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Everything posted by Shellback

  1. I think Chill Winston in Gastown is a great casual place. It's a restaurant with a loungy feel - excellent food and beer/wine selection and very moderately priced.
  2. I usually stop by Rangoli before a show at the Stanley - it's reasonable, great food and really close to the theatre. Bin is good too - but be there early!
  3. According to my husband who is in the industry, local Sea Urchin season just started last week. They processed their first batch and most of it went to Japan. The season starts in October and ends around April or when the quota runs out.
  4. Trees Organic Coffee Shop on 450 Granville sells a variety of cheesecakes: banana-white chocolate, New York, chocolate, raspberry, etc. They sell cheesecake by the slice, whole round cheesecakes that serves 12, or cheesecake slabs that serves 24. This is their website: http://www.treescoffee.com/ They have a sign outside the shop "Best Cheesecake in Vancouver". I'm not a big dessert fan, but I enjoyed the cheesecake there.
  5. Yes. I heard that he's moving further west along Broadway to a new building across from Toys R Us this fall.
  6. Very difficult indeed. For me, definitely Iron Chef #1 wins on presentation. However, as a food combination, I find the first tasting menu sounds a little too rich for my taste: stilton biscuit and gorgonzola polenta. The second menu reflects a sense of late summer - starting gently with the sweet corn soup w/peach frois gois, then building to the pulled pork sandwich with a peachy twist and a ending with a refreshing deconstructed bellini. Iron Chef #1 - presentation 9, Originality 7, Concept 7 = 23 Iron Chef #2 - presentation 7, Originality 8, Concept 9 = 24
  7. I think it is kind of irresponsible to wonder if a piece of paper seen from a distance is a health board notice. It may simply be a notice stating that it's their annual vacation. This is how rumours start. ← Actually, the same owners used to have a beef noodle shop around 39th and Main. I used to go to this location because the service at the Marpole location is almost non-existent. One day, it was closed and had a piece of paper on the door saying that they are on vacation. I looked through the window and saw that the tables and chairs were still there. However, it stayed dark for over 2 weeks. Thereafter, I went to their 24 hour Beef Noodle in Marpole and inquired about the 39th location. They told me that the 39th location is close for good. I wonder.....
  8. I will second Seafood City. My husband is in the seafood business and Seafood City is one of his clients. Whenever he brings products to Seafood City, Mrs. Hamatake (Brian's mother) checks everything thoroughly. She will return anything that is not up to standards and demand the very best. The pricing may be higher, but when it comes to freshness and quality - it may be worth the extra charge.
  9. During the run of Varekai (Cirque du Soleil) until July 23, 2006, Provence Marinaside is offering a pre-show 3 course Menu Rapide for $33 per person: mixed green salad or one of Marinaside’s appetisers; a main: Bouillabaisse, prawns provencal, beef tenderloin, grilled wild salmon or roast halibut; and for dessert: lemon tarte, chocolate cheesecake or sorbet.
  10. A friend noticed that the Distillery on 4th Avenue has a new name "Room 18" written on their awning (although "Distillery" is still written on the window). I wonder if this is a City required name change (e.g. Moonshine), or a new owner. Does anyone know?
  11. hi Ling, I think I would go with Rangoli. The food is always excellent. If on a sunny day, having a table in the patio facing W. 11th is better than sitting along busy W. Broadway breathing car fumes. Also, on a side note, a colleague recently sent some hotel guests (an Indian family) to Maurya and they came back with some pretty harsh feedback: "the food was not of a calibre sufficient to feed a dog!" I haven't been to Maurya recently, so cannot confirm this remark. But if you do go, let me know if this is true.
  12. How about Performance Works on Granville Island just across from the Hotel. We have done some fundraising, auction, food tasting and performances there. It's a multi-functional space and they have audio equipment, small kitchen, various types of stage set-ups.
  13. Chiyoda is no longer in operation. Sakae just lost three of its chefs together with the restaurant manager at the end of April, so I don't know if it is a good time now to bring in a group of 50. For traditional style Japanese cuisine, Kamei Royale can easily handle 50 people since they are used to catering to large Japanese tour groups.
  14. I was at the movie too last night and bought the DVD set as well. Too bad it wasn't well publicized, there were so many empty seats. $130 is a great price for 5 DVDs, 1 CD music soundtrack and autographed too. But they take only CASH.
  15. Around 4th Avenue, I would suggest Bistro Pastis. Around Bon Ton (Broadway), Feenie's would be a good choice.
  16. The last time I had ostrich was many years ago at Villa del Lupo; but I think it is no longer on the menu. As I recall, Don Francesco has a Wild Game menu and Ostrich is on it among other meats such as Bison, wild boar, reindeer, etc.
  17. Adding to your many suggestions, La Terrazza in Yaletown has a beautiful private room with floor to ceiling wine displays and can probably accommodate 20 or so people comfortably. The restaurant is spacious and not too crowded - good for old folks.
