Tim Ho Wan 添好運 – Singapore

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Tim Ho Wan is a famous dim sum restaurant because it was awarded a Michelin star. As we walked around Plaza Singapura, I noticed the restaurant and suggested we give it a try! Since getting a Michelin star in their Hong Kong locations, they have opened up several locations outside of Hong Kong, including in Singapore. I don’t believe this location has a Michelin star though.

 

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Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp

We started off with the Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp which was crispy and not too greasy. Each bite had shrimp and had a nice chew.

 

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Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork

The Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork featured a thin and smooth rice rolls and was packed with flavourful pork.

 

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Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables

Of course, we had to get some vegetable so we just got the Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables. Nothing special as they were just poached and dressed with soy sauce.

 

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Pan Fried Turnip Cake

The Pan Fried Turnip Cake was crispy on the outside. No complaints!

 

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Baked BBQ Pork Buns

And last but not least was the star of Tim Ho Wan and also a must order! The Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely one of the best I’ve had. The bun was a bit sweet on the exterior and extremely crispy and soft inside. It was filled with a sweet and savoury mixture of BBQ pork. Really enjoyed it and highly suggest ordering this.

Overall, Tim Ho Wan did not disappoint. I thought the other menu items were good but nothing too special. Probably because we are pretty spoiled back at home in Richmond and Vancouver. However, the Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely a star. Pricing is also great given it’s a Michelin restaurant! I will have to try the original one in Hong Kong but for now this will do!

 

 

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Bánh Mì Très Bon

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Bánh Mì Très Bon was one of the earlier restaurants to open up when Central at Garden City opened up. I heard great things about this new Vietnamese spot, but my heart always fell to Pho 37 when I had a pho craving so it wasn’t until recently that I tried it. The restaurant is very busy during peak hours on the weekends, so try to come a bit earlier. The seating is not the comfiest as the restaurant is pretty small, but the service is extremely friendly and attentive. I especially loved their wooden board menu which is super hipster! The interior is also well decorated and gives you a cute homey feel.

 

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Pho Tai Bo Vien

I decided to go for the Pho Tai Bo Vien or pho noodle soup with beef tenderloin and meatballs. The best part about the pho is it comes with a huge bone marrow as well! They will ask you if you’re okay with it and can take it out if you don’t want it. The broth itself is quite clear and light but there is a slight kick to it from the jalapenos which are already in the soup. You can add bean sprouts, basil and lime to your broth which are in this super cute boat! It should also be noted that their beef is grass fed and hormone free and they do not use any MSG. As the broth was more on the lighter side, I personally preferred Pho37’s pho because I enjoy deeper flavours.

 

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Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl

S got the Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli Bowl which comes with spring rolls. S noted that the bowl was quite delicious but that it was a bit difficult to mix everything together especially after adding the fish sauce as the bowl was too small and the ingredients were spilling out.

Overall, I enjoyed the food we had but thought the items were priced slightly higher. But then again, the service and ambiance is nicer than many pho shops so you probably pay the extra price for that. Hope to return to try their other items!

Pros:
– Quality ingredients and well presented dishes
– Friendly service and cute ambiance

Cons:
– Menu is slightly more expensive

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Free parking at complex Overall: 3.5

 

Bánh Mi Très Bon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sen Pad Thai

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I’ve heard many great things about Sen Pad Thai, which is part of the large group of restaurants Chef Angus An runs. The shop used to be inside The Loft at Granville Island, but recently moved to The Granville Island Public Market where the rest of the restaurants are. It is more of a food court set up to be honest, where you order and pay up front first and find your own seat in the area or take out. I liked how they give you a buzzer so you can wander around until it buzzes which means your food is ready.

 

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The shop offers a variety of noodles, curries, and a few appetizers. The prices are roughly all $12- $15 which is a bit pricey given you’re eating in a food court setting. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the portions were pretty reasonable given the price.

 

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Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic

We started off sharing the Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic which were served with a tamarind sauce. The wings were rather small in size but they were very crispy with the inside moist. I enjoyed the flavours and especially when dipped in the tamarind sauce which was a bit acidic and sweet.

 

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Pad Thai

I heard great things about the Pad Thai so had to give this a try. The pad thai was served with tamarind, tofu and egg. The portion of this dish was huge! I kept eating and it didn’t end! This is great to be shared between two if you’re going to have an appetizer as well.

 

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The noodles were chewy and not overly dressed in sauce. It was quite flavourful but I would’ve liked it to have a bit of a kick. Seems like they do not add any spice unless you ask or you can add their homemade chili sauces which is on the side when you pick up your order.

