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Bob Likes Thai Food

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Located just on the corner of Broadway and Granville, Bob Likes Thai Food is a small joint that offers authentic Thai cuisine. It’s a colourful shop with quirky decor for ambiance. A couple of my coworkers and I came here for lunch since they have lunch specials for $10.

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Pad Thai

All their lunch specials come with a side of green salad and wonton chip. E got the Pad Thai which featured fried rice noodles, prawns, tofu, peanuts, egg, and bean sprouts. She really enjoyed this and many of our coworkers said it’s probably the best around our area for pad thai.

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Panang Beef

For myself, I got the Panang Beef and I asked for the curry to be mild. You get a bowl of coconut milk based red curry with beef, basil and bell peppers and a scoop of rice on the side. This was very flavourful and you could definitely taste the basil and coconut. Tons of sauce to smother over your rice. The beef was also very tender. Even though you ask for mild, you still get a bit of a kick which I liked. The wonton chips were literally just fried dough and was topped with some sweet chili sauce. I sort of wished there was some filling inside of it. Salad was dressed with a light sweet vinaigrette.

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Overall, our table was quite pleased with the food. At $10 a plate during lunch, it’s quite reasonable for restaurants around our area. The food is served up quick so that’s a plus since office people are usually in a hurry. Portions are decent. I finished the dish easily, so for a hungry person, this might be a bit small. Service was efficient and friendly.

Pros:
– Reasonable lunch prices
– Decent eats

Cons:
– Portions are on the smaller side

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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Li’l Cheese Steak Spot

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Li’l Cheese Steak Spot recently opened up in Royal Centre’s food court. Since I was nearby for work, I headed over to grab take out. The food takes a little longer to get prepared since they make the sandwich when you order. You can wash the cook grill your steak and veggies on spot. They also have other sandwiches and soups to order.

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Cheese Steak Sandwich

I went for their signature, which is the Cheese Steak Sandwich. It doesn’t look appealing because it was all wrapped up and the sauces got all smothered, but this was delicious! If you love steak and cheese, this is for you. The beef was tender and you actually got quite a lot of it. It was also filled with onions, melted cheese, banana peppers, tomatoes, and a white sauce. Only downside is that the sandwich is quite pricey at $9. Nevertheless, it’s filling and the quality of steak is great.

Pros:
– Steak is tender
– Sandwiches are made to order

Cons:
– Pricey sandwich for food court

Price Range: $10

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 2 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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Cook Your Life – 2015 Gateway Theatre Pacific Festival

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NOTE: I was provided two complimentary tickets to the Cook Your Life show.

I was invited by Gateway Theatre to enjoy the Cook Your Life show happening this September 17-19. Just like last year, the Gateway Theatre is bringing back the Gateway Theatre Pacific Festival, showcasing the best contemporary theatre Hong Kong has to offer. This year’s festival runs from September 3 – 26, 2015,  with various different acts, including Cook Your Life, which is perfect for anyone who enjoys food!

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Cook Your Life stars MayMay Chan in a hilarious solo performance, cooking live on stage as she draws insightful parallels between food and love. The show incorporates a 4-D theatre approach where the audience can see, hear, smell, and taste the experience. May is also a seasoned cook herself with her own cooking channel in Hong Kong. The show will be in Cantonese with English subtitles.

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By going to watch Cook Your Life, you’ll also get to watch MeChat, which explores the delightful and not so delightful aspects of the Internet, with rising Hong Kong theatre and television star Eric Tang guiding the audience through online romance, cybersex, selfie-mania, Groupons, and the price we pay when we trade in real life for cyber-living.

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Dates:

Full festival: September 3 – 26, 2015.
Cook Your Life / Me Chat: September 17 – 19 at 8pm (2hrs45min, including 15min intermission)

Ticket information:

Festival Passes: $60 (Includes one ticket to the double bill Cook Your Life / MeChat plus one ticket to Tuesdays with Morrie, and priority registration for all free events)

Individual Tickets: $40 adult; $20 student; $35 groups of 10 – 19; $30 groups of 20+

For more information, visit gatewaytheatre.com, or check out their social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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JOEY (Broadway)

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JOEY on Broadway is your typical chain restaurant where you can expect decent food and service. The NR team arrived for our wrap up lunch and the restaurant wasn’t too busy. It appeared that they were doing their staff training while we were there, which I thought was a little odd… Anyways, the interior is pretty nice with comfy seats and wooden decor. They also have a bar/lounge area and they offer happy hour from 3-6 pm.