  18. This may not be right on Granville Island... but on 2nd Avenue, beneath the Waterfall building - Sawa Tea Shop (1538 West 2nd) serves a healthy organic Japanese meal. The menu is limited, just daily specials of 3 or 4 different lunch sets, eg. Japanese Onigiri (rice balls) with salad and miso soup, Ginger Pork or sukiyaki beef with rice/soup, etc. A break from the hustle bustle of the market, you can enjoy a quiet Zen moment in Sawa's tearoom sipping tea and appreciate the art exhibits on the walls.
  19. Having worked in a 5 diamond property for the past 17 years as a Concierge, I must admit that I have sent guests to the so-called “tourist traps”, eg. restaurant in Stanley Park, restaurant on top of Grouse Mountain, revolving restaurant close to the hotel, the restaurant where Bill Clinton dined, etc. etc. But you would be amazed at how many people would come back and tell me what a great restaurant that was and how much they enjoyed their meal. I have learned to accept the fact that some people just want to be TOURISTS. Upon the recommendation of their friends back home, the taxi driver, the sales clerk in the souvenir store or the tour book in the guest rooms, they have their hearts set on dining at these establishments. Once, I tried to dissuade a guest from going to the revolving restaurant to no avail and he next day he came back and told me what a wonderful restaurant it was and that I should stop saying negative things about it. I believe a good recommendation is to be able to match the type of restaurant with the type of guest. When guests ask me for dining recommendation, I would look up their profile in the computer, see how much they are paying for their room, where they are from, etc. This would give me a general idea of the type of guest. Then, I would ask where they have dined in the city and what were their impressions. This would help me to get a sense of their taste. Then I would ask them as to the type of cuisine, preference for a quiet evening or a party mood, budget, if they mind taking a taxi, any special cravings, etc. Most often, I am able to pinpoint a restaurant that would suit them well. We often get asked “What is the BEST restaurant in town?”, “What is YOUR favourite restaurant?”, “Where should I eat tonight?”. These kinds of questions would only get you SAFE answers, i.e. so-called tourist traps. So, give your concierge more information and he/she will be able to assist you more effectively.
  20. Hey LB, my husband and I with another couple spent Valentine's Day at Tojo's as well! Our reservation was for 5:30 and we were sitting in the booth right by the front entrance. Even though they were so busy, they still tried to fit in some walk-ins. But I did see a couple of annoyed looking people when they arrived and their table was not ready. We had the $110 per person Omakase dinner. We started with the Red (ahi) & White (albacore) Tuna ball in green onion ponzu sauce. It was an interesting concept, but the ball was too big (size of a tennis ball), the flavour soon became a little monotonous. The second course was the organic shiitake mushroom stuffed with white fish paste, lightly deep fried and served with bonito flavoured sauce. Yummy! The third course was the excellent tiger prawn dish with the sweet wasabi sauce. The fourth course was the Suntan Tuna - tuna tataki in light tempura batter and served with a small dollop of plum sauce in ponzu. Quite good, but somehow I was hoping for something more interesting/adventurous than "tuna". The fifth course was the smoked sable fish in matsutake broth. It was heavenly! Our sushi selection consisted of Live ama-ebi, Tuna (again) Belly, spicy Tuna (again) roll, scallops and our handroll was spicy geoduck. We also had the strawberry mouse - it was light and provided a good finish. The dinner came to $300 per couple (we also had Japanese beer). I thought the food was very good, but I am not sure if the meal was really worth $300.
  21. I think Sheeben behind Irish Heather fits most of the requirements. But I am not sure about "free" rental fee for the private space - there may be a minimum charge.
  22. Following Quince, another ready-to-prepare food store is opening up next month in the neighbourhood (#102 - 1669 West 3rd Ave, Vancouver). They have a website: www.dinnerworks.com (still under construction).
  23. Yes, this is a great price! The regular price for the Opera Buffet and the Sunday Brunch Buffet is $42 per person. (Disclosure: I work at the Pan and this price is better than staff rate!). While you are there, don't forget to fill out a form for the draw to Win a $5,000 luxury weekend in the Royal Suite: 1 night accommodation for 2 in the Royal Suite Valet parking for 1 vehicle Champagne in the Suite upon arrival Spa Utopia & Salon gift certificate at the Pan Pacific ($ 100 value) Dinner for 2 in The Five Sails Restaurant ($ 200 value) Pan Pacific Fitness Club entry Breakfast for 2 in the privacy of the Royal Suite or reservations for 2 in the Cafe Pacifica at the Sunday Market Brunch ( $ 100 value).
  24. I believe Tourism Whistler has "Dine & Unwind" event until December 11 with multi-course prix fixe menus ($19.95-$39.95) at different restaurants. See website: http://www.tourismwhistler.com/www/events/...neandunwind.asp
  25. Hi Neil, Ziv from OpenTable attended one of our recent concierge meetings and had set up accounts for many of our concierge colleagues. A few of us at our hotel have been using it consistently and found it to be very efficient and reliable. I have no hesitation in using this online system. I would use it more often if more restaurants sign up with it. Go for it!
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