The Diner is an authentic English-style diner located on West 10th, in Point Grey. The Diner is over 50 years old! As you can imagine, it feels like stepping back in time, and its quaint and kitsch decor is literally straight out of the 1960s. Even the cutlery, plates, cups, and teapots all look and feel very ancient.
British memorabilia lives in every nook and cranny. Photos of the British Royal family including a very young Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth, London Underground maps as place mats, British flags, English street signs, personal photos, plaques, old lanterns, wooden replica of the Tower Bridge, etc. – all blanket the diner walls and windows.
In honour of Kate & Wills’ upcoming nuptials, The Diner is hosting a “Royal Wedding Dinner” on April 29th. Ladies in attendance will dress in their best English fancy hats, and there will be dancing to celebrate this much anticipated wedding.
Monte Cristo ($8.60) – three pieces of egg dipped white bread sandwiched amongst white meat chicken, ham and cheese – served with butter and maple syrup on the side. Although the sandwich was very large and filling, the French toast-style bread was a little undercooked for my liking. Also, it would have been a nice touch if it had been served with a side of fries or salad.
As soon as we were seated the owner/server/could be my grandma/ Stella asked if we would like “tea or coffee”. I was jacked up on caffeine from the morning so I really couldn’t handle any more. Seeming like we had no other options I bravely asked if she had decaf. She gave me a stern look as if to say ‘does this look like some fancy-schmancy coffee shop?!’, but replied “no” in her English accent.
Instead she mentioned that she had ginger tea, which I quickly ordered. I noticed it was Yogi brand tea, and I found this rather amusing: No decaffeinated coffee but natural, non GMO, organic, Yogi brand ginger lemon tea. LOL. [FYI: if you're into yoga in Vancouver, check out this site] I seem to find Yogi ginger tea in the most unlikely of places, i.e. Hong Kong.
Stella was truly a delight – she had a wicked sense of dry British humour and took a genuine interest in all her customers. She told us a little bit about the history of her family-run restaurant, and that her husband does the cooking in the back. He came out to give us tips for our upcoming trip to London in the fall.
Gary ordered the Fish & Chips ($11.50) - a large piece of thick halibut surrounded by a thin, crispy batter. Served with a generous portion of thick-cut fries, vinegar, Kraft tartar sauce, and lemon. He really enjoyed this meal and thought it was significantly better (less greasy, larger portion, better service) than our most recent fish ‘n chips experience at Go Fish Ocean Emporium.
Upon presenting us the bill, Stella asked me to show her my left hand. She then she pulled out a ring pop and placed it on my ring-finger. She also gave Gary a lolipop and asked us to make sure we return to her diner. Cute.
Overall, The Diner is a no frills restaurant serving large portions of British style food, complete with traditional favorites like kidney pie, mushy peas and even Yorkshire pudding. Bonus: breakfast is served all day. Check it out the next time your have a hankering for old English fare and a good dose of grandma’s healthy banter