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Joyful not quite there yet (Vancouver)

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The SO and I TOFTT last night. This Malaysian resto has only been open six days and we came with lowered expectations accordingly. Alas not solid enough for a recco yet.

We tried four dishes, admittedly a small sample from a largish menu which also includes some Thai items. The mutabak ($7.95) was three flat pieces of bread that was quite flaky with a small side of tasty ground beef and a very good yellow curry dipping sauce. It felt $2 too expensive as did all the dishes we ordered. The menu said there would be two pieces.

We tried a snapper dish which we ordered expressly because it came wrapped in banana leaves ($14.45). We assumed (wrongly) that meant it was steamed. Instead it was deep fried, then covered in a fairly zippy sauce and wrapped in leaves. Once we got our heads around the deep frying, it wasn't bad, though I wouldn't swear it was snapper, and it was neither boneless nor a fillet both of which I believe the menu said it was.

Next came the green beans with sambal ($9.95). This was a fail, overdone and with a very boring sauce. We left nearly all of it and did not get it to go.

Finally the KL style hokkien mee for $9.95 was good. I like the chubby round noodles, it had a hint of wok hei and overall was quite successful. We took the remainder to go.

The waiter who I think may be either part owner or possibly a manager asked us how we liked it and I told him. Then another lady came over to hear the feedback which I gave as above minus the $2 comment. She gave us 20% off (everyone gets 10% off till December 15) and a couple of coupons for $3 off on $15 or more. Nice gestures and we said we'd be back when they'd settled in a bit but I think it would have been more strategic to comp us the beans, actually. For more than $40 even with the discount this didn't feel like good value though it would have been more tenable had the food quality been consistently good.

The chef is apparently Malay. There is free parking in the back, a little tricky to find but it is there. No pix as this was a spur of the moment meal.

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  1. Will have to give this a go. I would love for it to improve especially if we are to lose Seri Malaysia.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Ah...Fmed...what's this about losing Seri Malaysia? I still haven't made it there and it's going?!?!? Rats....snoozing and losing....

      Seri Malaysia Restaurant
      2327E Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V5L1V6, CA

      1. re: bdachow

        The full name of the resto is Joyful Kitchen and its at 967 West Broadway. I hope they get it together as there is some promise. They are so close to Banana Leaf and across from Pondok so there is SE Asian competition nearby but maybe they can do better :-).

        I'm sure fmed will weigh in but it appears Jamal is closing for real this time and opening up an African (?!) place instead.

        1. re: grayelf

          Yep..it's looking bleak. Jamal is burnt out and wants to sell the place. A Somali restaurant will take over in January I think. (It's all up in the air).