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Japanese Gyoza

We started off with the Japanese Gyoza, which features pork dumplings with hot mustard and a spicy sauce. These are pretty pricey gyozas, since an order comes with only 6 gyozas and costs $12. Everyone quite enjoyed these as the sauce was delicious and they were pretty well made. J did mention that she wished they came sizzling hot. They were rather lukewarm.

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Rainbow Roll

The Rainbow Roll featured Ahi tuna, salmon, crab, and topped with a sriracha aioli. I was surprised that it was actually pretty well executed since it’s not a Japanese restaurant and the flavours worked well together. Basically a Califronia roll but topped with salmon and ahi tuna. We all agreed that the rice was a bit cold and seemed like it was premade and refrigerated though.

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Ahi Tuna Club

For my entrée, I was sad to hear that my favourite Beef Dip was removed from the menu. Perhaps it’s because beef is so expensive now! Anyways, V and I both ended up getting the Ahi Tuna Club and paired it with a Caesar salad for my side. The sesame bun was filled with two large slices of Ahi tuna that was grilled to medium rare, bacon, onion rings, and some sweet pepper relish. It was a mouthful but the tuna was seared on point and I liked the crunchiness and sweetness of the onion rings. I wasn’t a huge fan of that sweet pepper relish though. The salad had just the right amount of dressing and was topped with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese and croutons.

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Bacon Cheddar Burger

M got the Bacon Cheddar Burger and paired it with sweet potato fries. A classic and it seemed like he had no complaints about it.

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Sashimi Tuna Salad

S got the Sashimi Tuna Salad which had seared rare Ahi tuna, mango, peanuts, avocado, tomatoes, and a cilantro ginger dressing. The tuna was seared perfectly with the edges being slightly seared and the center a beautiful pinkish red. Delicious and visually pleasing as well!

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Beach Salad

J got her go to Beach Salad, which comes with strawberries, quinoa, candied pecans, avocado, lemon poppy seed dressing, and grilled chicken breast. It normally also comes with goat cheese, but she asked for it on the side.

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It was all tasty and good…until she found a piece of chicken that was still raw. We notified the waitress and she had the kitchen cook up a brand new set of chicken.

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Baked to Order Apple Pie

To finish, we had their famous Baked to Order Apple Pie. This is a must order if you like pie! The menu claims that the pastry is hand-folded, and I’m not sure if that’s true, but the pastry is the star of the dish. Extremely flaky and one of the best pie crusts I’ve had. The pie is filled with cinnamon coated apples and toasted almonds, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It also comes with maple syrup which was asked to have on the side. A delicious way to end our meal!

Overall, the food at JOEY Broadway is pretty good (other than their failure to cook chicken). Service though, is a hit or miss. I’ve had some pretty good service in the past, but this specific time was terrible. Our appetizers arrived rather quickly, but then the wait began… Our entrees took literally another 30 minutes to come and our waitress seemed lost and confused. She even came back to confirm our orders, so it seemed like she had forgotten our orders. It took so long that our lunch ended up being almost 2 hours… And we also did not get any apology or reason why our food took so long at a not so busy restaurant.

Pros:
– Food is consistent and usually well-executed
– Ambiance is pretty nice and comfortable

Cons:
– Wait for food to arrive was extremely slow this time
– Our waitress seemed lost and confused…

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

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Sushi by Yuji

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Sushi by Yuji pictures have been showing up all over my Instagram, so I decided it was time to give it a try. Located on Kingsway between Victoria and Nanaimo, this little sushi shop is a hidden gem.

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The place will fit probably only around 20 people and is run by chef Yuji himself and two waitresses. Simple, casual decor but not cramped. Service is a bit slow though because Yuji prepares basically everything by himself.

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Seaweed Salad

We started off with some Seaweed Salad, which we were a bit disappointed with. Since we knew the place was supposed to be pretty authentic, we thought the seaweed salad wouldn’t be the ones that you get at the supermarket. Turns out it’s just that typical stuff. Flavourwise, it was well seasoned and the seaweed was crunchy.

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Wild Sockeye Salmon Sashimi

For salmon sashimi, they only sell Wild Sockeye Salmon here, so we ordered it anyways and it came with 9 pieces of sashimi. This was cut nicely and the fish was very fresh. The size were a little on the smaller size though (I feel like this picture makes them appear larger).

