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

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Boba Boy (Kerrisdale)

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

Boba Boy opened up their Kerrisdale location earlier this year and also recently opened one in Burnaby. The boba shop started back in Ontario and has expanded to Vancouver. They are known for their freshly made tapioca balls.

 

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The Kerrisdale location has a few two seaters up front with more seating in the back for larger groups. The space is modern and clean and lit with natural light.

 

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Who can resist the cute logo of the Boba Boy! Guess where the funny hair style comes from? Of course, it is inspired by the tapioca balls!

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The shop has a variety of drinks from smoothies, teas, milk teas, and fruit teas. As for their freshly made tapioca balls, you can choose from original, taro, matcha or sesame. The original balls are clear instead of black.

 

 

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Taro Smoothie with Matcha Pearls

The first drink I tried was the Taro Smoothie with Matcha Pearls. The smoothie was creamy but I’m pretty sure the taro was powder as the colour was too purple. As for the tapioca pearls, they are quite different from the ones from other chains because they are handmade. The pearls are more chewy and can get a bit tough if they sit in the cold drink for too long. They also stick together more but I actually don’t mind them knowing that they are hand made. They probably don’t have as many additives or preservatives so it’s much healthier. The matcha flavour is also quite strong and has a bit of a bitter taste but I like that strong tea taste.

 

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Strawberry Milk with Pearls

T got the Strawberry Milk with original pearls. How pretty is this! I didn’t get a chance to try this one though.

 

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They also offer two containers – one is a plastic one-time use cup and the second is a reusable bottle. You are required to pay an extra $2 for the bottle, but if you bring it back, you get a discount on your bubble tea. Not sure how often you’ll remember to bring the bottle though as I usually get bubble tea spontaneously, so not sure if the bottle is that worth it. But this is great if you need to carry your bubble tea around.

Overall, the drinks itself are nothing too special compared to other bubble tea chains. However, their tapioca balls which are hand made is what sets them apart. I think the chewiness is a personal preference since some people may find them on the harder side. But, overall, still a very unique feature and great that they are healthier than the usual pre-packaged tapioca.

Pros:
– Handmade flavoured tapioca balls are a unique feature

Cons:
– Some people may find the tapioca balls to be chewier than usual

Price Range: $5-10 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

 

Boba Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linh Cafe

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Linh Cafe serves French-Vietnamese cuisine in the Kits area. The cafe has been around for a few years now but I never ventured out here until recently. In addition to lunch and dinner hours, the restaurant is open for brunch as well!

 

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Nem – Cha Gio – Spring Roll

On my first visit, we came here for dinner and ordered a variety of dishes to share. The first were the Spring Rolls which were filled with shrimp, pork, wood-ear mushroom, and glass noodles. These had a good amount of filling and were crispy on the outside.

 

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Banh Mi Cay Hai Phong

One of my favourite appetizers were these Bahn Mi Cay Hai Phong. They are baguette sticks filled with chicken and pork live pate, topped with some hot sauce and fried shallots. The pate was smooth and creamy and deliciously seasoned. Although it has hot sauce, this dish was not too spicy.

 

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French Escargot

Another appetizer was the French Escargot. The snails sat on top of some bread which was soaked in tomato and garlic butter. Very strong in butter flavour so of course it tasted great.

 

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Braised Short Ribs

A main we shared was the Braised Short Ribs which is slow braised with peppercorn sauce and honey glazed sauce. The short ribs were tender and fell apart easily. The dish was served with a side of bread but the bread was not warm. It would have been much better warm, but the bread was still great to soak up the sauce.

 

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Pho(Phở) Bo

Lastly, we had my favourite! The Pho Bo which is a Hanoi style beef noodle soup with braised flank and rice noodles. The rice noodles in this pho are wider than the usual ones I get. But wow, the broth in this pho is unbelievably good! It’s so hearty and tastes almost like Taiwanese beef noodle soup. The flank is also the best I’ve had. The meat just falls apart and you get huge pieces.

 

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Pho(Phở) Bo

The pho was so good that I came back again with S a few weeks later. This is the large size but you can get a mini pho if you’re a small eater. The pho here is not cheap at $14 for the regular bowl but I think it’s well worth it. The amount of meat you get is generous and the quality is what makes it so worth it. The mini pho is still $8 so definitely not cheap. I highly recommend trying this if you enjoy pho!

 

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Britanny Breakfast

On this second visit, we were here during brunch/lunch hours, so I chose to try out something from their brunch menu. The Britanny Breakfast features two scrambled eggs, shrimp, ling cod, fish veloute, all served in a cast iron pan. The dish also comes with a side of fries, salad and bread. The salad is tasty with a light vinaigrette sauce. Fries were nice and crispy and bread was great to soak up the sauce. The seafood with eggs were seasoned well without being too salty and made a great breakfast.

