Tamarind Hill (North Van) – Escape From the North Shore

If you’ve ever seen a zombie apocalypse movie, you’ll have an inkling of what we went through one early March weekend on the North Shore.  But before we get to that, let me explain why we were in North Vancouver in the first place.

You see, New Westminster has a great little Malaysian restaurant called Tamarind Hill (see our posts about it here and here).  There’s also a location in North Vancouver on Lonsdale.  Since we were already on the North Shore on this Saturday morning, we decided to stop by for an early lunch (since their website said that they opened at 11am).  This turned out to be the first problem that we encountered on this fateful day because when we arrived at their restaurant at 11am, we noticed that they were closed and the sign on their door said that they open at 11:30am!  WTF!  How difficult is it to update the hours on a website?

Anyhoo, it seemed a waste to come out this far without getting our Malaysian fix on so we did a little more window shopping along Lonsdale and came back at 11:30am… only to find out that they were still closed!!  We double-checked to make sure they opened on Saturdays and decided to stick it out for a few more minutes and do a bit more window shopping.  As we walked by across the street around 11:45am, we noticed that there was a couple of other potential diners who were standing in front of the restaurant staring at the store hours signs and looking perplexed.

By this time, we figured it must be fate so we hopped in our car and headed up to the Upper Levels Highway to go back home… famished and disappointed.

When we made it onto the on-ramp, we were greeted by a line of red brake lights that stretched as far as the eye could see.  It was as if there was some type of zombie apocalypse and everyone was trying to get out of Dodge.  Figuring that we couldn’t make it over the Second Narrows, we put our car in reverse and backed up down the on-ramp and veered down Lonsdale to try and make it to the Lions Gate Bridge instead.

That’s when we noticed that Tamarind Hill was finally open!  Figuring that the other bridge would probably be congested with other drivers, we resigned our fate to the zombie apocalypse and pulled over for one last meal at Tamarind Hill.

A full hour after when we were aiming to have lunch, we finally sat down and ordered the Murtabak Gado Gado Beef ($7.95) – Malaysian Roti wrapped with curried beef, lettuce, and onions and served with a bean sprout, tofu, green beans, potatoes, and cucumber salad served with peanut sauce.  If you like their roti, you’ll probably like this dish because the roti has that crispy, flaky exterior and soft chewy centre that goes perfectly with their curry dipping sauce.  Plus, the addition of the gado gado beef makes this a hearty meal.


The end of the world is hardly a time to worry about carbs so we ordered the Char Kuey Teow ($7.75) – I know it’s hawker-style food but it is so good.  There’s stir-fried flat rice noodles with a spicy sweet soy sauce, egg, bean sprouts, shrimp, fish cake and cuttlefish all served up on the same plate.


Lastly, we ordered the Malaysian Chicken Curry with Rice ($7.95) which came with cabbage, tomato, eggplant, green beans, and wonderfully juicy chicken morsels.


I have to admit, the food was very good but I was a bit peeved by the hours being wrong on the website.  The only thing that is worse is if they don’t open when the physical sign on their door says they should be open (oh, wait… that happened too).  I also noticed that the prices on their website weren’t the same prices that were on their in-store menus (although the actual price was slightly less than what was advertised on their website).  Note to other restaurants: please try to update your website or don’t even bother having one.  Incorrect information is worse than no information.

With our tummies filled, we decided to see if we could make it off of the North Shore.  This time around, we made sure to listen to the traffic reports first.  Apparently, the entire Second Narrows Bridge was closed down and police were expecting it to last for hours.  Due to the lack of information, it was one of two possibilities: a potential jumper or a zombie outbreak.

In either case, it meant that we were stuck on the North Shore.  We tried to head over to the Lions Gate Bridge but we were met with a traffic jam that stretched across the entire city.  After a very long while (and only moving about 4 blocks) we heard that the situation on the Second Narrows was finally resolved and the bridge was open.  We made a beeline back up Lonsdale, past Tamarind Hill (again) and finally made it back to the safety of Vancouver… weary and exhausted but, thankfully, full from our Malaysian lunch.

1440 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver, BC


Tamarind Hill on Urbanspoon

Posted on May 5, 2013, in Malaysian, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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