There are few eateries in New West that boast a creamy coconut-based beef rendeng and fluffy roti canais on their menu. Tamarind Hill, located in the heart of uptown, was one that did — for 16 years. But in less than a week, on Oct. 10, the home of melt-in-the-mouth boneless hainanese chicken and soft shell crab will be closing its doors in New West.
When the restaurant announced the news of its closing in a short Facebook post on the morning of Oct. 1, fans did not hide their disappointment.
Amanda Gray wrote on Facebook, “I'm soooo disappointed that we're losing you from our neighbourhood! You're one of the most unique and exciting restaurants here! I came as often as I could over the pandemic because I wanted to ensure your continuance, but now you're going anyway.”
Yet another Facebook user, Morgan Haupt, added, “Your laska has seen me through many a dark and dreary winter night and every sick day.”
In the post, Tamarind Hill's owner, Louis Leung took a trip down the memory lane: “As I reflect on the past 16 years, I have met many of you who I not just served but also come to know and be a part of your lives as you celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and all other wonderful reasons you have to celebrate with Tamarind Hill.”
Tamarind Hill has a location in North Vancouver, but New West (at 628 Sixth Ave.) is where it started in June 2005. Ever since, the eatery has won several awards including Reader’s Choice “Best Ethnic Restaurant” in New Westminster for four consecutive years from 2014 to 2017, according to the restaurant’s website.
“During this time,” Leung added in the post, “I also had the privilege to witness couples dine out on their first date, then to seeing them married, then celebrate the birth of their first child, or had parents bring their young children to try Malaysian food for the first time and been a patron ever since." All the memories, he said, were "worth far more than the dollar on the cheque."
"Whether you are with us at your happiest times or at our darkest days during the pandemic, it is these moments and your undying support that had kept me going til this day,” he added.
So what made the eatery bid adieu to its first home?
Leung briefly noted that “current economic conditions as well as other unforeseen reasons'' are what pushed them to close. The news comes around the same time as Chronic Tacos on 10th Street announced that it’s closing on Oct. 25, and just a few weeks after another longstanding New West restaurant, Coming Home Cafe, was reportedly forced to close down.
Now, if you need a large bowl of pineapple seafood fried rice and a chilled Tiger Gold lager to take that news in, Tamarind Hill’s North Vancouver location (1440 Lonsdale Ave.) will continue to remain open.
As Leung wrote in the Facebook post, “I will be heading back to my other location at North Vancouver to continue on this journey. I look forward to the opportunity to be able to see and serve you once again if and when you head out that way.”