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

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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

 

Saku

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Saku opened earlier this summer and is a great addition to the Denman/Robson area. The tiny shop can only fit less than 20 people, so be sure to arrive early to secure a seat. The decor inside is very minimal but modern and clean. They specialize katsu also known as pork cutlet.

 

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Rosu Katsu Set

When we visited, it was only shortly after they opened, so their menu was still quite limited. However, I heard that they have since expanded their menu, so you can probably expect much more now. When we visited, S tried the Rosu Katsu Set which features 170 grams of deep fried breaded pork loin for $17. All sets come with unlimited tonjiru which is a pork miso soup they make in house with freshly diced vegetables and pork. The set also comes with unlimited salad and rice. The salad dressings were so addicting that I had quite a few servings of salad. They have both a ponzu and sesame base dressing to choose from. The pork cutlet is coated with panko (Japanese-styled bred crumbs) and is produced from fresh local bread baked every morning and was crispy without being greasy. The pork is sourced from local Fraser Valley farms, raised hormone-free, and is aged 18 hours and tenderized. I thought the pork was quite tender but it definitely did not meet the same standards as the ones I had at Maison in Japan. But again, those cuts were pricier, so you get what you pay. They have a pork filet set which is $1 more but less in quantity, but I heard it is more tender than the loin.

 

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Jumbo Prawn

S also added a Jumbo Prawn for $3.50. It is pretty big and is battered with the same panko. The prawn was sweet and you could dip it in the sweet mayo for more flavour.

 

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Curry Rosu Set

For myself, I ordered the Curry Rosu Set which features 130 grams of deep fried breaded pork loin with their signature curry over rice for $15.50. Again, this came with the unlimited salad and miso soup. The curry was very flavourful and not spicy at all. There was more than enough curry sauce to cover both the rice and pork.

 

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Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Saku and would return given there aren’t too many other katsu spots in the area. Of course, the ones in Japan are still hard to beat. I also thought the service was very friendly and attentive. I know sometimes with unlimited refills for sides, the servers won’t bring it to you unless you ask, but at Saku, the servers will do their rounds every so often and come by to check if you need refills. So unless you’re in a hurry, they will come by without you having to ask for it. I loved how they also asked us for feedback after our meal so they could continue to improve!

Pros:
– Non-greasy quality pork cutlets
– Unlimited refills for side dishes

Cons:
– Wish there were more cuts of pork to choose from

Price Range: $15-25 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 4 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid meter parking Overall: 4

 

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

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant

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We hadn’t visited White Rock in a while, so decided to head there for a stroll. I love how there are so many restaurants along the promenade, but I had read online a restaurant that was highly rated. Moby Dick is a famous fish and chips restaurant which has been open since 1975. The white and blue restaurant will definitely catch your eyes. Even though we arrived pretty late (close to 2pm) due to difficulty in finding parking, the restaurant still had a line up. You can order to go or dine in. Given it was a bit windy, we decided to sit in, but were luckily given a seat quickly on the patio since we were only a table of two.

 

 

The fish itself is quite large, but a lot of it is actually batter. The batter was extremely greasy and you could see they reused their oil too many times as the batter was almost brown! The oil is so strong that I ended up just eating the fish as it got a bit sickening to eat. I much prefer the light and flaky fish and chips at Pajos. The fries are not bad but nothing special either. I have to say the portion for the price is very affordable, but the quality is just not there.

 

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Onion Rings

We added a side of Onion Rings to our fish only order and the rings were on the smaller side. The batter was basically the same batter as the fish. Not bad, but I prefer the A&W onion rings.

 

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1 piece Fish & Chips

The selling point at Moby Dick is that with every order of fish, you will get a complimentary piece of fish. For example, if you want two piece of fish, then you should only get the one piece fish and chips which is $11.95. If you want four pieces, then get the three pieces fish and chips. This so called deal is not really a deal though. I did some calculations, and the price of fish is actually exactly the same no matter how many pieces of fish you get. I guess it’s just a psychology thing to make you think you’re getting a deal!

 

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1 piece Fish

As I didn’t want too many fries, I got the 1 piece fish only for $10.50 and it comes with a second free piece of fish as advertised. The fish itself is quite large, but a lot of it is actually batter. The batter was extremely greasy and you could see they reused their oil too many times as the batter was almost brown! The oil is so strong that I ended up just eating the fish as the batter got a bit sickening to eat. I much prefer the light and flaky fish and chips at Pajos. The fries are not bad but nothing special either. I have to say the portion for the price is very affordable, but the quality is just not there.

Overall, I don’t really see what the hype at Moby Dick is all about. Yes, the free piece of fish is a great selling point, and the large portions and price are pretty good, but the quality doesn’t live up to the hype. The restaurant itself is also not the most comfy. I found there were a lot of flies inside, and the outdoor patio is just alright.

Pros:
– Free piece of fish with every order
– Large portions

Cons:
– Quality is not there; batter is greasy and oil is over used

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 2.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Paid parking around the area Overall: 2.5

 

Moby Dick Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Ramen Takanotsume

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Ramen Takanotsume took over the spot of Ramenman earlier this year. Ramenman relocated to the Davie Street area. Hearing that the new ramen spot originates from Hokkaido, I was excited to come check it out.

The interior still looks pretty much the same as the previous ramen shop, but the first thing we noticed was the Jay Chou and other mandarin songs playing in the background… It was definitely quite odd at a Japanese ramen shop.

 

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White Dragon Shio

What’s unique about Ramen Taka is that the soup is supposed to be super hot as it is topped with a sizzling spoonful of seasoned Hokkaido lard. And it was definitely as advertised. S got the White Dragon Shio which is flavoured with sea salt. It came with wood ear fungus, bamboo shoots, seaweed, green onion, a large slice of pork and marinated egg. The broth was very flavourful and I also enjoyed the squiggly noodles. However, the toppings were quite disappointing.

 

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Supreme Dragon Miso

For myself, I got the Supreme Dragon Miso which features a blend of several misos to create a super smooth and deep miso flavour. The broth is also slightly spicy. Again, the broth was extremely hot and remained hot throughout my meal. It was a bit too hot for me at the beginning and I really had to blow on my noodles to cool it down. With the same toppings as the White Dragon Shio, they were equally a bit disappointing. The pork was a thin slice but extremely lean and had no fat content at all. I usually like my pork a bit lean, but this was a bit too lean for me. I really needed to submerge the pork in the soup to soften the pork a bit. As for the egg, it was definitely overcooked and was closer to a hard boiled egg. However, the broth was also very flavourful and not too salty.

Overall, I really enjoyed the broths and noodles ane especially appreciated the fact that the broth stayed hot throughout my meal. However, I was personally not a fan of the pork and egg which I think are a major component of the dish. Also, the location, although on Robson is just a bit out of the way and a bit hidden. Will probably come back if I’m around the area though.

Pros:
– Soup remains hot throughout the meal
– Soup base is flavourful

Cons:
– I personally didn’t enjoy the pork and egg

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

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

 

Ramen Taka 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.