Cafe Mai-Mai

I used to put tons of milk and sugar into my coffee in order to make it more palatable. My typical cup probably consisted of 1/2 coffee and 1/2 milk and sugar. I have, in the past 2 years or so, gotten more used to the taste of black coffee however. There is an espresso machine in the lab where I’m currently doing my graduate school that I used every morning to save up on buying coffee myself. Unfortunately, the machine does break from time to time, and has been out of service this week, meaning that I had to resort to instant coffee in order to get my much needed caffeine kick. And while I’m by no means a coffee expert, instant coffee just tasted bland to me. Thus, when I saw Vietnamese Coffee on the menu of Cafe Mai-Mai, I was naturally inclined to order. The latter is a small Vietnamese joint located on Granville, in Marpole. They serve up a basic menu consisting of the regular Vietnamese pho and other dishes. In addition to the coffee, I had their Pork Patty Salad Rolls and Com Ga.

Pork Patty Salad Rolls, 2 pc ($7.25):


3.5/5
The salad rolls contained vermicelli and pieces of pork, and is served with a side of peanut sauce. The pork was tender and had a nice flavour. On their own, the rolls were a bit on the bland side, however they are quite tasty when dipped in the sauce.

Com Ga ($11.25):


3/5
This consisted of lemongrass chicken on rice. Unfortunately, I found the chicken here to be a tad of a letdown: it was a little underseasoned and bland, and missing the charred grilled flavour. It wasn’t bad though, and I still enjoyed it.

Vietnamese Coffee ($4.25):


4/5
This was coffee served on a layer of condensed milk. Full disclosure: I’m definitely not a coffee expert and I can’t tell the difference between good coffee and bad coffee. I can only say that I really enjoyed the drink here: the coffee paired incredibly well with the condensed milk, which lent a great creaminess and a nice sweetness.

After spending the last few days drinking instant coffee, I must say that the Vietnamese Coffee from Cafe Mai-Mai has been a nice change (I don’t know why I never thought of putting condensed milk into my coffee before, especially seeing that my mom used to buy it quite often). The rest of the food is fairly decent. Prices are fairly reasonable while the service is minimal, but friendly. All in all, not a bad joint for some Vietnamese fare.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Pork Patty Salad Rolls, Vietnamese Coffee
Cafe Mai-Mai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe de L’Orangerie

So I’ve learned a new word today: orangerie. Apparently, back in the day, when oranges are apparently a luxurious commodity, rich people who had nothing better to spend their money on, decided to create rooms dedicated to the storage of oranges.

Cafe de L’Orangerie, however, did not appear to have anything to do with storing oranges. Rather, they are a cute cafe in Marpole serving up a menu consisting of Japanese and Japanese-Western fusion food. I had their Appetizer Chicken Nanban, Croquette, and Spaghetti Carbonara (with Hamburger Steak).

Appetizer Chicken Nanban ($8):


3/5
This consisted of a chicken filet that has been deep fried and is coated in a sweet and sour glaze, and is served with a side of tartar sauce. The chicken itself is white meat, and as such, it’s quite tender and juicy. It was also quite flavourful. However, I did find there to be way too much skin/batter and too little meat; moreover much of the skin was not crispy, but rather soggy and chewy.

Croquette, 2 pc ($6):


3.5/5
The exterior was quite crunchy and crispy. The filling consisted mostly of rice and potato with bits of edamame and ground pork mingled within. It is served with a sauce; I did find the sauce to be a bit too salty however, with the filling being flavourful enough on its own.

Spaghetti Carbonara + Hamburger Steak ($12 + $4):


3.5/5
The spaghetti was tender, while still maintaining some texture, and is tossed in a cream sauce that contained bacon and mushrooms, and was quite savoury and flavourful on its own. The hamburger steak was tender and juicy, albeit a tad bland. I was pleasantly surprised by the portion, which I found to be quite generous for the price.

Although the food at Cafe de L’Orangerie didn’t exactly blow me away, I did still quite enjoy all their food. The prices were very reasonable, especially since they provide quite generous portions. The service was also good: the food came quickly and the staff was quite friendly and attentive. This is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Croquette, Spaghetti Carbonara
Cafe de l'Orangerie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato