Saturday, April 2, 2011

Copa Café: A Restaurant Review

Yup... another café, but this one is very different from Medina's. Calvin and I were on our way to the Sakura Days Japan Fair at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden, when we passed by Copa Café and decided to stop for lunch. As Calvin guessed, this place is a Hong Kong-style eatery. When we approached the door we could already tell that this place was a popular place to eat in the neighbourhood (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the front), but we only had to wait a couple of minutes to get a seat. The menu had all the typical foods found in a Hong Kong-style café, like various noodle dishes, different kinds of fried rice, as well as other fried meat and sauce dishes served with rice. One thing that was a bit different here than other Hong Kong-style cafés we've been to was that they had offered rice dishes served in a hot stone pot (much like dolsot bim bim bap served in Korean restaurants). Upon seeing that section of the menu, Calvin was decided.

For myself, I ordered some curry beef brisket with rice. Typically in Hong Kong-style cafés their lunch menu includes a hot drink with your order. If you wish to order a cold drink you usually have to pay extra, so I went for hot ovaltine this time :)

I was pretty hungry. I forgot to take a picture of it before I digged in!
Close up of my curry beef brisket. They had added some chili oil on top.
My curry beef brisket tasted pretty good, but it's not the best I've had. I still like the curry beef brisket better at Mui Gardens (another Hong Kong-style café) and at this other place I can't remember the name of, but it's in the food court of Aberdeen Centre in Richmond. As for Calvin's rice dish (szechuan lamb in a Japanese bbq sauce) in the hot stone pot, first of all, he had to wait extra long to get it, but when it came out it was sizzling! Normally that would be good, but they filled the bowl all the way to the top which again would normally be good; however the combination of sizzling hot food that's piled high in a hot stone pot means you can't stir your food without it spilling out. And if you can't stir your sizzling food in your hot stone pot to help it cool down, then the bottom of your food burns, which is what happened with Calvin's food.

Calvin's szechuan lamb with a Japanese bbq sauce.
He ate most of it, but when he got closer to the bottom of the bowl, his rice was seriously burnt. When the waiter took it away, Calvin told him about it being burnt and he was nice enough to take it off our bill. Oh yes, the food prices. One of the good things about Hong Kong-style cafés is that the prices are cheap for the amount of food you get. I believe my dish was $6.95 (including my hot ovaltine) and Calvin's dish was $7.99, but since the waiter took his rice dish off of the bill, he decided to charge us for Calvin's coffee ($2.50), which was fine since we didn't have to pay the $7.99. We also left a bigger tip since Calvin did still eat most of his food. The waiter also gave us 2 coupons for free bubble tea if you spend at least $10.00 (per coupon).

My hot ovaltine (and Calvin's coffee back there).

Although we had to wait a bit long for our food, I think we would still come back if we were in the area. The food is decent, the waiters and waitresses were good, and the restaurant itself is pretty nice looking. Next time Calvin will try the clubhouse sandwich (what he normally orders at Hong Kong-style cafés - weird, huh? LOL).

Overall rating: 7/10 (This is only what I rated it, Calvin said he can't rate it until he tries their clubhouse sandwich.)

Copa Café
4036 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC   V5Z 2X8

There is also another location in Coquitlam (1175 Johnson Street).

Sorry, this eatery does not have its own website.

Until next time! :)

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