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Toro (Tuna Belly) Sashimi

We also got an order of the Toro Sashimi. This had 5 pieces and the tuna belly was extremely fatty and melted in your mouth. However, I was disappointed with some of the pieces since they weren’t cut properly. It was sort of like broken?

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Toro (Tuna Belly) Nigiri

We also all had the Toro Nigiri which is a must order! Melt in your mouth sushi! So delicious! I also like how they already put wasabi inside. Oh and be sure to order this early, since most people will order this here. When we tried to put in a second order later in the evening, they were already sold out.

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Tobiko with Egg, Negitoro with Egg x2, Negitoro Gunkan

What I really came here for were because I saw those pretty pictures of the gunkan. The Tobiko with Egg comes as your regular tobiko gunkan but topped with a raw quail egg. This tasted delicious! I remember trying this at another restaurant and not liking it, but I think it was because the quail egg wasn’t very fresh. This was completely different and absolutely delicious. Crunchy and creaminess in your mouth at the same time. The Negitoro with Egg is the same concept and was also delicious and a must order. If you are not a fan of the raw eggs, then you can get them without as well for 50 cents less.

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Tobiko with Egg, Negitoro with Egg, Mentaiko with Ika Gunkan

We got a few more of those after but K also tried the Mentaiko with Ika, which was on their daily special board. Mentaiko is marinated roe from pollock and cod, so some may find it fishy while others enjoy it. I thought it was interesting that they paired it with squid. K said it was pretty good.

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Chopped Scallop Gunkan

We all had the Chopped Scallop Gunkan, which had big juicy scallops and the mayonnaise sauce wasn’t too overwhelming.

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Tako (Octopus), Hamachi (Yellow Tail) Nigiri

The Tako Nigiri came with a bit of marinade sauce and the octopus was extremely tender and fresh. One of the best I’ve had. E and my dad enjoyed their Hamachi Nigiri which they also commented as being very fresh.

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Aji (Spanish Mackeral) Nigiri

E got the Aji Nigiri which had part of the skin attached to it but he didn’t mind it. It seemed like he quite enjoyed this as well.

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Yuji Roll & Salmon Toro (Salmon Belly) Nigiri

I also got the Salmon Toro Nigiri, which the belly of the salmon. This was super smooth and creamy! I actually almost enjoyed this more than the regular salmon. We shared the Yuji Roll, which comes with a variety of fillings including tuna, salmon, and shrimp. Everyone enjoyed this roll.

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House Roll

Last but not least, we finished off with the House Roll, which we ordered the full order. You can also get half an order. This again was filled with an assortment of fish. Although you know it’s probably the ends of the sashimi, it was still very fresh and perfect for those who love sashimi.

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Dinner ends off with a complimentary bag of Pocky for each guest. How cute! Overall, I was extremely happy with Sushi by Yuji. If you love traditional nigiris and fresh sashimi, this is the place to be. They barely have any cooked items here though, so don’t be expecting any of that. You also won’t find any of those creative rolls with tons of sauces on. Prices are a bit higher than most Japanese restaurant but are on par with Japanese owned restaurants. You may end up spending a bit more since they don’t really have those filler dishes, but rather just mostly sushi. Although service was a bit slow, it was very friendly and Yuji even waved and thanked us as we left the restaurant. Small things like this makes a difference. I’ll be back again soon!

Pros:
– Fresh sashimi and well-executed sushi
– Reasonable prices for authentic Japanese food

Cons:
– Wait for food to arrive is a bit slow due to only one chef

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 4 Overall: 4

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Mango Yummy

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Mango Yummy started out at the Richmond Night Market, and late last year, they opened their first store just across Richmond Centre on No. 3 Road. The interior is rather small, so you may need to get take out if it’s really busy. You first order at the front and then they will call your name for pick up.

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Durian Shaved Ice

I came here looking to get some mango type of cold dessert, but I have no idea how S convinced me into getting two durian desserts… Apparently there is a durian menu and so we ended up with the Durian Shaved Ice as one of our desserts… A big bowl of ice with blobs of durian and topped with vanilla ice cream and condensed milk. I wished that the condensed milk was unlimited, but it wasn’t. Well the durian was creamy and fragrant and I think durian lovers will enjoy this dessert. This is one of their pricier shaved ice though since durian is expensive.

