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.

 

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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

 

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

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

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

The Waiting Room

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On our last day in Portland, of course I had to do a trip to Trader Joe’s to do a haul. After my purchase, I suggested we visit the Alphabet district to look for some food. My initial thought was to check out Boxer Ramen, but after taking a look at their menu, we thought it was on the pricier side compared to what we could get in Vancouver. Next door was The Waiting Room, and after taking a look at the menu, we decided to have brunch here. The restaurant is inside a Victorian house and it has a super cool patio. Honestly, it feels like you’re eating at someone’s house!

 

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Even the interior is warm and cozy like someone’s dining room! Super cute spot.

 

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I also love the plates and serviettes! So aesthetically pleasing!

 

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When we asked for our bill, it came in a book which I thought was really cool! I love these subtle touches at restaurants! The restaurant was surprisingly not too busy during brunch on Sunday, but that also means no need to wait in line like many other spots! Plus, the neighborhood is really interesting with all the historic buildings and definitely a spot to hit up!

Pros:
– Delicious fried chicken!

Cons:
– Brunch is only available on Sundays

Price Range: USD$3-8 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free street parking on weekends Overall: 4

 

The Waiting Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato