Sherman's Food Adventures: Yianni's


I do occasionally refer to Urbanspoon for ideas as to where to eat. Now, I generally try not to read too many of the reviews because it might possibly influence my opinion. Therefore, I look at the "like" percentage. Now, that is where there is an inherent problem. With that type of voting system, where it doesn't require someone to actually write an accompanying review, it basically screams out "manipulation". Hence, many "highly-rated" or even "lowly-rated" restaurants could be the result of ballot-stuffing (AKA - the owner or friends of the owner voting positively). I'm not sure if this was the case with Yianni's in New West, but that was one of the reasons we chose to eat at the place for lunch (the 80%+ rating).

Meeting up with Slick, Big D, Head Case and Smiles for lunch, we intended to put a good dent into the menu. We did like the feel of the place though, as it had an open front where the sunshine and fresh air flowed into the spacious dining room. For me, I went for the Moussaka because Slick and Smiles both ordered the Roast Lamb. No duplicates! Wait, there was a duplicate... The agony! Anyways, I cannot say it in any other way - the Moussaka sucked. It had to be one of the worst versions I've ever had. First, it was a really small portion, even for lunch. Second, the bechamel sauce on top was hard, dry and barely there. I actually had to chew through the sauce (and that wasn't merely referring to the top of it either). The meat underneath was overseasoned with too much allspice, however, it was moist and tender though. Even the tzatziki was not good. It was thin and was predominantly flavoured with dill. No cucumber or garlic hit.

As for the Roast Lamb, it was an okay portion for the price, yet it was not as moist as we would've liked. The piece I tried was rather stringy. There was flavour, mostly with the tomato sauce on top though. Big D had the Calamari and it was not that good either. Although the batter was crispy, the squid practically had no texture. It was far too soft and was completely overwhelmed by the crunch. On the positive side, it was seasoned quite well. Too bad it had to be dipped into that watery tzatziki. And finally, Head Case had the Lamb Souvlaki which was a smallish portion. The lamb flavour really didn't come through as he thought it tasted more like beef. The texture was nice though, tender and easy to chew with a nice char on the outside. Like me, he really didn't get the tzatziki as it didn't resemble tzatziki. So there you have it, so pretty "meh" Greek food bordering on "less than meh". We went away confused as to the 80% rating on Urbanspoon.

The Good:
- Pleasant service (although there was only one server)
- Nice ambiance
- Okay pricing

The Bad:
- Small portions
- Below average food

Yianni's Greek Taverna on Urbanspoon


mbsunshine said...

The percentage doesn't mean too much unless you also consider the geographical region it's in. For example, a chinese restaurant in chilliwack may rate in the upper 80's. But considering there aren't many asian people in that area to begin with... I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't like it. (Like when I went to Kelowna and ate the worst bowl of Pho ever!) But the locals like it and don't know better, so you're stuck eating less than mediocre food *insert extremely sad face here*

LotusRapper said...

I take Urbanspoon's ratings with a small pinch of kosher sea salt, LOL.

Seriously though, in New West, some of the best Greek foods I've had in Greater Vancouver is at Stefanos on Columbia. Been going there for about 12 years for office functions and such, and they've been consistently good.

BTW, Greka Taverna across the street from Stefanos is run by the brother. Rumor has it it was a family feud thing that caused a split and had the other brother operating across the road.

Sherman Chan said...

@mbsunshine and @LR Agreed. The voting system on Urbanspoon is highly unreliable.

LotusRapper said...

It used to be that Tasteof604 and Dinehere were deemed unreliable and often "stacked" with people affiliated with the restaurants being reviewed (ie: family, friends, etc) and Urbanspoon and Yelps were pretty okay. Now I only read blog reviews as a way to gauge a restaurant.

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