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Durian Pancake

And next was the Durian Pancake. The pancake was thin and soft, but very smooth. It was topped with some whipped cream and chocolate pearls.

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The durian again was very creamy so this dessert is quite mushy with all the cream. You get quite a good amount of durian though.

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Overall, based on these two durian items, I thought Mango Yummy was pretty good and I would revisit to try their other items. I guess this visit should be called more like Durian Yummy for us though…

Pros:
– Large variety of desserts – hot and cold
– Reasonable prices for what you get

Cons:
– Not much seating
– Don’t expect any service

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: N/A Ambiance: 3 Parking: 4 Overall: 3.5

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Icy Bar 利源冰店 – ChineseBites Media Event

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NOTE: As part of the ChineseBites media event, all food and beverages were free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

I attended another ChineseBites event a few weeks ago and this time it was at Icy Bar, located on Kingsway near Boundary. They also have locations on Kingsways and Knight, Parker Place, Crystal Mall, and the Richmond Night Market. I’m sure you have seen everyone holding those mango desserts if you’ve been to the night market!

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The interior is simple and nothing too fancy. Their menu is basically only Taiwanese bubble tea drinks and desserts. Some interesting notes are that their mochi are made from scratch, pancakes are made fresh everyday and their fruits are fresh cut everyday.

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Lychee Slush, Fresh Taro Milkshake, Mango Slush

We all started off with some drinks. I had the Fresh Taro Milkshake and this was very smooth and creamy, but the taro flavour was quite light. Their bubble teas are quite large and you can also let them know if you want it less sweet.

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Traditional Eight Mix Icy 八寶冰

We started off with two varieties of Traditional Eight Mix Icy. You can customize your shaved ice with a variety of toppings. Pictured above was fresh mango, strawberries, lychee, pineapple, watermelon, melon, rainbow jelly, popping pearls and a scoop of green tea ice cream. Eight toppings go for $10.00, four toppings for $6.75 and three toppings with coconut milk cup for $5.50. Ice cream is extra and can range from an additional $2-4 depending on the flavour.

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This customized mix icy has fresh mangoes, red bean, green bean, kidney bean, taro, peanuts, mochi balls, green tea mochi balls, mango mochi balls, almond jelly, grass jelly, chendol, basil seeds, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The shaved ice are huge, so you can share with friends. Minimum charge per person is only $3.50, so quite affordable.

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Strawberry Mango Ice Cream Icy 芒果草莓雪糕冰

You can also order their icys with topping that are pre-set. These are their most popular combinations. We tried the Strawberry Mango Ice Cream Icy topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a mango sauce drizzle. You sure get a ton of fruits!

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Mango Ice Cream Mochi Icy芒果雪糕冰

The Mango Ice Cream Mochi Icy was one of my favourites since you get fresh mangoes, mango mochi balls, original mochi balls, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mango sauce on top. Their mangoes are fresh and sweet. I also love their homemade mochi balls.

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Pancake Series 班戟

The Pancake Series come in four choices for flavours: taro, durian, mango, and strawberry.

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These pillowy pancakes are filled with fresh cream and the respective fruits. I tried the durian pancake and it was definitely very creamy and strong in durian flavour. The taste lingered in my palette for quite some time…

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Black Rice with Coconut Milk 椰汁黑糯米

The Black Rice with Coconut Milk was slightly sweet and very coconuty in flavour. The black rice gave this dessert a nice chew.

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Tea Egg茶葉蛋

One of their very few savoury items is the Tea Egg, which is a very common snack in Taiwan and Asia. The cracked appearance comes from pre-boiled egg which is cracked and boiled again in tea and other sauces.

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The yolk is fully cooked and firm and I liked the star anise and tea flavour.

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Chocolate Honey Toast 巧克力金磚

Back to some sweets, we had the Chocolate Honey Toast. The toast is cut into the cubes and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Surprisingly, this wasn’t too sweet and the toast was crunchy.

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Plant Pudding 盆栽布丁

The Plant Puddings were both pretty to look at and tasted great. There are five flavours to choose from: Original, durian, mango, Oreo, and tiramisu. My favourite was the tiramisu as the ingredients like the cream and coffee just naturally went well together. If you like durian though, you will find this the durian plant pudding quite satisfying as there are chunks of durian in the dessert.

