Lion’s Den Cafe
“5 out of 5 stars!” –Nicky Lau
651 E 15th Ave, Vancouver (at Fraser and Kingsway)
This extraordinarily friendly cafe is run by Ken and his wife. The easy-going couple will make you feel at home with their warm smiles and Ken’s inappropriate jokes. Everything from the menu and the decor is an interesting combination Caribbean and Japanese. Both the Japanese and Caribbean dishes at the Lion’s Den are as affordable as they are tasty.
The Lion’s Den’s claim to fame is its all day breakfast for a mere $4.29. In addition to the breakfast special there are breakfast options which include omelets, pancakes, and waffles. But I went there at dinner time — so I conformed and got a dinner-esque meal. By dinner-esque I mean they serve dishes like: ginger beef, teriyaki chicken, sushi, curry veggies, lamb, jerk chicken, and the like. Most of the dinner options include a large or small plate ($11/$9), I didn’t catch sight of a large dish — but even the small servings were more than enough to eat (and I was dinning with boys in their 20’s). I’ve heard that at the Lion’s Den the okonomiyaki (japanese pancake) is fabulous… but I cannot pass up a chance to mow down on some lamb – so it was a small curry lamb for me all the way! With the curry you can order it spicy or not. I advise not, since the spicy is a real eye opener – but nothing a *real man* can’t handle.
The lamb is served with a few potatoes, rice and a lovely rich and smooth tamarind curry flavor. The lamb is so soft and tender with a lasting sweet flavor that will sink into your mouth with a slight tang that stays on the lips. I also gave the curry veggies a try — and they are yummers! A smooth curry treat poured over a mountain of succulent veggies for your lucky taste buds.
I also took a quick dive into a bite of tasty spiced chicken. Very delightful, more tender than chicken usually is (even at restaurants) and the spice was a perfect amount of zing. Very worth the $9 price tag.
Or if you’re looking for a step down from the multi-ethnic options; get a breakfast dish or the crunchy, gooey grilled cheese with a salad for a mere $5.
And don’t forget to get a Red Stripe. Because if there’s another Jamaican beer outside of Jamaica….I haven’t met it yet. Red Stripe is a goo-ood lager, a real easy drinker for the lady who doesn’t think she likes beer.
The Lion’s den is tasty for what it is. The price is right. The fun atmosphere that Ken provides is the real charm. Friendly, dark, quiet, easy-going, inexpensive…what more could you want?
Open: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 9am-10pm
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