5 Tastes Chinese Bistro is located at UBC’s University Village. Since it was a Sunday, everything else was closed and my friend and I ended up going here for dinner after studying for our final exams. We wanted to have a nice meal and unwind after a long day but instead, we left feeling bitter about the whole dining experience.
When we arrived, one of the servers said something to us in Chinese but we didn’t understand so she just seated us at a table. When we opened the menu, we saw that they were all big dishes for family-style sharing… which we weren’t there for (obviously, it was just the 2 of us). My friend had been here once previously and had a smaller, individual meal so we were waiting to ask one of the people working there if they had a separate menu for that.
Everyone seemed so frazzled, running around looking like they were so busy but in fact, the restaurant wasn’t even half full. Several servers passed us by, including the manager who repeatedly yammered at us to “wait one moment”. Finally, he came over to our table and we asked if they had individual meals. He exclaimed that we have to sit at the other section so we had to switch tables at the other side. Turns out they do have another menu. They had some small dishes and snacks and if you want noodle soup, it’s kind of like Deer Garden where you choose the soup base, the type of noodles, and toppings to add.
I opted for a fish soup base since it was one of their popular options and I remember having good fish soup at other restaurants. Unfortunately, that was probably a mistake (although I don’t know if the other choices would’ve been any better). The fish soup was too fishy for me — OK, I know it’s fish but it shouldn’t have been that fishy. The beef slices I got were tough too and seemed like leftover pieces of meat.
My friend got the hot & sour soup base and she said it was too salty.
So the food wasn’t great, but it was edible. What disgusted us the most was the service. My friend heard the group before us asking to split their bill when they went up to pay and apparently the manager yelled, saying that they’re too busy to do that! That should be the default when you see a bunch of friends eating together. So when it was our turn to pay, we also asked to split the bill. We wouldn’t have bothered if one of us had enough change but sure enough, the manager was extremely rude and disrespectful to us too. He had the nerve to roll his eyes and scoff at us! Then, when I wanted to pay by credit card, he picked up and slammed this tiny sign on the counter that says there’s a minimum of $25 when paying by credit. He could’ve just told me nicely… 😡
Never before have I encountered such blatant disregard for customers. After our meal, I checked the reviews on Yelp and of course, they were all bad reviews! Check them out for more laughs. This was my first time here and I am never going back. I don’t think the owners even care that they’re losing customers due to their atrocious service. Thanks but no thanks for adding unnecessary stress on top of studying for finals.
Food – 5/10
Service – 1/10
Ambience – 6/10
Value – not even worth it