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Red Bean Green Tea Ice Cream on Thick Toast 红豆抹茶冰淇淋

Another thick toast was the Red Bean Green Tea Ice Cream on Thick Toast. Green tea and red bean naturally go well together, so this was quite good. The toast also kept its firmness and the dessert was not overly sweet.

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Tofu Pudding豆腐花 

To finish off our night, we got to sample the Tofu Pudding with a variety of toppings (same toppings as shaved ice). Even though I piled a lot of toppings on top, the tofu pudding wasn’t too sweet, which I liked.

Overall, Icy Bar has a large variety of desserts and there is something for both the hot and cold days. My favourites of the night were their shaved ice and tofu pudding. Great spot to chill with friends and share some desserts.

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Tacofino Taco Bar

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The Taco Bar at Tacofino has been open for quite a while now and it’s been on my list of must try restaurants. Finally, I visited the famous Taco Bar with A, M, and K. M and A had arrived early, but we still had to wait for over 30 minutes to get a table. This place is so busy, so be sure to arrive early and place your name on the wait list. They will send you a text message when your table is ready. Also, the Taco Bar is situated behind the Burrito Bar which is for take out. You can enter the restaurant from the front, or from the Blood Alley.

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The inside ambiance is super cool. I love the whole design of the restaurant with tiled floors and brick walls. Super hipster! Too bad it was rather dim inside, so it was difficult to take good pictures. They also have a patio outside, perfect for those sunny warm evenings.

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Pitcher of Sangria

We ended up sharing a pitcher of red Sangria, which seems to be offered during the summer season. It’s a rather small pitcher for the price, but we still managed to get 4 full glasses.

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Nachos 

M recommended the Nachos and said they were really delicious. When I saw it, I thought it looked average, but boy was this delicious! The nachos are crunchy and layered with salsa fresca, chipotle and sour cream. We also added guacomole on the side for an extra $4. The portion may look small, but it will fill you up and we shared this among four girls.

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Since we weren’t sure how much we could eat, we all started off by ordering one taco each for ourselves. In the end, this was just perfect for us. Their tacos are quite big and the filling is very generous. If you come here just for the tacos, you can probably fill up with just two. Most of their tacos are $6 to $7.

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Al Pastor

I really wanted to try all the tacos, but since I had to pick one, I chose the Al Pastor. The only reason I chose it was because it said “while quantities last” on the menu. I immediately thought this would mean it’s one of the best and they sell out quick! Well luckily, they weren’t sold out yet and this was amazing. It had roasted pork, pineapples, pickled onions and cilantro. I loved the mix of the fruity pineapple with the meat. Who knew they would go together so well! I also like how they sort of toast or grill the tortilla itself first, so it doesn’t taste as bland.

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Steak Taco

M went for her all time favourite Steak Taco, and I got to sample a bit of her steak bites. It was delicious, with a nice char and seasoning on the steak. The soft shell taco is filled with grilled skirt steak, pickled chayote and pineapples. Again, M commented that the pineapples surprisingly paired very well with the steak.

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Mushroom Quesadilla

A got the Mushroom Quesadilla, which featured two tortillas sandwiched with seasonal mushrooms, aged cheddar, and cotija. She said it was pretty good but had way too much mushrooms. I guess she likes her meat… This is more of a taco for vegetarians.

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Potato and Mushroom Taco

K got the Potato and Mushroom Taco. Unfortunately, the taco was a hard shell, which K was pretty disappointed about, since she had assumed all tacos were soft shelled. She found it to be a bit more messy to eat since the hard shell tacos usually crack at odd spots when you bite into it. It was filled with collard greens, almond herb crumb, chipotle crema, queso fresco, and of course potatoes and mushrooms. She said that there were way too many potatoes compared to mushrooms though.

Overall, I was very happy with Taco Bar. I can see why people love this place and will wait for it. If you’re in a rush, then you can visit the Burrito Bar, although they only sell burritos. It’s essentially the same fillings though. Otherwise, enjoy some amazing tacos and drinks inside the Taco Bar with a cool ambiance. Oh and if you didn’t already know, they also have their Tacofino Commissary in East Van and their food truck which is usually in downtown.

Pros:
– Nachos are the bomb!
– Tacos are filled generously and taste delicious

Cons:
– Long waits
– Service is average – our waitress wasn’t very friendly

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

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