0080, e-mail: info@rohvan.com, web:http://www.rodneysoysterhouse.com/ , We enjoyed the before 6 p.m. specials and spent $22.58 plus tip . We had 6 low tide oysters (at $1.50 each = $9), 1 order of steamed clams (at $9.50), and 1 side order of mixed vegetables ($3). We didn’t have wine because the per glass price was over our “strike-price”. The service was excellent (so good that we thought the waiters could be part-owners) and the place is fun.

6. Granville Island Area

6.1. NR: Stock Market, Granville Island, BC tel. 604-687-2433 We spent $10.25 for 2 of the small-sized soups (which is a little pricey for us for lunch). The place is lively and fun but the soups were a little bland. The soups we ordered were a small Greek snapper fish soup ($5.24) and a small barley butternut squash soup ($4.52).

6.2. R: Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, 1505 W. 2nd at the entrance to Granville Island, tel. 604-734-4488 and 604-734-0101, www.picachef.com The meal subtotal was $45.50 plus $2.28 GST before the July 1, 2010 change to HST. On our $17.50 for our glasses of wine there was a liquor tax of $1.75 making our total $49.53 plus tip—too expensive for what it is. We shared everything as usual and decided to order one 4-course Market Menu for $28. That allowed us to choose 2 starters. Our server, QuocMinh was attentive and maybe a little bit too sweet (but not unctuous). The professor/maitre wasn’t “our type of people” but also attentive. The room is nice with a view toward Granville Island and some water in front of the windows. We had a nice table where both of us had a view.

We chose the Local BC Spot Prawn Bisque made with fresh cream which was outrageously delicious. Our second starter was the Roasted Vegetable Tian with goat cheese, herb coulis and toasted pine nuts. That was excellent too and visually beautiful. For our main we chose the Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallion with fresh vegetable medley, oven roasted potatoes, red wine-thyme reduction which we asked for rare. It was good but tending toward dry because it was over-cooked. The potatoes and vegetables were very good.
The plate was beautiful for the (overcooked) pork tenderloin at the Pacific Institute

We had a difficult time choosing a glass of wine to have with our main because the wine by the glass was about a $1 more than at other restaurants. We finally chose an $8 Calona Vineyards Chardonnay from Okanagan Valley, BC and $9.50 Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz from South Eastern Australia. They were good but too expensive for what they are. For dessert we chose the Pistachio Olive Oil Cake with lemon-vanilla yogurt and raspberry sorbet. It was unusual and very good.

7. Granville Street and Granville Area

7.1 NR: Paul's Place Omelettery, 2211Granville St., Vancouver, BC V6H 3G1, tel. 604-737-2857. We spent $22.34 plus tip. We’ve been looking forward to trying the omelets because the name of the place is so great (Paul has been replaced by Gino, by the way). At around 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning we didn’t have to wait in line outside. We liked our table by the window and our server, Randy. We ordered one Lumberjack Breakfast: one cheese omelet, 2 pancakes, bacon and fruit ($13.95). We also ordered Maple Syrup ($1.50) and 2 coffees ($4.50). We were expecting a light fluffy omelet and what we got was not. It was a thin layer of scrambled egg splayed onto a griddle, flipped, cheese inserted and rolled. This was by no means up to the standards of Le Mère Poulard in Le Mont Saint-Michel (Grand Rue BP 18, 50170 France, tel (33-2) fax (33-2), e-mail: mere.poulard.mtst.michel@wanadoo.fr, web: http://www.mere-poulard.fr/Default.aspx) where we spent about the same price in 1999 for the most magnificent omelet ever created (look at the video on the website to see the beating of the eggs). The Omelettery was most disappointing for an omelet (without even comparing it to Le Mère Poulard). However, the pancakes were good and so was the bacon, the coffee and the fruit salad. Because of its name, we can’t recommend the place.

