CACAO 70 Dip Shop

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I’ve been wanting to try CACAO 70 for a while now, but the other locations were a bit out of the way for me. So when I heard the dip shop opened in Steveston Village in Richmond, I was excited to go check it out. The shop is quite small with only a few seats, so it’s more of a grab and go spot. Love the cute decor inside the store though! You can get waffles, drinks, and of course their famous dipped ice cream.

 

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There are a variety of melted chocolate or dips to choose from. The ice cream itself is a vanilla soft serve that comes from the machine. The ice cream is then inverted and dipped into your dip of choice. I found the dip to take a while to really harden though.

 

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Sesame Dipped Soft Serve

I chose the Sesame Dipped Soft Serve and like I said, I found the dip to take too long to harden. Even after getting my pictures, the dip didn’t really harden to a shell. You would need to wait quite a while if you wanted that texture. Instead, it’s a soft flexible shell. The sesame dip has a white chocolate base so I also found the dip to be too sweet for me. However, S didn’t seem to mind it. The ice cream itself was creamy but I wouldn’t say it’s anything to go crazy about.

Overall, the soft serve is decent and if you have a sweet tooth, then this is a nice option if you’re looking for something other than Timothy’s at Steveston Village.

Pros:
– Unique twist to traditional soft serve
– Soft serve is creamy and smooth

Cons:
– Some flavours are on the sweeter side

Price Range: $5-10 per person

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

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free and paid parking in Steveston Village Overall: 3

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Holy Crab

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Seafood boils have been popping up everywhere in Metro Vancouver, and The Holy Crab is one of them. The restaurant is located on Robson and Cardero, so definitely a bit of a walk if you’re coming from the downtown core. The restaurant is Louisiana inspired and focuses on fresh seafood. To start, you’ll be given a fun bib and gloves to ensure you keep clean. You’ll also get scissors, seafood crackers, and paper towel for this seafood mess.

 

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Shrimp Roll

What I love about The Holy Crab is that there is much more other than seafood boils, and they seem to do these sides right. We got the Shrimp Roll which was seasoned with mayo and cajun powder. The shrimp was filled generously in a delicious butter toasted roll. Loved it!

 

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Crispy Fish and Chips

Another snack we got were the Crispy Fish and Chips, but really, this could be a full meal for one. And this is at the great price of only $9! I wish this was closer to work, so I could come here for lunch. I believe the fish is catfish but it’s super long! The batter was flaky and didn’t feel oily at all. Be sure to get the Cajun fries for your chips as the seasoning is so addictive!

 

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1 lb of Shrimp (half Cajun sauce and half garlic pepper)

Lastly, we had to try their seafood boil, so we chose 1 lb of Shrimp which is a decent amount to share for two if you are getting other items. There are two sauces to choose from – the original Cajun sauce or garlic pepper. With the Cajun sauce, you can also choose how spicy you’d like it. I chose mild and it really wasn’t much spice at all. The garlic pepper is not spicy at all. We were also allowed to get half half for the sauce and next time I would ask for the sauce on the side. I prefer dipping my seafood in the sauce so the sauce isn’t too overwhelming. The shrimp were pretty big and were juicy and we had no complaints. Apparently, some of their other seafood such as crab and lobsters are live so you know the seafood will be fresh.

 

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Overall, I was really pleased with the food at The Holy Crab. I find that the seafood is priced slightly higher than other restaurants, but it seems like the quality is there so it’s worth paying a little more. Also, they don’t boil the seafood in plastic bags which can be a little concerning. Lastly, service was very friendly and prompt and seating is quite comfortable.

Pros:
– Seafood tastes fresh and isn’t overly seasoned
– Side snacks are also well executed

Cons:
– Prices for seafood can be slightly higher than other seafood boils

Price Range: $20-30 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Meter parking on nearby streets Overall: 4

 

The Holy Crab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Taste of Yaletown 2018

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The Yaletown Business Improvement Association (YBIA) is proud to announce the 14th annual Taste of Yaletown (TOY), a popular community-based event that invites the public to try a variety of dishes from 25 premier restaurants throughout the neighbourhood. From October 18th to 28th, restaurants will offer innovative pairings, and special menus at set prices of $25, $35, and $45.

The list of participating restaurants for Taste of Yaletown 2018:

  • Banter Room
  • Bistro Sakana
  • Brix and Mortar
  • Cactus Club Café Yaletown
  • The Distillery Bar + Kitchen
  • Earls Yaletown
  • Fayuca
  • Flying Pig
  • The Greek by Anatoli
  • Hapa Izakaya
  • House Special
  • The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
  • La Pentola
  • Milssam Tacorea
  • The New Oxford
  • The Parlour
  • Provence Marinaside
  • Robba da Matti
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Simply Thai
  • Urban Thai Bistro
  • West Oak Restaurant
  • White Lounge
  • WildTale Coastal Grill
  • Yaletown Brewing Company

Please visit https://yaletowninfo.com/taste-of-yaletown-2018/ for menu details from each restaurant and join the conversation online using the official Taste of Yaletown hashtag: #TOY2018.

