Thursday, 9 February 2012


My second and last Dine Out Vancouver of 2012. I dare say La Vallee has given me the worst fine dining experience of all time. Which is such a shame, the restaurant décor is absolute stunning, the food is amazing, but the service definitely could use much more improvement. Dine Out Vancouver is to incentive for Vancouverites to try out restaurants and enjoy a three course meals at a slightly cheaper price. It is not a surprise, as I have stated with Mistral French Bistro, that restaurant qualities fall slightly to accommodate the high volumes of customers. But La Vallee`s service has me extremely doubtful about giving it another chance.

SERVICE & FOOD | Normally I review AMBIANCE and  FOOD, but for lack of better words, I cannot wait to share my dining experience from beginning to end.

I had arrived with my party 7 people at 7pm. We ordered by 7:30 and the appetizer came about 20 minutes later. The bread, I must say, was the best of the night - it was deliciously fluffy and warm. The vinaigrette complemented the bread very well. Definitely a smile on my face. But when asked the server for some hot water, which she promptly plopped a large boiling teapot in front of me ON TOP of my fork - immediately I saw a tiny red flag. The crab cake was decent, but the salad I ordered was rather mediocre. I had read reviews on this restaurant stating that this salad seemed to have came straight from a Costco salad box, and as much as I hate to say, I do agree. The appetizers seemed rather "thrown together" - rather thoughtless.

However the disappointment lies in the entree. We had to wait an hour and a half after the appetizers until our main courses finally arrived -the dirty appetizer dishes were still sitting on the table the whole time. For the benefit of the doubt, we thought maybe the food was freshly cooked - that was the only way to explain the delay. But the food was not only cold, the server did not even try to remember who ordered which plate! She simply stood at the front of the table announcing the dish and expected us to raise our hands and say "mine!". I was over the top surprised at the service from a restaurant located in a formal hotel Downtown Vancouver. The food AND plates were not even warm, it was simply room temperature.  I could taste so much potential in my lamb shank. The side of potato was butter and soft, the tender lamb shank was cooked with a rich sauce. But the wait, shocking service, and room temperature food already made my tastebuds run away. 

Lastly the dessert, I took two bites of my Praline and it tasted wonderful! The layers of cake and crisp was intricate and not overbearingly sweet. But the pistachio parfait that my friends ordered, was ruined by the service. Originally the parfait was elegantly designed to stand freely in the middle of the plate, decorated with drizzles along the side. But one of my girlfriend's parfait had toppled over and buried the spoon by the time the server brought the dish to our table (please see the picture below) and the server clearly pretended not to notice. 

I walked out of this restaurant with utter disappointment and pity. Not once did the server come by to ask us if the food was alright or if we needed anything else. Not once did I feel like my money and presence was appreciated. The food in this restaurant - although lacking a tad of character and thought, was savoury and delightful.

I see so much potential in this restaurant, only for it to be masked behind such terrible service. I did say in my last review that Dine Out qualities are to be judged with discretion, but La Vallee has me again, extremely doubtful that I will return.  

1379 Howe St. Vancouver
La Vallee on Urbanspoon

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