7.2 R: Ouisi Bistro, 3014 Granville St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-732-7550. Our waitress, Tanna was very good at her job and we enjoyed her and the meal. We spent $36.12 plus tip. We sat at a table very close to the bar and there were only 2 tables eating dinner at about 7 p.m. on Sunday night. We inquired about the spiciness of the chicken in harbaro crust with coconut and we were brought a plateful to taste. It was very spicy! We shared everything and ordered a Gumbo that came with two sides ($16). For our sides we ordered rice that came with beans and a side of pickled beets. We each had a glass of wine one Sonora Chardonnay and one Sonora Cabernet/Shiraz ($12 for both). For dessert we had the bread pudding ($5.25) which DM pronounced as okay.

8. Cambie Street

8.1. NR: Flamingo House (since 1974), 7510 Cambie St., Vancouver, BC V6P 3H7, tel. 604-325-4511, web: www.flamingorestaurant.com. We spent $90 for 5 people. It is an old-fashioned Cantonese restaurant with uninspired food. The service was okay. We ordered 5 dishes: an oyster dish, a mushroom dish, a noodle dish (particularly bland), a (disappointing) tofu dish and a vegetable dish. For dessert we were brought red bean soup and orange slices. It was fun to be with our friends but the restaurant was a poor choice.

9. Kitsalano

9.1. 9.1 NR: Tomato, 2486 Bayswater (at Broadway), Vancouver, BC V6K 4B3,
Tel. 604-874-6020,www.tomatofreshfoodcafe.com. We ordered one Bouillabaisse ($25) and one ½ carafe of Riesling ($22) and thought the food was good but the wine was way too over-priced. Our server was delightful and we spoke Italian with him. Our meal was $51.55 plus tip which was more than we thought it was worth.

10. Chinatown

10.1. R: Phnom Penh (Exotic Cambodian & Vietnamese Food), 244 East Georgia St., (Chinatown off Main St.), Vancouver, B.C. V6A 1Z7, tel. 604-682-5777. This was very good. We spent $36 plus tip. There was a line and we must have waited 30 minutes, watching all of the dishes pass by. We decided what we wanted while we waited so that the dishes we ordered arrived quickly after we were seated. We ordered Phnom Penh Curry Chicken Hot Pot ($13.50) described as Cambodian style curried chicken with onion and sweet potato, prepared in coconut milk. It was excellent and we had plenty extra to take home.
Phnom Penh Curry Chicken Hot Pot

We also ordered the Sautéed Lotus Stem with Garlic ($14.50) which was unusual but not worth the price. For dessert we ordered the Fresh lotus seeds tapioca ($4.95) which was good too. We had a few meals at home with all of the leftovers.

10.2 NR: Chinatown Night Market, Keiffer St., Burnaby. It was livelier than the Richmond Night Market (on the night we went) but there wasn’t any street food worth trying.

11. Cambie Bridge Area (Mount Pleasant)

11.1. NR: Clubhouse Restaurant, 2255 W. 2nd Ave. (at Alberta, east of Cambie Bridge), Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-879-8998, http://www.clubhouserestaurant.com/, We spent $20.69 plus tip and it was good not great. The signature dish is Seafood Okonomiyaki which we ordered in the small size for $7.95 with yaki soba (an extra) $3.50. We were under-whelmed. The other dish we ordered was very good, however. It was a large appetizer called Tuna Tataki (seared tuna with radish) for $8.25.

11.2. R: Terra Breads Bakery & Cafe, 2380 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-736-1838, e-mail: info@terrabreads.com, web: www.terrabreads.com. We spent $16. This was a perfect lunch (particularly after a 50 km bike ride). We spent $16 and had one focaccia ($3.95)that was warm and delicious (which a wonderful taste of pesto), one very good pea spoot salad with cucumbers, feta, onions and sun flower seeds in a lovely dressing, one rustic peach tart that was as light as a feather, buttery and fine and one coffee. We sat outside and enjoyed ourselves with our Vancouver Bike Club friends. The second time we went for lunch it was not as perfect. We had one sandwich with asiago, vegetables and avocado on herb foccacio that was served warm and was good ($7.50) and one cinnamon bun ($2.50) that was okay.

