Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18th - Joyful Kitchen not so Joyful

I like to have a handful of reliable tasty restaurants in sleeping-walking distance from home.  You have to have a go-to Sushi, Indian, Thai, Burger and Chinese place, I think.  Having Korean is a bonus but normally a let down for me.  We have quite a few but lately our Thai place has been letting me down so I was chuffed when I saw Joyful Kitchen opened.  Often enough SE Asian places, even Thai, tend to have cross over into Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian and Singaporean foods.  It's not ideal though a darn sight better than the ones that include western and european in that mix.  Anyhoo, I wanted a new reliable Thai/Indo noodle place so we tried it out during their first week of opening.
The first thing that struck me is the retro (in a sad way) decor.  There were plastic plants and Christmas lights everywhere.  Still, if the food is good, I don't care.  We were greeted by an eager server which was well expected for opening week.  Though they were friendly, I felt like they were feeling their way around how attentive they 'should' be. 

We ordered a few dishes all of which I thought were staple dishes for the genre and should be easy to get right.  We had the Spicy Crab, Seafood Rice Noodle, Green Beans with Sambal and Coconut Rice.  The only thing we liked was the Coconut rice though it was a rather small portion. 

The Spicy Softshell Crab was not very spicy and a little slimey.  It lacked depth of flavour.  The crab itself did not have a great deal of meat.  If it tells you anything, D and I did not fight over the last piece.   The Green Beans were either not fresh or over cooked.  Dry and not as spicy as you would expect from Sambal. Green Beans!  How do you get Green Beans wrong?

The noodles, were dreadful.  I love the broad, flat noodles but these were so greasy and slimey, even the most adept at a fork let alone chopsticks would struggle to pick them up.  It was meant to be a Seafood Noodle dish and it had a very VERY pungent Chickeny aroma and taste that not even a big heaping mound of hot sauce could mask.  I found it very difficult to eat.  Actually there was no sauce, which I found confusing because it was described as having flavourful sauce. It was just thickened Chicken broth.  The noodles were less affected but I suspect the Broccoli was cooked in Chicken broth, but not only Chicken broth, funky Chicken broth.  We barely touched it.  I took it home thinking if I had it for lunch doused in Soy and Hoisin it would be better. It was NOT. 

The owner seemed very nice so it is regrettable that I have to say I will never eat here again.  It was altogether not even worth re-exploring as you might do if one thing was slightly off.  The first impression is so brutal to get wrong.  Go down the road to Maenam or 24/7 or even better Banana Leaf.  They have their occaisonal blips too but nothing like this meal. Chicken in my Seafood Noodle!!!!??? Grrr :^(

P.S (I seem to have lost my photos of this dinner or it was one of those forgot the camera, use D's iPhone nights. Will check and update :^D)
Cuisine: Malaysian, SE Asia
Cost: $$-$$$
Service: Friendly
Ambiance: Cheesy Cafeteria

Joyful Kitchen
967 West Broadway
(604) 569-3861
Vancouver, BC V5Z
Joyful Kitchen on Urbanspoon



0 Leave a / Read COMMENTs: