Never Again

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線

6270 Fraser St Vancouver, BC (604) 322-6116 |

Deer Garden Signatures 鹿園魚湯米線 on Urbanspoon

I don't usually come here, but was in the neighbourhood and was so impressed with the Deer Garden in Richmond, I thought I'd give it a try. BAD IDEA.

I should have known from the moment I stepped in. We were waiting at the door for sometime before any of the waiter/waitress even noticed us. I thought maybe they ran out of tables but there were clearly empty tables yet to be filled. Because we were so hungry we quickly place our order ( 1 XO turnip cake, deep fried pork cutlet and 1 noodle) to share. The pork cutlet and turnip cake came out fast but the noodle took over 20 mins. Turns out or order was delivered to the wrong table ( the table next to us).

We didn't say anything assuming either:
A) Our noodles took longer to make or
B) The girl next to us ordered the same thing

After a good 10-15 mins of texting on her phone, the girl beside us finally decided to dig around in the bowl of noodles.
Just then, her actual order came, it was at this time that both the waiter and the girl noticed something was wrong.  us as there were 2 bowls of noodles at her table now.

Oh and I'm pretty sure the whole restaurant could hear because the waiter's voice was so loud we could even hear their private conversations.

Anyways, after they took "our" noodle in, they brought it back out in less than 5 mins!

So tell me, how did you remake my order in LESS THAN A MINUTE?

On top of that:
1. Our noodle was no longer hot, it was lukewarm
2. The noodles were getting soggy
3. There was limp cilantro (clearly it has been sitting in soup for too long)
4. There was no apology for the delay

Maybe they could have gotten away with it if the other person was sitting half way across the room, but we were sitting right next to her. WE WATCHED THE WHOLE PROCESS. 

If this happened to us, who knows if they've done the same to other customers...

Moreover, we had the hardest time asking for chilli and the waiter shouts across the room to the point where it was impossible for customers to have conversations. We had to ask 3 times before someone "remembered" to bring use the chilli.

The only time the waitresses were responsive is when they're waiting for you to pay.

Bottom line is, I will not be coming back here ever (not this specific Deer Garden at least.
My advice is, if you are craving Deer Garden, cross the bridge to Richmond or go to another branch.

10% Off Combos Tuesdays

A Ri Rang Tofu House 阿里郎嫩豆腐
140 - 5960 Minoru Blvd Richmond, BC (604) 285-5960 

A Ri Rang Tofu House 阿里郎嫩豆腐 on Urbanspoon

Came here with V one day after work. Was really impressed with the interior, really simple and clean with a touch of traditional decor.

After going through the menu, we got the bulgogi and seafood + beef stew combo ($16) to share thinking it would be big, turns out we were very wrong. The combos we saw on the menu compared the the actual dish was significantly smaller in size. As for the appetizers, there was literally less than a spoonful of bean sprouts on the appetizer plate.

The seafood and beef stew (medium spicy) was more spicy than "seafood", in fact you could barely taste the seafood at all. The combo came with an uncracked egg, not knowing what to do we asked the waitress who kindly told us that it is to be put into the soup. By the time we added the egg to the soup the pot was no longer hot and bubbling and the egg was left undercooked. Moreover there was very little beef in the soup that it'd probably be equivalent to one slice of hot pot beef.

When we went to pay, the man subtly hinted that we should have ordered 2 separate dishes/combos, saying that the combo was actually for one person.

Price:  $$

ConclusionThe frugal me wanted to come here in the first place because it sounded like a good deal and it just happened to be a Tuesday. Maybe I'll give it another try sometime down the road, but would probably not order a combo again.

Best Mediterranean Food

Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill 
 1133 Hamilton St Vancouver, BC (604) 688-7466 |

Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill on Urbanspoon

Came here for A's birthday a while ago... will let the pictures speak for themselves because words can not describe how good the food was.

Digby Scallops
Oven roasted , sweet tomato confit , tender artichokes
This dish was the most delightful in my opinion, as you can see it came with 3 big scallops. With the pairing of either the sweet tomato confit, tender artichokes or both, each bite had its own unique taste.

Beef Carpaccio
 Sliced AAA Canadian beef , Parmigiano , Harry’s bar mustard dressing
I'm a big fan of Japanese beef carpaccio, so this was definitely a must try when we saw it on the menu. Unlike Japanese beef carpaccio, this was more rich and savoury. A wonderful start to a wonderful meal.

Foie Gras
I have to say that foie gras has never been something I go crazy for, partially because I dislike the powdery texture of cooked liver. But then again that was before I tried the foie gras at Cioppino's. The foie gras here is cooked to perfection. There was nothing powdery about it, in fact from the minute it entered your mouth it melts and disappears, leaving you with the sweet aftertaste of the sauce. One order may not be enough.

Boar Meat (Special of the day)
The words boar meat sounded so intriguing as it is very rare to find it served at a restaurant, so we just had to try. To our surprise it was unlike what we thought it would be (tough meat, smelly) it was soft and delicate with the right fat-to-meat ratio - Another must try  

Linguine - Atlantic half lobster , tomato-cream-lobster sauce
Was very impressed with the size of the lobster. The lobster to pasta ratio was perfect and you can clearly tell that the lobster was not a side and was in fact a part of the meal as a whole.

Classic Lobster Bisque - served with Pacific crab-apple-celery root rémoulade
This is another must have at Cioppino's, the richest most savoury lobster bisque I've had so far.

Price:  $$$$

Conclusion: Good food, wonderful service, lovely atmosphere. What more can a girl ask for?  Undoubtedly one of the pricier restaurants out there, but surely it is worth every penny.

*** Please note that items with a "*" are items I was too hungry to take pictures of, but reviewed anyways.