11.3. R: Solly's Bagelry, 378 W. 7th Ave., Mount Peasant, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1M4, tel. 604-675-9750. We spent $19.65 for breakfast. This is a kind of funky place (that we are delighted to report has a parking garage next door with 6 spaces). The employees are just okay and the food is good. Dimitri liked it; Audre was turned off by what seemed to her to be disorganization. We shared one order of Cheese Blintzes with strawberry sauce and cream cheese ($5.50) that were good and one “The Classic” bagel (we chose toasted poppy seed) with Wild Sockeye Salmon lox, cream cheese onion and capers ($8.25) that came with crunchy Kettle chips and pickle. It was a good bagel and the combination was exactly how we like to eat our bagels. The cost was a bit over the amount we like to spend for breakfast but it fulfilled our craving for a bagel. We also bought a lokshen kugel to take home ($3.64).

12. Kingsway Area (also Mount Pleasant area)

12.1. R: House of Dosas, First South Indian Restaurant, 1391 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V 3E3, tel. 604-875-1283. We spent $30 plus tip and had a wonderful meal with lots of leftovers to take home for another wonderful meal. We ordered one Dosa Gobi Alu (Eggplant and potato) for $8.99 and it was excellent. We ordered one Bhindi (okra) curry for $9.99 that was also excellent. The #71 Salty lassi for $3.75 was good and for dessert we had one #63 Carrot Halwa $3.50 which was okay. Tuesdays are thali special night and we went back for a special vegetarian thali on a Tuesday ($9.99). It was very good too.

12.2. R: Ken's Chinese Restaurant, 1097 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC (between Knight and Fraser), tel. 604-568-0708, web: www.kenschineserestaurant.com. Based upon the article “Canada Wins Chinese Gold” in the February 2010 Condé Nast Traveler that said that “Vancouver is home to the best Chinese food in the world,” we went to Ken's Chinese Restaurant, the winner in “Best Seafood” category. (See: http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/502251). We went for lunch and didn’t have the award-winning Golden Dungeness Crab but we had a very good dish. From the “9 p.m. to Closing” menu, we had the Deep Fried White Minnow with salt and chili ($7.50) that were tiny, crispy and tasty (not too salty or spicy)—we know the tiny fellows as whitebait. We also ordered a Congee with chicken, mushroom and century egg to go ($5.50).

13. Commercial Drive Area

13.1 R: Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant, 2149 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, BC V5N 4B3, tel. 604-216-1060, web: www.haramberestaurant.com/index.html . We spent $28.63 plus tip and the food was tasty and good. The room is nice enough and so was the service. We shared one Misir Wot (red split lentils cooked with onion in berbere and harambe assorted spices) $8.99 and one Yebeg Tebs (lamb cubes pan fried in jalapeno, onion and rosemary served with ayeb (Ethiopian cottage cheese) $11.99. When we asked, we were also given a salad at no extra charge. The Injera (the distinctive bread) was very good in taste and texture. We also had one glass of red wine ($6).

14. Punjabi Market Area

14.1. NR: All India Restaurant and Sweets, 6507 Main St., Vancouver, BC V5X 3H1, tel. 604-327-0891, web: www.allindiasweetsrestaurant.com We spent $29.75 plus tip and ate way too much. We ordered two buffets ($19.90), one lassi ($3.50) and one glass of wine ($4.50). It was a once in a lifetime experience.

15. Burnaby

15.1. R: Based upon the article “Canada Wins Chinese Gold” in the February 2010 Condé Nast Traveler that said that “Vancouver is home to the best Chinese food in the world,” we went to Yan’s Garden (9938 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N3, Tel. 604-421-8823) the winner in two categories: “Best Desserts” and “Best Only in Vancouver.” (See: http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/502251). It was a very long drive to Lougheed Town Center at North Road (the SkyTrain along the Millennium Line could be a better option) to go to Yan’s Garden but we were glad we did. We had 3 very good and unusual dishes. We ordered the “Best Only in Vancouver” dish of Red Chili Pepper Steamed Eel ($16.80), a sautéed assorted seafood with egg white dish ($16.80) which was a variation on the theme of a dish we loved in Hong Kong ($16.80), and the “Best Dessert” of Golden Pumpkin with Honeyed Walnuts ($10.80). The steamed eel was excellent—just the right amount of spiciness with tasty and moist eel, the egg white dish was very good and the golden pumpkin was crispy and delicious. While we waited for the award-winning dessert we were served a complimentary mango pudding. The service was very good and the restaurant was nice—it even had a good view of trees outside. We spent about $50 plus tip for two and had an enormous amount extra to take home.

16. Richmond

16.1. Lunches and Dim Sum

16.1.1. R: Pho 78, 4351 No. 3 Road, Richmond, B.C. V6X 3A7, tel. 604-278-7599 We shared one Pho Dac Biet with Rare Beef Flank, Tendon, Tripe, Beef Ball, Fatty Flank, rice noodles for $6.95 plus tax and tip. For lunch it was delicious and the people were quite nice.

16.1.2. R: Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, Connaught Plaza #123, 8500 Alexandra Rd., Suite 180, Richmond, BC V6X 3L4, tel. 604-270-2827, www.phohoa.com We spent $5.31 plus tip for 2 spring rolls that were very good and plenty of food for us for lunch.

16.1.3. R: Golden Szechuan Restaurant, 3631 No. 3rd Rd., #170, Richmond, BC tel. 604-288-9058. We had spicy dumplings ($5.95) and (free) tea for $6.25 plus tip. The people were nice and it was enough food. They have another location : 1788 West Broadway, Vancouver (Broadway at Burrard), tel. 604-738-3648.

16.1.4. HR: Shun Feng Village Seafood Restaurant, Unit 1425, 4380 No. 3rd Road (Parker Place), Richmond, BC V6X 3V7, tel. 604-304-6088, www.shunfengrestaurant.com. We thought the dim sum at this restaurant was very good. We spent $16.59 plus tip (there was a discount for coming before 11:30 a.m.) and had 4 dishes. We ordered Seafood and Chestnut Dumpling ($4.50) which was a see-through dumpling stuffed with seafood and chestnut and really good. We also ordered Steamed rice rolls with three kinds of mushrooms ($4.50) that were excellent, maybe the best. And we ordered the traditional Rice rolls wrapping Chinese doughnut ($4.50) and Shredded radish pastries baked and served hot ($3.75). This was ALE’s favorite; the pastry was flakey and the ingredients very tasty.

16.1.5. HR: Shanghai River, 7831 Westminster Hwy., Suite 110, Richmond, BC V6X 4J4, tel. 604-233-8885 $26.84 with tip and thought it was great. We made a reservation and were seated immediately. We ordered one Chinese donut ($3.50) with spicy soy milk ($2.50), one dumpling with goose liver and sticky rice ($4.95) which was excellent and unusual. We made a mistake and ordered the homemade sesame cake stuffed with pork $6.80 which had no vegetables in it—vegetables are only in the beef dumpling). Consequently it was bland and uninteresting. We also ordered the red bean paste pie ($4.95). We were happy even though the cost of the meal was $10 more than at Shun Feng Village.

16.1.6. HR: Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant, 3711 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, BC V6X 2B8, tel. 604-232-0816. We spent $16 and it was excellent. We had 3 items: a bean curd roll filled with shrimp, a shrimp ball and a dessert. All were tasty and had fillings with many different items in them.

16.1.7. HR: Northern Dynasty, 8391 Alexandra Rd., Suite 1180, Richmond, BC V6X 3W5, tel. 604-303-1192, web: www.tropikacanadagrouup.com. We spent $24.36 plus tip. We had a wonderful dim sum meal at this (small-ish) restaurant. For those like us who are Mandarin-challenged, the menu was excellent. It had clear and realistic photos and the descriptions of the food were accurate. We ordered 5 dishes—all of which were delicious and a little unique in our experience. The (# 2) wanton in spicy sauce ($4.75) was 8 tasty wantons in a spicy (but not too spicy) juice. The (two) deep fried minced beef and green onion puffs (# 5--$4.50) were ALE’s favorite. The pastry was flakey and the inside was yummy. The (3) pan-fried shredded beef buns (#4--$4.75) were very good and looked exactly like the photo. The (#6) minced pork sesame pastry ($4.75) was crunchy and very good. For dessert we had (#25) the sticky rice stuffed with sweet Chinese donut ($3). It was great and we’ve never had anything quite like it. This restaurant is 6 years old and we recommend it.

16.2 Dinners

16.2.1 NR: Richmond Night Market, Vulcan Way, Richmond. We went on the first night the market was open and there were very few vendors. We had octopus balls that were good but it wasn’t enough for dinner and it wasn’t fun.

16.2.2 A: Beijing Noodle House, 6451 Buswell St. (at Cook) Richmond, BC, tel. 604-2323 We spent $20 and the food wasn’t good. We had one (okay) hot and sour seafood soup ($7.50) and one house specialty of Beijing style sautéed shredded pork in bean sauce with pancakes ($10.95). It was tasteless and more expensive than the moo shu pork dish on the menu but the same idea.

16.2.3 HR: Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant, 3711 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, BC V6X 2B8, tel. 604-232-0816. We had another delicious meal at this restaurant—this time dinner for $44. We ordered stir fried fresh scallops, eggplant and tofu with spicy sauce ($18.80) that was excellent. We also ordered a stir-fried assorted mushroom dish with cloud ear fungus and vegetables in abalone sauce trimmed with egg tofu ($16.80) that was delicious. For dessert, the restaurant brought us a complimentary red bean soup. All in all a very tasty and enjoyable meal.

16.2.4 A: Shi Art Chinese Cuisine, Suite 1302 Richmond Centre, 6551 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, BC V6Y 2B6, tel. 604-279-8998, e-mail: shiart@telus.net. We spent $37.30 plus tip and thought it was terrible. We wanted to go to Kirin on Westminster Highway and No. 3 Road but it was full. The hostess at Kirin recommended Shi Art. The servers didn’t smile and weren’t friendly. The food was tasteless and there was nothing interesting about it. It’s the kind of Cantonese food that gives Cantonese food a bad reputation. They brought tea and peanuts. We ordered 3 dishes: assorted seafood and tofu in casserole ($16.80) and bamboo pith with 3 kinds of vegetables (broccoli, snap peas and a guy lan) We generally love bamboo pith and this was good but the sauce and broccoli were so uninspired as to ruin the dish. We also ordered white rice. The July 1, 2010 change to HST caused the tax to be 12% so our $33.60 meal turned into $37.30—too expensive.

16.2.5 R: Shanghai Wonderful Restaurant, 8380 Landowne Rd., Richmond, BC V6X 3M6, tel. 604-278-8829. We spent $34 plus tip and we liked it. It’s a small restaurant in a strip mall—unpretentious and good. Some big round tables have table clothes whereas booths and small tables don’t. There’s an open kitchen area where ladies are making Shanghai dumplings—a very popular item. We ordered what looked good on a neighboring table—and it was good! We ordered Chicken with three kinds of sauce ($12.95). It was served in a black cast iron cooking pot with lettuce on the bottom to keep it from burning. The sauce was yummy. With that dish we ordered Sweet and Sour Vegetables ($6.50) which was cold julienned vegetables in a very sweet, sour and gingery dressing. It was unusual, very good and (after too much) overpowering. For dessert we had Mini balls in Rice wine sauce ($6.50) a huge and delicious soup. We ordered way too much and had lots to take home.

16.2.6 R: No. 1 Shanghai Cuisine, 120-4200 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, BC, tel. 604-279-1728. The bill for 5 people was about $100 and we had 7 dishes, all of them good (and all about $13). The room was packed and the service was a bit spotty. After asking, we were served peanuts with a bit of sprinkled seaweed which were good. The dishes we ordered were: Soup with corn, egg white and pumpkin that DM loved, a Sautéed shrimp dish and the shrimp were sweet and tasty, a Green bean or long bean dish with a very good sauce that included tiny, dried shrimp, a noodle in soup dish that was okay, a very unusual “noodle-like” bean curd dish with edammae that was delicious, deep fried fish in a seaweed batter and a good Kung pau chicken.

16.2.7 R: Bushuair (Hunan) Restuarant, 4600 No. 3 Road, Suite 121 Empire Centre, Richmond, BC V6X 2C2, tel. 604-285-3668. We spent $64.68 plus tip. Our Chinese friend found this restaurant to introduce us to food from Hunan Province. She knew of the restaurant by another name, Aroma Garden, but that restaurant doesn’t exist anymore. When we arrived at about 6 p.m. it wasn’t busy. By the time we left it was very busy and the service was bad. In fact, the owner asked us to leave (in a nice way) because people were waiting. Even when we arrived, the service wasn’t good. From a menu (labeled Gordon Restaurant) our Chinese friend, speaking Mandarin, ordered the appetizer plate ($5.95) which came with peanuts, pickled lotus root and chicken feet. That plate was okay. We then ordered four more dishes all of which were very good and medium spicy as we had requested. The mushroom dish was excellent ($16.95), the noodle-like tofu dish ($7.95) was unusual and very good (but a little too oily for our taste), the pork dish ($11.95) was very, very good. We also ordered rice ($5) that came in a big container. We were served a cold red bean soup for dessert and lots of tea. Maybe when this restaurant “gets its act together,” it will be better.

16.2.8 HR: Northern Dynasty, 8391 Alexandra Rd., Suite 1180, Richmond, BC V6X 3W5, tel. 604-303-1192, web: www.tropikacanadagrouup.com. We had a wonderful dinner for 5 people and spent $105 plus tip. We had a steamed tilapia that was delicious, a scallop and eggplant hotpot that was very, very good, a pea spout shoot vegetable dish that we liked, a spicy tofu dish and, for dessert a soup of egg, rice balls and osamanthus. All yummy and the service was very good too. When we got there at 6 p.m., it was empty. By the time we left after 8 p.m., every table was taken.

17. Surrey and Delta Areas

17.1 HR: Desi Dosa Madras Restaurant, 8859 120th Street (Scott Rd.), Delta, BC V4C 6R6, Tel. 604-591-1591, e-mail: manager@desidosamadras.ca and web: www.desidosamadras.ca. We spent $21.78 plus tip and had a delicious meal. The restaurant/lounge had been recommended to us by the name of Glassi or Glassy but that restaurant does not exist anymore. Now Desi has an empire that includes a sweet shop, a lounge/bar/restaurant and the dosa Madras restaurant (which we chose). We had the lamb thali of the style of the town of Chettinad in the south of India that included (for $13.95) a pickle, 2 curries (one of which was delicious and the other of which was very good), 1 okra dish that was crispy and fabulous, sambar, a curd, a papad, steamed rice, a chappathi, a Rasam soup (a South Indian soup made of tamarind, pepper, cumin, cilantro and garlic) and a dessert (a Payasam made with vermicelli and tapioca pearl cooked with sweetened milk). We also ordered an appetizer of Dahi Vada ($5.50) which was yummy. It was 2 deep fried lentil donuts soaked in yogurt and garnished with cilantro and some crispy noodles. This was a wonderful meal, served nicely in a pleasant atmosphere (we asked that the music to the Bollywood video be turned down).

18. Shellfish

18.1 Spot Prawn

18.1.1 HR: Organic Ocean, 1505 W. 1st St., tel. 604-862-7192, web: organicocean.com At the False Creek Public Fish Sales Dock we bought 4 spot prawns for $5. We asked if we could eat them raw and were told we could. They were actually alive and hopping around. We ate them “sashimi style” and they were excellent. Four were plenty for our lunch.
Audre meets her first spot prawn

18.1.2 HR: Steveston Pier. We bought 6 spot prawn for $6 and yam fries ($3.95) and had a great time eating sashimi spot prawns and fries at the pier.

18.2 Sea Urchins

18.2.1 HR: Steveston Pier. A boat comes in on Fridays at around 5 p.m. and stays for the weekend selling large fresh sea urchins (whole)—3 for $10. We tasted them and they were delicious. We bought 3 and cleaned them ourselves at home. Some of the roe was excellent, some not so great but we were glad that we had some. Usually we think that if the sea urchins are too large the roe won’t be so good. This experience proved us wrong. We were told to call the office on Friday afternoon to confirm that the boat will be arriving. The office is: Seaworthy Fishing Co, 12211 1st. Ave., Richmond, BC V7E 3M3, tel. 604-241-9939, web: www.puha.org/recipes.cfm

18.3 Lobsters

18.3.1 R: Real Canadian Superstore, 4651 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, tel. 604-233-2418. We have bought and loved the small (1 pound) lobsters. The price has been reasonable and varied from $7.99 a pound to $9.99.