 

Yuan’s Garden Restaurant

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Jelly Pork

Yuan’s Garden opened up earlier this year in a tiny strip mall on Alexandra. It was previously called Shanghai Morning but looks like they renamed after the move. The interior is much nicer and seating is much more comfy compared to before.

To start, we had the Jelly Pork which which was served cold with a good ratio of jelly and meat. I liked how it wasn’t too salty.

 

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Chicken in Wine Sauce

Next up, we had the Chicken in Wine Sauce which again is served cold. The skin had a nice jelly like layer and the wine flavour was apparent in the chicken.

 

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Xiao Long Bao

My favourite were the Xiao Long Bao. These XLBs are so big and they are filled with so much soup! These are probably one of my favourite XLBs in Richmond. A must order!

 

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Shanghai Style Deep Braised Cabbage with Shredded Pork

The Shanghai Style Deep Braised Cabbage with Shredded Pork doesn’t look very appetizing but it’s a very tasty dish with a savoury broth. The saltiness is mainly from the Chinese shredded pork. A great veggie dish to pair with some of the oilier Shanghainese food.

 

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Sauteed Prawns

The Sauteed Prawns were paired with green peas and a fancy carrot carved into a rooster. We thought that was a funny addition given they don’t really focus on presentation here. Shrimp were moist and bouncy and coated in a nice consommé.

 

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Stir-Fried Beef with Honey Sauce

Another crowd pleaser was the Stir-Fried Beef with Honey Sauce which is served with fluffy mantou buns. The beef is flavourful and sweet and great to scoop into the buns.

 

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Deep Fried Mini Buns

A favourite of mine since a child are the Deep Fried Mini Buns paired with condensed milk. Probably not very healthy, but the pillowy soft interior with crunchy exterior is absolutely delicious!

 

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Shanghai Style Pork Meatball

Another favourite dish of mine that night were the Shanghai Style Pork Meatballs. There are three meatballs served in one dish, but they are huge! The pork meat is mixed with water chestnuts for a nice crunch. The meatballs are big but they are moist in the center and soaked in this savoury sauce. A must order as well!

Overall, I highly recommend Yuan’s Garden for Shanghai food in Richmond. Service is mediocre as expected in most of the Chinese restaurants and I found the crowd to be quite loud during dinner time. Parking is also quite limited in this strip mall, but quality of food and pricing is great here!

Pros:
– Quality of food is great
– Prices are quite reasonable

Cons:
– Ambiance can be quite loud
– Don’t expect much service

Price Range: $20-30 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Free parking in strip mall Overall: 4

 

Yuan’s Garden Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Shipyards Night Market

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media event, but all opinions are my own.

Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver is one of my favourite spots to visit every summer. S and I try to visit once a year and the best time to visit is when the Shipyards Nights Market is going on. If you are coming from downtown Vancouver, the easiest and quickest way is to hop on the seabus which operates roughly every 15 minutes in the evenings. It takes only 12 minutes to arrive in Lonsdale Quay and only a short 5 minute walk to the night market.

 

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The Shipyards Night Market happens every Friday from 5pm – 10pm until September 28, 2018.

 

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To find the start of the night market, look for the yellow crane next to Tap & Barrel. The best part about the night market is that there is no admission fee to enter. Your only cost is the food and beverages you’ll purchase. So feel free to come by to just walk around if you already ate. A great date night spot!

 

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If you come early around 5pm, you’ll avoid line ups and the crowds. By 7pm, the place is quite packed. There over 40+ food trucks from all over metro Vancouver parked at the night market. This is your one stop shop if you’ve been wanting to try a food truck but it’s too far for you!

 

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As part of our media tour, our first stop was the famous JJ’s Hot Cobs. Perfect for children and the family!

 

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Corn on the Cob is $4 and includes butter and your choice of seasoning.

 

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There is a selection of seasonings at the truck and you can choose as many as you want as it’s self serve once you get your corn. We went with the garlic salt which added some saltiness to the corn. The corn itself is already good enough on its own though because it was sweet and piping hot!

 

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Moving on, we tried Disco Cheetah which I first came across 3 years ago at this same night market. It was a tiny truck back in the day, but this has become one of the most popular trucks at the event. The menu has also changed a lot since then, but it continues to serve Korean fusion dishes.

 

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The dishes at Disco Cheetah are so colourful and appetizing to the eye! S and I shared the K.F.C. Fries which translates to Korean Fried Chicken with French Fries. The boneless chicken is topped with a sweet chili glaze, pickled red radish, scallion and garlic mayo. The chicken was juicy and the sauce was not overpowering. Other dishes you can find at this truck include rice bowls or fries with various proteins and pulled pork sliders.

 

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Moving on to a different cuisine (because there are so many to choose from), we checked out The Reef Runner which features Caribbean street food.

 

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I had the Jamaican Beef Patty which was new to me. The flaky pastry shell was filled with ground beef and various spices. It reminded me of a curry pastry I had in Japan. Really enjoyed this and will be getting it again!

 

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Getting a bit thirsty, we tried Kics Lemonade for some homemade lemonade. There are various flavours to choose from and I chose the Mango Lemonade. If you’re looking for something sweet and sour, then this is perfect refreshment for you.

 

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Of course we had to end our meal with some dessert. This was actually my favourite food truck of the night. Chouchou Crepes features some delicious French crepes all run by one lady! She works on three crepes at a time to make sure the line moves as quickly as it can!

 

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S and I shared the Nutella Banana Crepe and it was the perfect way to end our night. The edges were crispy with the center having a nice chew. The food truck also has crepes that are served with a splash of rum and apparently they’re really good! You can find both sweet and savoury crepes at Chouchou Crepes.

 

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And if you’re 19+, then you can head over to the Beer Garden which serves local craft beer, ciders, wine, and highballs. The beers were literally on tap from the side of the truck, which I thought was a pretty cool concept. Drinks are affordable and they give you a generous pour.

 

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Entry in the beer garden is again free, so you just need to purchase your drinks and have a good time! There is live music every night featuring local bands.

 

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After you have filled your bellies with some food and drinks, head over to the pier which extends 700 feet over the Burrard Inlet. Turn back and check out the new developments by the Quay including a third hotel coming in 2019.

 

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Or get to the end of the pier and enjoy a stunning view of the Vancouver skyline. To be fair, we went on a smoggy day, but imagine what a view this would be on a bright sunny day!

 

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There have also been many new developments in the area, including the Polygon Gallery, cool new public amenities such as the 48-metre-long Megabench, a water feature for splashing in and cool off, and a brightly painted alleyway, appropriately titled ‘Fun Alley’. Each year, there is also an artisans market where you can shop locally made goods!

 

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Overall, the Shipyards Night Market is a fun Friday night activity whether it be with friends or family. With 40+ food trucks and vendors, a 19+ local craft beer garden,
artisans market and live music, you’ll be sure to have a good time!

 

Ramen Koika (Robson)

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Ramen Koika recently opened up their second location on Robson Street in Hapa Izakaya’s old location. Their original location is still at Davie Street but of course it’s good news that there is another ramen option in this area.

 

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The ramen shop has a nice modern decor and is quite spacious compared to many of the other ramen shops in the area. I like how they have tables that fit larger groups which most of the other ramen restaurants would not be able to accommodate. Just shortly after 6pm on a Tuesday evening, the restaurant was already at capacity, so make sure to come by early if you’re with a larger group.

 

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The menu is a decent size with a variety of appetizers and rice bowls available. These are great for sharing and a good option if someone in your group isn’t craving ramen. They also have beers, sakes, and soju. I noticed they also carry Fuggles and Warlock’s beers! Great to support local breweries!

 

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As for ramen, they have a variety of choices, from traditional miso ramens, to some very innovative ramen consisting of seafood. They claim that their noodles are made fresh the night before and the broth is made in the morning with no MSG. For the ramen, you can also choose to have your noodles soft or hard, and your chashu to be lean or fatty. You can also add side dishes and other toppings for additional costs. Extra noodle is also available for an additional $1.50.

 

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Puri-Puri Ebi

We started off with some appetizers including the Puri-Puri Ebi which is deep fried panko breaded jumbo shrimp served with tartar sauce, sesame, and parsley. The batter was really light and didn’t feel greasy at all. The sauce and seasoning was also not overpowering as you could still taste the sweetness of the shrimp. Great dish for sharing!

 

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Coco Karaage

The Coco Karaage was also a great deep fried dish. The deep fried house battered boneless chicken karaage was juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The chicken pieces are quite big and a regular order comes with around 4-5 pieces.

 

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Triple Black Garlic Ramen

As for ramen, we tried two of their best sellers. The first was the Triple Black Garlic Ramen which features cha-shu, spinach, seasoned egg, bamboo shoot, roasted seaweed, green onion, garlic chip, and triple black garlic oil served with thin noodles. The egg was cooked perfectly and S chose lean cha-shu which was not overly dry.

