Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, the Peaceful Restaurant received an amazing amount of publicity. To satisfy my curiosity, I wanted to see what made this restaurant beat out so many of Vancouver’s amazing culinary smorgasbord.
My “peaceful” experience started off on a negative note days before my visit. I received an unprofessional call from the restaurant the day before my reservation. Turns out they messed up my reservation – no problem – but the person behind the phone call definitely needed a lesson in professionalism.
The Peaceful Restaurant is a long and narrow restaurant with the kitchen lining 3/4 of the side of the restaurant. Seating is tight and there is no way a party of six or more would be able to fit comfortably. My family and I were seated near the back right outside the doorway to the kitchen which forced the six us to sit in a weird L-shaped arrangement.
The right of passage for any Shanghai restaurant is the steamed dumplings dish. Peaceful’s steamed dumplings were decent – the skin was thin yet held together to hold the flavourful pork broth within the dumplings.
The restaurant is also known for their hand-pulled/cut noodles so we had to order a dish to try it out. The hand-cut noodles were thick, chewy and freshly cut. The dish was lightly dressed with soy and chilis which didn’t take away from the fresh noodles.
So far my review has been relatively positive aside from the reservation debacle. I didn’t want to take away the recognition that the Peaceful Restaurant deserves for their flavourful food; however, they desperately need to take some lessons in providing a good customer experience.
One of the servers was obviously not pleased to be working that day. He seemed indifferent when seating us and was not helpful in introducing us to their menu. There was an instance where he walked by our table exasperated, cursing loud enough for us to hear him even though it was not directed at us. During a lag between dishes, he assumed we were done and proceeded to holler to one of the servers to get our bill, not bothering to even ask if we were even done. The final straw was when I approached the cash desk to pay our bill with debit (cash and debit only) and met a curt “I hope you have backup cash” by the same server.
I understand why the Peaceful Restaurant was highlighted by Triple D’s – their food is delicious and deserves the recognition. But for any restaurant to succeed, they need to provide their customers not only a culinary experience, but just an overall positive customer experience in which the Peaceful Restaurant severely failed.
532 W Broadway, Vancouver