19. Other

19.1. NR: Ukrainian Orthodox Church Monthly Dinner, 154 E. 10th Ave., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-876-4747. We spent $20. There was already a line outside at 5 p.m. for both eat-in and takeaway. Parking was difficult but not impossible. We decided to get the Super Dinner for $15 (after looking at the different plates). This included: 10 pyrohy, 3 stuffed cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, Ukrainian sausage and coffee or tea. Carrot cake for dessert was $1 and borsch was $3.50. The best item was the borsch, the worst was the Ukrainian sausage which had the taste and texture of a regular hot dog. The pyrohy, fortunately were steamed, not deep-fried. The stuffing of the pyrohy was mashed potato-like stuff (no meat) and the stuffing of the cabbage was rice (again no meat). The sauerkraut was okay. We were seated at a big round table where people came, ate and left without speaking to us or anyone else. It was a once in a lifetime event for us.

20. Food Stores

20.1. West End

20.1.1. R: Capers Whole Foods, 1675 Robson St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1C8, tel. 604-687-5288. We don’t value organic food so the prices for that seem astronomical. They sell Terra Bread which we love so we go there for that. There a few sweets that DM likes and we buy those there too. When they have cooking demonstrations they are fun (and very tasty!)

20.2. Yaletown Area

20.2.1. Choices, 1201 Richards St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-633-2392. DM really likes this market.

20.3 Punjabi Market Area

20.3.1. R: Punjab Food Center, 6635 Main St., Vancouver, BC, tel. 604-322-5502. ALE found a package of dried curry leaves ($2.99) and other items that are difficult to find elsewhere.

20.4. Granville Area

20.4.1. NR: Meinhardt, 3002 Granville St., Vancouver, BC V6H 3J8, tel. 604-732-4405. It is very expensive but we found our favorite yogurt—Artemis Greek God—at $2.99, more than $1 less than at Capers on Robson St. in the West End.

20.5. Greek Area on West Broadway

20.5.1. HR: Minerva's Mediterranean Deli, 3207 W. Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2H5, tel. 604-733-3954. Although it’s a little on the expensive side, we like the food. We’ve taken out for lunch and dinner and have been happy each time with the Greek food and the Greek speaking women behind the counter.DM, the Greek foodie, pronounced the spanakopita and the pasticcio to be very good.

20.6. Richmond and other areas

20.6.1. R: Real Canadian Superstore, 4651 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, tel. 604-233-2418. This is there store where we do most of our shopping. We love the bin items (since we’re not in Vancouver for very long we can buy only what we need). The President’s Choice Roasted Garlic dip is very good as are the other dips.

20.6.2. R: Yaohan and the T & T Supermarket, Osaka Store, in the shopping center at 3700 No. 3 Rd., Richmond, BC U6X 3X2 (Tel. of the supermarket: 604-276-8808). ALE enjoyed shopping at the supermarket. She found all of the Asian provisions she needed easily and in record time. We also bought “take away” from the prepared food counter and it was very good. The Food Court at Yaohan looked good although we didn’t get to try it.


21.1. HR: Surrey Farms, 5180 152nd St., Surrey, BC, tel. 604-574-1390, e-mail: info@surreyfarms.ca, web: www.surreyfarms.ca. It was fairly easy to get to and we had a great time picking strawberries and raspberries. The farm market was also good. We spent $1 for strawberries and raspberries and ate an enormous amount while picking.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing .The places you shared and the food you suggested are really awesome. I'll definitely visit all these next time when I visit Canada. Last time I don't have much time to travel. So, I just chilled at few places where my friends took me and enjoyed the South Indian food at a place called Mumbai Local restaurant which is located in Vancouver, Canada . Being a local Indian, I love the food here.