Overall, I really enjoyed the food at Linh Cafe both visits. The pho is a must order but many of their other dishes were just as good. This is a great spot if you love Vietnamese food but want a hint of French food. Service is quite mediocre as I find it a bit cold with few smiles or words. On our second visit during brunch, we also waited over 45 minutes for our food which is quite long! I feel like they forgot to put our order in because people after us all got their food. I was quite disappointed since I really like their food, so hopefully this doesn’t happen again!

Pros:
– Hanoi-style pho is delicious!
– Good selection of French-Viet dishes which are well executed

Cons:
– Services is a bit cold

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 4

 

Linh Cafe - French Cooking Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sawasdee Thai Restaurant

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Sawasdee Thai Restaurant has been on my list of places to try for a while. So when JH was back in town, we decided to meet up for dinner here. Both JW and JH have been here before, so I relied on them to do most of the ordering. The exterior is pretty simple looking, but the inside is actually quite nice. There was a party going on when we went too so it seems like they can cater large parties.

 

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Tom Yum

We started off with a bowl of Tom Yum soup which was absolutely delicious! The hot and sour soup had just the right amount of spice and was well balanced. It had straw mushrooms, lemon grass and makrut lime leaves with chicken. You can choose between chicken or prawns. I don’t normally get Tom Yum soup, but I really enjoyed this one.

 

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Pad Eggplant

For veggies, we had the Pad Eggplant which was stir fried with bell peppers and basil leaves with black bean and oyster sauce. The eggplant was cooked to soft and full of flavour. This would be delicious paired with a bowl of rice.

 

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Garlic Beef

Another dish that pairs nicely with rice is the Garlic Beef. This dish features pan fried marinated beef with garlic and black pepper, and garnished with green onion and cilantro. I thought the beef was a tad overcooked but the flavours were strong and not overly salty.

 

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Green Curry with Chicken

Of course we had to try one of their curry dishes. You can choose between red, green or yellow curry and your choice of protein. We went with the Green Curry with Chicken which features a coconut milk base with bell peppers, basil leaves and bamboo shoots. The curry was not very spicy so I would suggest asking for more spicy. The curry was creamy and a thin to medium consistency.

 

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Pad Thai

Of course we also had to try their famous Pad Thai. I had heard that the pad thai here is one of the best in Vancouver. The stir fried thin rice noodles were served with tofu, prawns, egg, green onion and bean sprout in tamarind sauce. You can choose between tamarind sauce or tomato sauce. Wow, this lived up to its hype! The noodles were nice and chewy and the sauce was sweet, tangy and slightly spicy. A must order when visiting Sawasdee Thai!

Overall, I was quite impressed with the food and will be returning again. Service was friendly and prices were reasonable for the portions.

Pros:
– Well executed Thai dishes

Cons:
– Dishes were more on the mild side (perhaps ask for more heat if you enjoy spicy)

Price Range: $25-30 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 4

 

Sawasdee Thai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coquille Fine Seafood

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Coquille Fine Seafood is the newest sister restaurant of L’abbatoir. The restaurant is located in Gastown where Secret Location used to be and opened up earlier this year.

 

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The decor is upscale and modern. Love the coral coloured couches!

 

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I came here with S and M to check out their happy hour menu which is available every day from 3pm to 6pm. They have a good selection of both food and drink choices.

 

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Octopus Toast

Our server recommended the Octopus Toast for us but the portion is quite small for $6. You only get one piece so we ended up getting three of them. The grilled octopus was cooked perfectly with a nice char and topped on toasted bread. I was not crazy for the flavours as there were olives on it and I’m personally not a fan of olives. I’d say this is just average and not the highlight of my meal.

 

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Crab and Shrimp Roll

The next dish we ordered was the Crab and Shrimp Roll. This was also really small for $10! It was only half a roll and there wasn’t even lobster in it. Only crab and shrimp although the filling was delicious with a well seasoned sauce. However, I would rather get the lobster rolls at Joe Fortes which are  better deal.

 

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Cod Croquettes

One of my favourite happy hour dishes were the Cod Croquettes. For $9, you get 6 big pieces, so this is great for sharing and reasonably priced. The cod is mixed with some potato filling and the outside is battered and crispy.

 

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Fritto Misto

Another dish great for sharing is the Fritto Misto. This is essentially fried mixed seafood, topped with fennel and served with a side of aioli. For $12, the portion is decent and you get a variety of fish, calamari, and sweet onion.

 

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Coquille White

For drinks, I had the Coquille White which is a great deal for only $6.

 

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Overall, I found some of the happy hour items to be slightly pricey for the portion and felt I could get something similar at another restaurant during happy hour for cheaper. I guess their regular menu is quite expensive, so these are already considered discounted. The food itself is pretty good though and great if you enjoy seafood. On a Sunday afternoon, the restaurant wasn’t very busy, so this makes a good spot to relax with no rush to leave.

Pros:
– Great seafood snacks for sharing

Cons:
– Some of the happy hour items are still pricey for the portion size

Price Range: $25-35 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4.5 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 3.5

 

Coquille Fine Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

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Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie has been around for many years now and has won many awards. I’ve hear many good things about the restaurant, but for some reason, I was hesitant to try it because I knew it wasn’t authentic Chinese food. Bao Bei is situated in the heart of Chinatown and is known for their modern Chinese dishes and cocktails. I had my hesitations going in, but honestly came out loving the food.

 

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The restaurant is good for small groups of 2 to 3. They do not take reservations, so be prepared to wait or come right at opening. We arrived at 6:30pm on a weekday thinking the wait wouldn’t be long, but we still waited around 45 mins to one hour. Luckily, the Keefer Bar is nearby so we could go enjoy some drinks. They take down your name and number and will call you when the table is ready. The interior is modern but has the traditional Chinese vibes.

 

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Dominion Cider

I ended up going with the Dominion Cider from Summerland, BC and this was refreshing and light. I will definitely come back to try some of their cocktails though!

 

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Beef Tartare
The menu consists of sharing style plates, so I’d suggest having 2-3 dishes per person. We started off with the Beef Tartare which was absolutely delicious! The tartare featured Cache Creek petite tender, preserved mustard root, crispy shallot, ginger, a quail egg, watercress, burnt scallion oil, and taro chips to scoop the tartare.

 

 

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Steamed Prawn, Scallop, Rockfish and Chive Dumplings
They have a variety of homemade dumplings on their menu, but I suggested to try something a bit more unique. The Steamed Prawn, Scallop, Rockfish and Chive Dumplings caught my eyes as we usually won’t find scallop or rockfish in our traditional dumplings. The filling was delicious and elevated to a more fine dining experience but I felt the wrappers were a little too thick. Unfortunately, these didn’t wow me.

 

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King Pea Tips
Time to get some veggies in so of course we all suggested to get the King Pea Tips. Pea tips are usually a favourite among the table and these did not disappoint. Simply flavoured with garlic and shoxing cooking wine, these were fresh and had a nice crsip. Portion was actually decent for $9 too given a lot of their other dishes were on the smaller end.

 

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Seasonal Vegetables – Squash and Fried Lotus

We chose another veggie dish and this was one of their Seasonal Vegetables. The Squash and Fried Lotus was flavoured with a curried black bean and salted duck egg yolk sauce. Lotus root is commonly used in Chinese dishes, but I have never had lotus root that looked like this! I believe these are called lotus rootlets and they are like baby lotus roots! Narrow cylinders compared to the usually ones we see, but just as crunchy. They paired nicely with the squash and asian flavoured sauces. Highly recommend ordering this!

 

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Sablefish in Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice

Moving on to some larger dishes, we had the Sablefish in Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice. To be honest, when I saw the dish arrive, all I could think of was how small this lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice was for thirty something dollars! But once I started digging in, I fell in love with this dish! The sablefish was so buttery and moist and the Japanese oyster mushrooms added a nice texture. This is definitely a next level lotus leaf sticky rice with the sablefish and well worth the high price!

 

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Crispy Pork Belly
Last but not least, we had the Crispy Pork Belly which features radish, cucumbers, pickled ginger, mint, and crispy potatoes. This is topped with a  Vietnamese cilantro root dressing. The pork belly had a nice portion of fat to meat and was very moist.
Overall, I was extremely happy with my meal at Bao Bei and would highly recommend it. Just keep an open mind that you are not coming here for traditional Chinese food, but the food actually tastes good and the fusion works! Despite the high prices, the quality is great here and I’d suggest coming here with a few friends so you can try a variety of dishes.

Pros:
– Well executed modern Chinese dishes
– Good selection of cocktails and drinks

Cons:
– Be prepared to wait even on the weekdays
– Seating is a bit cramped

Price Range: $40-60 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Paid street parking or paid parking lots Overall: 4

 

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Faubourg Paris

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

For a limited time, you will be able to get a taste of the lavvender field of Provence France at Faubourg.

 

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Faubourg has launched their summer lavender menu which features products including lavender earl grey macarons, lavender and strawberry pastries, lavender mixed berry smoothies, lavender lattes, lavender tea lattes, blueberry and lavender chaussons, and more. The menu is already available now and will be available until early to mid September.

 

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These desserts were sample sizes of the actual for the media tasting, so the actual dessert is much larger. My favourite had to be the Lavender and Strawberry Pastry (the circular one). This dessert features a lavender honey and sage mousse paired with a sweet strawberry gelee and a lavender vanilla sponge cake. I especially loved the sugar crystals on the rims! Not overly sweet but very strong in lavender flavour.

 

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All items at Faubourg are handcrafted and prepared fresh daily using traditional French recipes and high quality ingredients with no preservatives added. To demonstrate their commitment for quality, the pastries are prepared every morning and the viennoiseries are baked throughout the day ensuring the freshest products for the customers.

 

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Products are available starting June 4th, in the following locations:

Downtown: 769 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1S2
Kerrisdale: 2156 W 41st Ave Vancouver, BC V6M 1Z1
Park Royal: 792 Main Street, Park Royal S West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2
Le Café: 175-628 East Kent South avenue Vancouver, BC V5X 0B2

 

Faubourg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Copper Chimney

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

Last week, I was invited to check out the happy hour menu which has relaunched at Copper Chimney. The Indian restaurant is located inside Hotel Le Soleil.

 

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The happy hour menu has a variety of appetizers and drinks on special. Most of the appetizers are around $7 and drinks at around $5-$8. The happy hour menu is available everyday from 3pm-6pm.

 

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Gin and Tonics

We got to try some Gin and Tonics. The restaurant carries gin from the local distillery, Long Table Distillery.

 

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Garlic Naan and Cheddar Cheese Kulcha Stuffed Bread

Not part of the happy hour menu, but who can say no to naan bread at an Indian restaurant? We were able to try both the Garlic Naan (left) and the Cheddar Cheese Kulcha Stuffed Bread (right). The naan are made fresh in their clay ovens to order. You can choose to have them with some chutney toppings such as mango, tamarind, mint-cilantro, or cucumber raita. I absolutely loved the cheese stuffed bread. The melted cheese was so stringy! I couldn’t stop eating this!

 

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Spiced Chips and Dip

Moving along to a happy hour item were the Spiced Chips and Dip. The chips are thick cut with a crispy exterior and served with a jalapeno and cumin raita dip. A great sharing dish!

 

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Minced Lamb Kebabs
I love skewers, so the Minced Lamb Kebabs were perfect for me! They had a nice char and were well seasoned.

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Tandoori Salmon

 

One of my favourites was the Tandoori Salmon. The salmon was extremely moist in the inside and the tandoori flavour was not overpowering. Highly recommend this!

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Vegetable Flatbread

For vegetarians, they have the Vegetable Flatbread which is topped with basil, goat cheese, and balsamic.

 

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Tiger Prawn Tandoori
Probably my favourite dish of the night was the Tiger Prawn Tandoori! Wow, these prawns were large and bouncy and seasoned with sambal, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, sea salt. Extremely flavourful!

 

 

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Manchurian Cauliflower

Another item on the happy hour menu is the Manchurian Cauliflower. The cauliflower has a crispy batter and comes with a sweet and sour sauce.

 

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Non Vegetable Thali
They also have both vegetable and non-vegetable thali on their regular menu. The non-vegetable thali comes with indian pickles, courgette curry, lamb curry, butter chicken, Manchurian cauliflower, saffron basmati rice, and papadum.

 

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Tiffin Box Meal
During weekdays, they also offer Tiffin Box Meals. The initial tiffin box is $15, but after that, each meal is $9. Each day, there is a different curry and the box also includes rice, naan, and a kachumber slaw. This is a great deal for those working around the area!

 

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After trying some of the food, we got to take a tour in the kitchen. Here, we were shown how the naan is made. They have two tandoor ovens which are extremely high heat. Therefore, making the naan only takes a few minutes before it’s full of these air pockets. The chef gave us the freshly made naan and wow, that was good! I don’t think I have ever had such fresh naan before. So light and fluffy!

 

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The restaurant has both lower and upper level seating. It also has a small patio on the ground level just outside of the restaurant. But if you want to throw a private party, you can also book a dining area upstairs which connects to this outdoor patio! I love how intimate and secluded this area is while getting the patio feel because it’s not covered. Super cool design!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the food at Copper Chimney. I’m no expert with Indian food so I can’t comment on authenticity, but the food tastes great! Will definitely be back for happy hour as it is so close to work!

 

Copper Chimney Restaurant - Indian Grill & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato