Purple Olives Grill

Found this restaurant on Thurlow, off Robson. I never knew or heard of this restaurant, and was hungry for food after a day of Christmas shopping. So I landed here with a girlfriend. When we first entered the restaurant, the first thing I noticed is that there is no one in there… (That’s usually not a good sign.)

We sat for a bit before the waitress came to help us, and after we have decided what to order we had to wait some more for her to come help us again. (She is the only staff working at this quite large restaurant.)

While we waited for our food, I looked around at the decor and such. It’s a very dark restaurant but decent decor. But seems like the food doesn’t live up to the looks. (Yes very dark to a point I couldn’t really get any sharp pictures and food presentation weren’t too presentable either.)

I used my groupon where I can get two appetizers and a main course for only 15.00/person.

Clam chowder – served with garlic toast. This is ok, at least it didn’t taste like canned soup. There are chunks of potato and clams to munch on. Though the garlic toast was not very crispy. Yes it was soggy. 😦

Second appetizer is the caesar salad with shrimp – okay maybe I should have expected it but the shrimp were frozen, tiny (I call them immature shrimps) and too salted. The caesar salad had way too much sauce that all the lettuce were soggy. (Too many soggy in one meal.)

Last is my purple olive ribs – honey sauce. The ribs are good, they were tender and not too much flavouring. And it was a very large rack also (considering I am using a coupon.)

Also got to try out my friend’s New York steak with prawns (these prawns are actual size. :P) Steak at medium rare was decent, a little lack of sauce (haha either too much sauce or no sauce. XD)

I am not quite sure if I’ll revisit. Nothing really impressed me.

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I had been to this restaurant twice and everytime I love it even more. A sister restaurant of Ginyo. When I first saw it and the line up waiting outside of it, I thought hey what is the hype?! 😛 So I paid a visit about two months ago and again this month. This is a Japanese ‘Snackbar’ (which really means izakaya – go wiki izakaya to get a full understand why this is the most favourite and popular place to go in Japan) With awesome decor and excellent service.

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Like many Japanese Izakaya, you order tons of tapas to share among your table with drinks. My friends aren’t the drinking type, so we ordered lots of food and Suika soda. (Suika means watermelon in Japanese, therefore it is a watermelon soda.) It actually tasted pretty good, I am sure they have an alcohol mixed version of this if you are into drinking. 🙂

Since there are too many food that I have ordered (I can’t remember names for all of them.) I’ll talk about five items that I liked the most during this visit that I would recommend.

Corn Karaage – Deep fried corn bits combined into one tasty piece of heaven.

Oh my, I saw a recommendation of this on Urbanspoon and no doubt it should be. It was so yummy! Lightly fried with butter and batter on these sweet little juicy corn bits. I love every bite of it. This is a must order – will go so well with Asahi. 😛

I am so sorry but I cannot remember what the name of this is. I think it’s a daily special? But let me describe it to you and hopefully the friendly staff can help you with it. It is almost like a salad with some spring mix but sashimi bits with this sweet and sour sauce that taste a bit balsamic vinegar. With fresh green onion with tobikos. You simply put some of those on the baked baguette they serve with, trust me this is yummy and very refreshing – helps open up your appetite.

The lotus root pizza is on the daily special menu. I never thought of eating the lotus root this way. 😛 But it is good! Because if you really think about it, most pizzas are soft without any crunchy or chewy items on top. The lotus root would give you that crunch for sure. I loved the texture and the flavour. So have a bite while it’s there. 🙂

Sashimi ‘Shake’ Salad is recommended by our server. Reason why it’s called ‘Shake’ Salad is because they literally shake it in front of you. The salad with sashimi is put into a jar with the salad dressing. They shake it around in the jar in front of you and pour it into the bowl to serve. Taste like any good sashimi salad but you see the presentation matters too. 😉

I am not a 100% sure that this is the sushi party – but it is one of the sushi combo dish. (There are only a few I believe.) I had to try out their sushi bar (otherwise it really misses the point of going to a Japanese restaurant :P) Their fish are fresh and good pressure on the rice. This one I have ordered are generally heavier flavoured sushi – which works really well with all the heavy flavoured items they serve. (Generally in Japan if you eat sushi you eat from most flavourless to the most flavourful, so you can truly taste the true taste of each kind of sushi.)

In general I really enjoyed this place, their quality of food is as good as Ginyo. I like how it is not in Downtown and easier for me to reach to. Great place for groups!

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