July’06 Reviews

Arms Reach Bistro (x2). Bridges. Harvest Village. Shota Sushi. Singapore Restaurant. Cardero’s.

This month is a bit of a cop-out, regretfully, because I’m just so tired and overstretched. Some people might notice that a restaurant or two failed to make it for various reasons while it was a perfectly decent dining experience. Next month I will be more diligent.

Arms Reach Bistro, July 1’06
We strolled along Gallant Ave. looking for a place to eat and passed the pizza and chicken shacks. Arms Reach was by far more civilized and that clinched the decision.
J- ordered the stinky burger ($13?) made with gorgonzola while I ordered the tomato/boccacini salad ($7.50) and a seafood chowder. The burge was very standard fare but my two dishes were each surprises in themselves. The salad consisted of four slices of tomato topped with four slices of boccocini then garnished with parsley and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was totally tasty but so frugal a serving. I must not have read the chowder description well because it was red. Well, I was expecting the tomato base but I had not expected difficulty finding the seafood bits (small pieces of clam, fortunately it was not priced more than non-seafood soups). But it’s smokey and spicy flavour of the soup was amazing – a bit of a surprised but so palatable.
We finished off with some martinis – one Soho (the usual lichee martini mix) and one Guiness martini, new to me. A Guiness martini is made with espresso, brandy, and Baileys shaken to give a frothy head. It doesn’t taste the least like beer but instead like iced coffee… with a frothy head. Delightful indeed.

We were back a week later. This time J- got chicken penne while I ordered the b.l.t.a.c. For $1.50 extra, I got side Caesar salad instead of fries. Mine consisted of the usual bacon, lettuce, and tomato. In addition, it had avocado and cheddar cheese and served on fresh foccacia bread.
107C-4390 Gallant Avenue (Deep Cove), North Vancouver, B.C.

Bridges Restaurant, July 4’06
Bridges is that restaurant on Granville Island with the colourful signage and where we went after watching a play at the Granville Island Stage.
We ordered a vegetarian pizza ($14) with parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes. The crust was thin and herbed and it was fun to eat. For the vegetable content, we ordered a spinach salad ($8?) where the creamy dressing was a little “funky” (fishy). It was not altogether delightful.
But then, are you really at Bridges for the food or to be able to sit on the edge of the water and have a fantastic view of downtown Vancouver??

Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C.

Harvest Village, July 7’06
J- was impressed that I would know of the little diner, Harvest Village, amongst all that West Broadway has to offer. You see, this little spot was once pointed out to me as one that a mutual friends favours. Mutual friend being from Shanghai, I remembered this little place.
Walking up to the store, I had a sinking feeling looking at the champagne-coloured jacquard drapes. It was far better inside in that the bamboo and straw theme was very clean and airy.
At the back of the restaurant, a steam table of westernized Chinese dishes were hot and ready for the ladling. They have a lunch special consisting of rice, three items, and a soup for something like $6.95.
In order to have fresh food, we ordered off the menu – a chicken and vegetables chow mein ($7.95) and green onion pancake ($2.00). I was a little leary of “chow mein” or the nature of the vegetables. The fear was assuaged upon the (slightly) delayed arrival of the dish and pleasantly consisted of broccoli, green bok choy, and shredded cabbage – none of that onion or peppers junk. The chicken was very tender (dark meat) but a little tenderized/starchy. The green onion pancake was flakey and a little oily, very good!

1443 Broadway West (@ Granville), Vancouver, B.C.

Shota Sushi & Grill, July 9’06
Full review at Vancouver Metroblogging.
5688 Yew Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Singapore Restaurant, July 12’06
No sooner did we sit down in a booth did I ask F. if it was just me or if the place felt a little cruddy. Granted it was an uncomfortably rainy day in Vancouver but for diner-type places, this restaurant was a step below what I accept. It’s on part with the discomfort I feel in the Chinatown Hon’s, like where you think that anything that makes contact with the floor will stick to it.
I ordered first the “soya chicken, ramen” but was informed it was not available. So I ordered the “assam chicken, ramen” (4.50) while F. ordered the curry beef set meal (5.99).
His set meal came with a spring roll (cabbage, carrot, and vermicelli) and a light broth heavy on MSG. His curry had some heat and came in one bowl next to one scoop of rice. My assam chicken arrived with four bone-laden pieces in broth with ramen (not chewy) and loaded with bean sprouts. It wasn’t great.
The dessert that arrived for F.’s meal was tapioca and yams in sweet broth. It wasn’t very good but I had not eaten that in a while.
But can one complain too much when the tab was $11.45? Not too much….

?? Broadway West (between Ash and Cambie), Vancouver, B.C.

Carderos Restaurant and Marine Pub, July 16’06
Immediately, this place reminded me of the Waterfront Warehouse in Halifax with a variety of seating options from plushy booths to solid heavy wood tables and chairs in the center. We were seated at the latter. We also arrived at 7 p.m. on a sunny day so the place was bustling with tourists and/or families with children.
While I ordered the cedar-planked salmon (was drooling over the thought since seeing it on the online menu), J- ordered the seared Ahi tuna. There’s been a time lapse (15 days) since the night but I remember that I liked the tuna a lot and was disappointed on two counts for the salmon – (1) it did not arrive on the cedar plank and (2) it did not have the cedar scent infused that would set me so ravenous like it did at White Point Beach (Nova Scotia).

1583 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver, B.C.

On this day..