Patsara Thai Restaurant (Re-visit)

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This post covers several visits to Patsara Thai Restaurant, which is located at Seymour and Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.

Back in mid-May, I was there for lunch and ordered their Moo Karitem Kai Dao off their lunch menu. This dish was their stir fried pork meal with garlic and served with fried egg and rice.

It also came with a starter of a small salad and fried dumplings.

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I just wanted to try this dish, but really, I wasn’t a big fan of it. The servers were friendly, though. They had smiles on their faces (which, for some reason, you can’t even take for granted these days anymore at so many other establishments) and refilled my glass with water every chance they got.

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On another visit, I had a different meal off their lunch menu. This time, it was the Panang, which was red curry in coconut milk with the meat of your choice (among chicken, pork, and beef). It also came with rice.

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Once again, the dish came with a small salad and fried dumplings.

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As for the meat that I chose for the Panang, I picked beef.

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I definitely liked this dish better than the stir fried pork. In fact, I would say I loved the Panang.

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I would say the one thing that’s been consistent in all of my visits has been the service. People seem to be cheerful and friendly at Patsara, unlike the customer service folks at certain London Drugs stores or Starbucks. What can I say? It is what it is.

Finally, one more visit some time later… This time, I had the Red Duck Curry, which didn’t come with rice (and you had to order it separately). This one was AWESOME!

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Since these three visits, I’d been back but I will post about those other meals next time! But Patsara is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the downtown Vancouver area. The service has been great and the red duck curry and panang have definitely been winners!

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Pepper Lunch (Re-Visit)

This is a re-visit to Pepper Lunch in Richmond, where I stopped by one evening for dinner.

I had one of the items on their dinner special, which was Prawns and Sliced Angus Steak (C$18.95) and came with rice, Miso soup, a pop, and Mochi ice cream.

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The meal also came with two different sauces, which gave everything a very tasty flavour. Those sauces gave a kind of sweet flavour.

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At Pepper Lunch, you order at the front and pay first, before being assigned a table and then the food brought to you. And on this visit, I was in such a hurry that as soon as I finished all the prawns, steak, veggies, and rice, I grabbed my jacket and left.

The next morning, when I was marking a student’s essay, I saw the words “ice cream”…. and I suddenly remembered, right then, that I had forgotten my Mochi the night before!! I had ordered the mango flavour at the counter, and I had completely forgotten about it, taking off after finishing the rice. Oh man!

Pho Thai Hoa Restaurant

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Pho Thai Hoa Restaurant, a Vietnamese restaurant located on Kingsway between Knight Street and Victoria Drive, was where I had lunch one Sunday afternoon.

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“Service” is not a concept that Pho Thai Hoa comprehends. When I entered, I announced to one of the two ladies sitting at the table by the front counter that I was eating in. The two ladies were preparing some vegetables at their table, while a younger man was assisting another customer at the front counter.

One of the ladies told me to sit anywhere. I sat at a table. And I was ignored – for a few minutes – until the young man was done with his customer. He grabbed a menu from a small pile at a central table and gave it to me. (You can see the central table in the photo above, the one with a menu or two on there.)

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The good thing was the TV was already on an NFL game on CBS, something that you can’t even take for granted at a Western establishment. (Are you taking notes, Pizza Hut?) The sound was on, so for a while I could hear the announcers broadcast the game. (That changed later when more diners came in and talked loudly to block the broadcast out.)

Anyway, as for the food, the pictures on the menu sometimes can be confusing. The Grilled Marinated Beef skewer, for example, was C$3.00 for one stick, not C$3.00 for three sticks. That makes sense, but the picture on the menu made it confusing, showing three sticks and the price of three dollars.

Anyway, I ordered just the one stick.

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I also had the Com bo luc lac, which was their shaking beef with garlic sauce on rice (C$18.00).

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And here’s another example of what I meant by the confusing menu. I didn’t see anywhere on there that soup came with the rice. So, I was quite surprised when the young man brought soup with the meal. I didn’t know if this was part of the rice or if it was a complimentary item. No idea.

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Overall, the best thing about this place? For me, the sports on their TV was the best thing. I’m not being sarcastic. There was no service to speak of. The beef on rice dish was pricey. Several bites of the beef on the rice were chewy. There was no wifi. Need I go on?

And, also, they didn’t take credit cards; it was cash and debit only. And oh, finally, when I picked up one of their business cards at the front when I was paying, I saw they had two locations but one of them was crossed out (the way some prices were crossed out on the menu).

Would I recommend Pho Thai Hoa? No. There are other restaurants and food places to check out on Kingsway. So, for me, this is likely a one-and-done establishment.

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Where: Pho Thai Hoa Restaurant, 1625 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, Canada  V5N 2S2
Website: skipthedishes.com

Teppan Kitchen, Part 2 (Harbour Centre)

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Okay, let me give a second review on Teppan Kitchen in the Harbour Centre food court. In the original review, I said nothing about the food but posted several photos (as well as my disgust with a couple of employees there).

Now, here are a couple of things regarding the food there.

First up, their Curry Brisket Rice (C$9.95), which featured delicious curry… but chewy beef.

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The curry was so good that I kept drinking it even after all the meat and rice were gone. The problem was that the beef was hard – not what I would want. I prefer tender beef, and this one here was very chewy.

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Also, at the counter there were a couple of sauces you could have for self-serve. I took some of the so-called spicy sauce (the sauce in the plastic container in the photo below).

This sauce, unfortunately, wasn’t spicy at all! It merely added some different flavour to the meat, but it was definitely not spicy.

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Next up, the Hainanese Chicken (C$9.95), which I had the day before having the curry brisket rice.

During that particular visit for the chicken, the cashier told me the dish came with Miso soup and a drink, which surprised me. (The next day when I had the curry brisket, I wasn’t offered any such deal.)

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I always enjoy a dish of Hainanese chicken rice – I love the taste of it, and I had nothing to complain about the quality of the Hainanese chicken at Teppan Kitchen. (Just the attitudes of certain staff members.)

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IMG_5586[1].JPGUpdate: I didn’t know it at the time, but Teppan has a “daily special,” where customers receive a free drink that comes with the featured menu item for that day. That’s why I got a free drink that one time.

Teppan Kitchen (Harbour Centre)

I’m going to start by saying that I no longer like the Teppan Kitchen at the SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver because of the service. In short, it’s horrible.

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Let me start by saying that the young Asian cashier there often looked like she was bored of her job – like she didn’t want to be there. Even when I was right in front of her, she was looking in space like she didn’t care that a customer was ready to order. That kind of attitude and “service” is simply horrendous. Let’s call a spade a spade and call her what she is – rude.

There was another one – a young male cashier who was also rude – but just once. The female was always rude. Anyway, I was returning the hot plate dish and tray, and I wasn’t sure where to put it. The male cashier rudely shouted, “Over there!” without a thank-you. Yeah, I realize English wasn’t his first language, but there was no need to be rude. These are the types of people that drive customers away.

Anyway, I’ve made a few visits to this place at Harbour Centre – but unfortunately, that will stop as I am no longer interested in giving my money to places that do not respect me. The male cashier being rude can be called a one-off, but the female cashier should simply just go find a new job if she’s so miserable working there. It ruins the experience for all customers.

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Now, the Bubble Waffle Cafe, located at the other end of the Harbour Centre food court, has been completely different. The cashiers there have been polite every time, and I’ll post about them next time.

As far as I’m concerned, Teppan Kitchen, thanks in particular to that one unprofessional and rude cashier, isn’t worth my time or money.