 

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As for the noodles, he had chosen hard but we both found the noodles to be more “regular” rather than hard. Our personal preference is for the noodles to be a bit firmer, so when we chose hard, we expected them to be a bit more firm. I liked the thin straight noodles though and these were great at soaking up the broth. The broth was rich but S thought it could be slightly stronger in garlic. I personally thought it was sufficient, but I guess it depends on how much you love garlic.

 

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King’s Seafood Ramen

For myself, I chose the King’s Seafood Ramen. This is their most expensive ramen on the menu at almost $17! But of course, the price is justified with the abundance of ingredients including blue crab, clam, green mussel, cabbage, black tree fungus, onion, red pepper, green pepper, thai chili, and bean sprouts with red pepper powder on top. They definitely do not skimp on the ingredients. Although the blue crab does not have much meat in the legs, you can suck the meat out from the center which was really sweet in flavour. The clams and mussels were also tasty and were not over cooked or tough.

 

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This ramen is served with thicker noodles and I also felt like this bowl was larger than the previous ramen. So definitely the perfect bowl for a big eater! You can choose from no spicy, mild to spicy as well. This one was mild and is great for people who just want a little hint of spice. I typically like my ramen very plain with few ingredients, but this seafood ramen seemed to work and wasn’t too overwhelming.

Overall, I thought Ramen Koika offers some unique twists to ramen, many of which I have not seen in metro Vancouver. I would say that most of the ramen has more ingredients and the bowls are also a decent size for the price. If you’re looking to try more creative ramen, then Ramen Koika is the spot for you. Also a great spot if you have a larger party!

 

Ramen Koika Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine

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Fortune Terrace Special Assorted Cold Platter

Fortune Terrace opened up a few years ago in the Olympic Oval area. It is known for having higher prices but fancy presentation. We came here for a family friend gathering for dinner. The interior is grand and spacious with large screens perfect for hosting wedding events. First up, we had the Fortune Terrace Special Assorted Cold Platter. There were four items to share including the jelly fish in Sichuan style, Nanjing salt duck, pork belly, and smoked salmon wrapped lettuce. The pork belly was crispy on the outside, with a good proportion of fat to meat ratio. Another favourite of mine was the jelly fish which was slightly spicy and flavoured nicely with sesame oil. This is a great platter to share if you have a table of 10.

 

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Fortune Terrace Peking Duck Three Ways

Of course at large dinners, Peking Duck is a must. At Foturne Terrace, you can get Peking Duck Three Ways for $88. This comes with the peking duck wrap, soup, and lettuce wrap. I didn’t take a picture of the soup, but essentially, they use the bones to boil a hot soup. As for the peking duck wrap, I thought the amount of meat they were able to skin out wasn’t too much. I guess it was a small duck? The duck itself was good but nothing out of the ordinary or to rave about.

 

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Peking Duck Lettuce Wrap

Next up was the Peking Duck Lettuce Wrap. The seasoning was flavourful and not overly salty. A great and refreshing dish for the summer!

 

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Pea Tips with Braised Mushrooms

As for our veggie dish, we had the Pea Tips with Braised Mushrooms which I really enjoyed. Who doesn’t love pea tips?! The mushroom itself was large but extremely tender and juicy. The dish had a savoury consommé which complemented the vegetables very well.

 

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Whole Scallops & Dried Scallops Fried Rice

Of course we had to get their signature Whole Scallops & Dried Scallops Fried Rice which is shaped in a pyramid! Presentation was amazing, but the dish itself was quite good. There were plenty of large scallops mixed with dried scallops and the rice was cooked perfectly so it wasn’t mushy.

 

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To finish, we were given red bean soup and also a beautiful platter of fruits consisting of watermelon and cantaloupe melon balls. Seriously, the presentation is amazing here!

Overall, the food at Fortune Terrace was good, but the prices were quite steep.  feel like I can get similar quality of food at other restaurants were a cheaper price. Of course, the service here is good and the presentation is outstanding. The ambiance is also quite nice given the restaurant is newer. Would like to come back to try the food during dim sum hours.

Pros:
– Presentation of dishes is really nice
– Decor and service is great

Cons:
– Prices are slightly higher than other restaurants with similar quality of food

Price Range: $30-50 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4 Parking: Free parking in underground garage Overall: 3.5

 

Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

House Special

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House Special is located in Yaletown and offers modern Vietnamese food. They offer a patio in front of the restaurant and the inside has modern decor but not overly fancy.

 

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Overall, the food at House Special was quite enjoyable. Don’t expect authentic Vietnamese food, but rather vibrant and beautifully plated dishes. Portions are decent and prices are reasonable given its location in Yaletown. Service was also quite friendly.

Pros:
– Modern Vietnamese dishes are well executed

Cons:
– Prices are slightly more for portion size, but probably due to Yaletown location

Price Range: $20-25 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 3.5

House Special Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato