Peaceful restaurant has gained some accolades over the years, with recently winning a Chinese Restaurant Award for their ‘Peaceful Beef Rolls’, and also appearing in the first international episode of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (click here to watch the Vancouver round up), hosted by the awesome Guy Fieri. Obviously, appearing in ‘Triple D’ would put any restaurant on the map. So after watching Guy munch on the dishes at Peaceful, we decided to make a visit to see what the hype was all about.
We got to Peaceful just past 2pm on a Monday afternoon, and the extremely narrow restaurant was full. We had to wait 10 minutes for a table. We were surprised it was so busy at that time of the day. The servers looked like they were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, understaffed and looked like they were scrambling the entire time.
A booth by the window freed up for us, and our server said we could sit there. However, after she cleaned it she moved us to another table randomly. We said we preferred to sit by the window, but would not give us an option after initially saying yes, in a very aggressive and angry tone, even though she just cleaned the table for us. I can understand when you’re slammed you can’t always offer great service, but there’s no need to be rude to customers.
The beef pancake roll comes out in four pieces for $6.95. As expected the pancake was fried to a nice crisp on the exterior (thanks to the addition of shortening to the dough), but not super oily. The thinly sliced beef shank is flavoured well with a variety of spices such as star anise, cinnamon, liquorice root, fennel, and cardamum. The hoisin sauce was evident in the roll, but we found it to be slightly too sweet as they also add extra sugar to the already sweet hoisin sauce. The pancake was very good though.
Next up, the cumin lamb stir fried steam noodles. Here at Peaceful they are ‘known’ for their fresh hand pulled noodles, similar to what we’ve previously reviewed at Legendary Noodle. Here we have thinly sliced pieces of lamb, sauteed with peppers, onions, jalapenos, and cumin. The noodles were soft with a slight springiness and cooked throughout. The lamb was sliced thinly, similar to a hot pot consistency. A few bites in, we enjoyed this dish. But well into the dish it became evident there was way too much cumin, and the dish was too salty. The skin on our lips were wrinkled halfway into the dish. The dish is unique, but definitely not something we’d try again as the cumin was completely overpowering.
Lastly, we ordered the pan fried dumplings Guy Fieri raved about. The fresh dumplings are first steamed in a pan then fried till the bottom gets crispy and golden brown. The first bit into the dumplings and we both noticed the exterior wrapper contained too much dough, dominating the minced chicken and cabbage filling. The dipping sauce was quite light, just some soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. These weren’t very good, and we would not order them again as we’ve had better elsewhere.
A few anomalies about our experience at Peaceful restaurant. First, we witnessed the ‘rude’ server blatantly EATING a snack on the job while taking an order at a table. Are you kidding me? That was pretty unappetizing after witnessing that. Also, when we were paying for our bill (cash or debit only here), we noticed one server rinse out water cups in the sink, refill them and serve to customers. Regardless of this, one would think a dishwasher would be used to wash glasses, not the sink.
Peaceful conveys itself well on their website but in reality the restaurant is more along the ‘dive’ part of ‘Triple D’, as the interior wasn’t the cleanest. Their menus are worn down to the point of falling apart, and the area behind the till in particular needs some work. Service here is a miss, as clearly the restaurant can’t keep up with their success.