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Pad Siew Beef

My favourite dish we tried was the Pad Siew Beef which featured fresh rice sheet noodles stir-fried with beef, gai lan and egg. This dish had so much “wok-hay” which is hard to find. The noodles were also a new type of noodles I’ve never tried before. They were translucent and wide and very chewy. The beef was tender and I loved the gai lan which added a bit of crunch. A must try if you’d like to try something new.

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Overall, we really enjoyed the dishes at Sen Pad Thai. They have great wok flavour and the portions are very generous for the price. You’ll have to scout around the market place for a seat during peak hours though!

Pros:
– Dishes have great flavour and “wok hay”

Cons:
– A bit pricey for food court setting

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: Free and paid parking in Granville Island Overall: 4

 

Sen Pad Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine

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Baiyulan is the new Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen after the old location was being used for redevelopment. The new location is quite spacious and even has a patio during the summer. I have to say it’s a bit odd to eat Chinese food on a patio though! The menu seems to be pretty much the same. During peak hours, there is a short wait as it seems to be quite popular.

 

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Xiao Long Bao

To start, we had the Xiao Long Bao with one order consisting of 6 dumplings. The skin was fairly thin and the inside was pretty juicy. Although I still much prefer the ones from Yuan’s Garden as they have the most soup. Still, these are fairly priced and pretty good.

 

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Beef Wrap

We also tried the Beef Wrap but this was pretty disappointing. The dough was very pale and white but the main issue was there wasn’t enough hoisin sauce so the wrap was rather dry.

 

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Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles

Last but not least, we had the Pan Fried Shanghai Noodles which is a staple dish we order at Shanghainese restaurants. The dish was large with the noodles being chewy and not overly oily. It was very flavourful and the amount of ingredients in the dish was just right.

Overall, Baiyulan is a great option for Shanghainese food in Richmond. Not my favourite one but it’s up on the list when I’m thinking of a spot to go to. Service was actually not bad and they were pretty responsive.

Pros:
– Decent eats at reasonable prices
– Service is pretty quick

Cons:
– Good but nothing to rave about

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex Overall: 3.5

 

Baiyulan Shanghai Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Superbaba

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Superbaba is one of the newest food trucks in the downtown core. It opened up earlier this year and parks in front of the Bentall Towers on the weekdays. The food truck has a restaurant in Victoria so not a stranger to BC. It caught my attention after seeing so many people lining up.

 

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The food truck features Middle Eastern food and focusses on pita wraps and bowls. The dishes range from $10-$12 so fairly priced for the downtown lunch crowd. They have two vegetarian options including falafels and eggplants, but also two meat options including chicken and steak.

 

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Falafel Bowl

I decided to go for the Falafel Bowl which featured chickpea fritters, fried cauliflower, tomato & cucumber salad, hummus, pickled cabbage, tahini, and shug. All bowls have a base of dressed kale and arugula and chilled rice and lentils. Being a meat lover, this vegetarian dish was absolutely delicious. These are probably the best falafels I’ve had. The falafels were so crispy on the outside and moist and flavourful inside. The hummus was smooth and not too garlicky and the fried cauliflowers were again crispy and crunchy with a nice acidity. Even the pickled cabbage and salads tasted great. I thought I would be hungry given most of the dish were vegetables, but I was surprisingly full. Highly recommend this dish!

Based on the falafel bowl, I am already loving Superbaba. I can’t wait to come back to try their wraps and other dishes. There’s a bit of a wait during lunch hours, but they’re pretty quick after you place your order. Plus, the people are super nice. Will be back to try more soon!

Pros:
– One of the best falafels I’ve had
– Reasonably priced

Cons:
– Line up can get pretty long during peak hours

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: N/A Overall: 4.5

 

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

Matsuzushi

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I’m sure by now you have hear about the $25 omakase at Matsuzushi. Given the rising prices in the city, $25 for an omakase is definitely hard to come by. I’m guessing the main reason for the low price is due to the location. Located in Port Moody, just down the streets from where the breweries are located, Matsuzushi is run by just a husband and wife team. Decor is minimal if not barely any, and service is on the slower side as only the husband prepares the sushi while the wife serves the food.

 

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Try to make reservations in advance if possible, although the restaurant was pretty empty when we visited. However, if you want to sit at the bar to get the full omakase experience, then you should call in advance and let them know. The chef will have some fish cut ahead of time while he is not too busy so it makes things quicker given he’s a one man show. If you sit at the bar, then he will serve you each nigiri one piece at a time and also brush the soy sauce for you. If you sit at the tables away from the bar, then he will serve the sushi all at once or in two parts in a tray and you’ll need to dip your sushi in soy sauce yourself.

 

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As noted, you can also order a la carte. But given you can get 11 pieces plus a hand roll for $25, the deal for omakase is much better. Of course, the chef’s choice of fish will change daily, so you might not get what you want. I also like how you can order rolls and other appetizers here and all are quite reasonably priced.

 

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I can’t quite remember what all the type of fish we got were as the chef did not really explain what we got as he placed it down on our plate. However, if you ask, he will tell you. I just didn’t really bother asking as he seemed quite busy.

 

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Tuna

The Tuna was among my favourites. It was fresh and had a melt in your mouth texture.

 

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Hamachi (Yellowtail Tuna) 

 

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Ebi (Shrimp)

 

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Ika (Squid)

 

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Heart Clam

The Heart Clam was one I’ve never tried before. Very interesting and has a very strong seafood taste.

 

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The rice to fish portion was just right and I thought they were very well constructed.

 

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Mantis Shrimp

I’ve also never had Mantis Shrimp for sushi before so this was very interesting. The shrimp was very chewy and reminded me of dried squid. I think I much prefer having this fully cooked and flavoured like at Hong Kong restaurants.

 

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Heart Clam

For some reason, we got a Heart Clam again and this ended our omakase with only 9 pieces instead of 11. Either I forgot to take a picture, but I’m pretty sure he just missed two pieces. My friend had ordered a la carte, while the other two of us ordered omakase, so I think he got confused with which number we were at given he serves piece by piece and he was trying to make sure my a la carte friend had something to eat every time. We probably could have said something, but I was actually pretty full already and didn’t want to make a fuss. If one of your diners are going to order a la carte, I would suggest sitting at the table so the chance of him missing a piece is lower since he will present all the sushi at once at he table.

 

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Negitoro Hand Roll

To finish, he handed us over a Negitoro Hand Roll which was absolutely delicious! The toro was very fresh and the seaweed was very crispy.

Overall, I was really pleased with the quality of sushi at Matsuzushi. The omakse also includes a bowl of miso soup. Although I wished we had toro and uni like I saw other diners had, it really depends daily so hard to guess what ingredients you’ll get. However, given the whole set is only $25, it’s really hard to beat this price given the quality. Service is also a bit slow, but the chef is very friendly despite his lack of English. It’s quite a drive out if you don’t live nearby, but worth checking out at least once or if you happen to be in the area.

Pros:
– Good deal for $25 omakase
– Fish taste fresh and nigiri are well constructed

Cons:
– Service is slow

Price Range: $25 per person for omakse

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Meter parking along the street Overall: 4

 

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

 

Yaguchiya Ramen

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Looking for a lunch spot near Metrotown, I suggested we try Yaguchiya Ramen since it was just across the Metrotown mall. The interior was very simple with barely any renovations done. In the summer, they only had a fan so it was quite hot. The restaurant features iekei style ramen that originates from Yokohama, Japan. Iekei ramen is the perfect balance of the Tonkotsu style from Kyushu and Shoyu style from Tokyo.

 

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Yaguchiya Special Ramen

S chose the Yaguchiya Special Ramen which features a pork and chicken broth, 3 piece of pork chashu, seasoned egg, spinach, roasted seaweed, and leek. You can choose between regular, medium, and large and S chose the medium. You can also customize the amount of fat, texture of noodles, and amount of soy sauce. The broth was much clearer than a tonkotsu so fairly light. Noodles are the yellow squiggly type so I personally am not a huge fan as I enjoy the Fukuoka style straight thin noodles.

 

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Shoyu Ramen

For myself, I chose the Shoyu Ramen and ordered a regular size. The Shoyu Ramen had a pork and chicken broth, two slices of pork chashu, spinach, and roasted seaweed. I paid $1.50 to add a seasoned egg. I thought the broth was light and not too salty. However, the pork was a bit too dry for me. A regular also had a lot of noodles and I could barely finish my ramen which usually never happens! On the table, customers can also add complimentary condiments included grated garlic, chili paste, ginger, pepper and vinegar. On the wall, they recommend how much of these condiments you should add.

Overall, I thought the ramen was just average. It definitely does not compete with the ones in downtown and it wasn’t very memorable. Service was friendly and attentive though. They seem to still attract regulars who are in the area given there aren’t many ramen shops nearby.

Pros:
– Large portions for reasonable prices
– Broth is light and not greasy

Cons:
– Ramen and toppings are quite average

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Paid meter parking on street Overall: 3

 

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

The Meat Up 聚点串吧

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Northern Chinese style skewers have become quite popular recently with various restaurants around Metro Vancouver focusing on this cuisine. One that caught my eyes while driving down Granville was The Meat Up.

 

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The interior is pretty basic but has fun comic type of art. The servers here mostly speak Mandarin, but basic English is okay. They will give you a order sheet and you can fill it out yourself then hand it over to the server.

 

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The restaurant specializes in skewers and you can choose from lamb, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables. Most of the skewers require a minimum order of 5 skewers, so it’s best to come with a larger group to be able to try a variety of dishes.

 

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There are also a variety of appetizers as well as carb dishes to fill up on. They also have an alcohol license, so you can order beer, cocktails, and soju. I think one of the more interesting drinks is the beer tower, which I don’t see too many places having it in Vancouver. Great to share if you have a large group.

 

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Sweet Potato

To start, we ordered a variety of appetizers. This included the Sweet Potato which was warm and indeed very sweet. However, for $4, I thought this was quite pricey.

 

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Seaweed Salad

The Seaweed Salad was not exactly what I imagined it to be. This was definitely more of a Northern China style dish as it was acidic and spicy. Very appetizing!

 

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Salt and Pepper Chicken

The Salt and Pepper Chicken was also quite expensive for the portion size at $6.95. The chicken was quite moist and the batter wasn’t greasy though. Rather, the batter was quite pale in colour and just dusted with a slightly spicy powder.

 

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Eggplant

One of my favourite grilled vegetables was the Eggplant as it reminded me of the Taiwanese eggplants topped with a spicy savoury sauce. Again, the eggplant was not cheap at a price of $4.95, but it tasted great!

 

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Traditional Lamb Skewer

Moving onto the skewers, we had to try their signature Traditional Lamb Skewer. These were $1.50 each which is fairly priced. Especially given how expensive skewers are at the night market, these were much higher quality and tasted better than the ones at the night market. I liked how these weren’t too spicy as well. They have a spicy one if you enjoy spicy and they also have spicy powder on the side if you need to add a kick. I much preferred these compared to the ones at Happy Tree because most of Happy Tree’s skewers were already quite spicy.

 

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Honey Chicken Wings, Grilled Rice Cakes

The Honey Chicken Wings come with two on a skewer. These were moist with crispy edges on the skin. On the very right, we tried the Grilled Rice Cakes which none of us were a fan of. These were essentially like Korean rice cakes but put on the grill. The outside became a bit hard and plastic-like but the inside was chewy like mochi.

 

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Traditional Lamb, BBQ Pork Skewers

We ordered more Traditional Lamb skewers (bottom) and also tried the BBQ Pork Skewers. The BBQ Pork (top) was glazed in a sweet sauce and tender to chew.

 

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Chicken Gristle, Black Pepper Beef, Honey Pork Belly Skewers

The Chicken Gristle (bottom) were soft cartilage and dusted with some light spice. Loved the crunchy texture! The Black Pepper Beef (middle) was also enjoyable as the beef was tender and the black pepper flavour was strong but not overbearing. Lastly, the Honey Pork Belly Skewers (top) were sweet with a good ratio of fat to meat. Highly recommend getting the pork belly!

 

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Honey Pork Belly (left), Mantou Bread

On the right, we ordered the Mantou Bread as we were curious how these would taste grilled. I actually really enjoyed these! The Mantou was a bit sweet and salty, but it worked. Sort of like garlic bread with the grill marks. This was a great snack in between all the meat.

 

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Beef Ball

One more skewer we tried were the Beef Balls which I didn’t find any special. Each skewer had two half sliced beef balls and were topped with spicy powder. Would skip this next time.

 

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Signature Fried Rice

Lastly, we tried the Signature Fried Rice, which again, was quite expensive at $7.95 for this tiny bowl. However, the flavour of the Fried Rice was actually really good and everyone really enjoyed it.

Overall, we all enjoyed the food at Meat Up. The skewers and food in general were not too oily or greasy but still had that nice char. This is a great spot if you don’t like spicy skewers, as most of their skewers are dusted lightly with spice. Most of the skewers were under $2 a skewer so quite reasonable. Great spot to have drinks and skewers without having to pay the hefty price at the night market.

Pros:
– Skewers are not too oily or salty
– Skewers are reasonably priced

Cons:
– Many of the appetizers and non-skewer dishes are pricey for the portion sizes

Price Range: $20-30 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking in complex or street Overall: 3.5

 

The Meat Up Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato