Like last night, when I was feeling something "special". The first Middle East restaurant I could think of was East Is East, where I have been there once in the early summer. So, any other choices? Yes of course; however, I didn't have Wi-fi at that time and could not think of any except East Is East. Well, since I did not get to try a lot from their menu...why not?
East Is East
3243 W Broadway, Vancouver BC
1: Yucks! 2:Improvement needed 3:So-So~ 4:Good 5:Very good 6:Heavenly
Food: 5 (only based on their vegetarian dishes)
Service: 6 (last time it was 5.5; this time was better because it was less busy)
- Authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine
- Dine in/Take out
- Vegan and Vegetarian friendly
- Since there are a lot of other restaurants around, parking may be a problem.
- Other location: 4413 Main St. (Check out their website for more detail)
- (Usually) Reservation is recommended.
Ahh, this made me miss summer a little.
- The one next door is called "Silk N' Spice" but it is actually the extended part of East Is East. I didn't get to sit there last time because it was too crowded. Not this time though! I even got to choose where I wanted to sit :)
- The upper level is called "Chai". I didn't go up though, maybe I will make a reservation there next time.
- East Is East offers live music (think classical indian and gypsy music!) every night, and I was lucky to enjoy some guitar that night ;) They also have dancers sometimes (flamenco, bellydance...)
- LOVE the exotic ambiance. Wooden chairs and tables, knitted carpets on the walls, lots of cushions, etc.......YES.
As usual, you got a free sample of the Darjeeling Masala Chai Tea, and this time, I was also lucky enough to have a bite of their Boulani, which is a traditional Afghan wheat roti stuffed with potato, green onion and herbs. If you order it from the menu, it is also served with chickpeas, dehydrated yoghurt, beets and sprouts. It was actually really good and tasty. I may order this next time :D
I didn't try their drinks last time and, given their wide choices of drinks, I knew I have to try one this time. They have:
- Eastern Shakes (a mixture of ice-cream/frozen yoghurt + soy milk/organic milk)
- Yoghurt Lassies (plain organic yoghurt + fresh fruits + ice)
- Smoothies (fresh fruits + ice)
- Fresh Organic Juices
- Eastern Teas (hot/cold)
I looked at their hot teas and it didn't take me long to decide what to get.
Lemon Ginger Chai-5/6
- This is one of their dairy-free teas; the other one is Soy Chai.
- Chai tea is made with tea, brown sugar, milk, ginger, and a blend of spices.
- Lemon and ginger are some of my favourites (yes, I like foods with a high pungency), so for me, nothing can go wrong when you mix these two ingredients together.
- Of course, it is a little spicier than the original chai tea as expected; however, the drink tastes more like a...lemon juice. The first sip is very lemony, then you got the heat in your throat afterwards.
- In all, it is still a nice drink for me because it has more tartness than I thought. I finished everything at the end :P
On the food! They have starters, and food plates($19) which is served with a dahl(lentil) soup, salad, boulani, roti, Afghan and coconut rice, AND a choice of any 2 items from their Silk Route Feast menu. If this sounds too much for you, you can order the Eastern Roti Rolls separately, like what I did.Eastern Roti Rolls
- $11.50/Single $14.50/Double (*Note that meat rolls have different prices)
- Each roll comes with green salad, dhal soup, brown lentil rice/Afghan rice
- It is basically a lentil soup with chickpeas, tomatoes, cauliflowers, spinach, herbs and spices.
- It is quite thick and is loaded with ingredients! Also it is very tasty and I enjoyed it a lot.
- Baby greens, spinach, carrots, beets, green peppers, tomato and cucumbers
- They are average. Fresh vegetables served with an acidic dressing.
- Baked eggplant (sauteed with herbs, tomato, onion, garlic and spices) and rice stuffed in a roti.
- You can never go wrong with baked eggplant! This one is moist and soft, and was very rich in flavour.
- Does this ensemble look familiar to you? This totally reminds me of a burrito! You got some very soft eggplant to begin with, then a bed of tasty rice. At the end, it is a mixture of more eggplant and some rice.
- You can choose to have brown lentil rice or Afghan rice. I chose Afghan rice, which is basmati rice with raisins and carrots. It is tasty and I found...2 raisins in total. I didn't really find any carrots though but that's fine with me as I don't really like carrot. However, don't get me wrong! The rice is still good and it goes well with the eggplant.
- Not sure whether the roti is handmade or not. It looks more like the pre-made ones...and it is very thin. I was worrying the fillings would fall out from the bottom.
Again, since I didn't try their desserts last time, I decided to try this time even though they only offer 4 desserts.Gulab Jamen-1.5/6
- Traditional Indian cakes topped with pistachio and rosewater (served hot)
- This looks cute and appealing I know, but don't let them fool you! I don't really care about the pistachio (see the finely chopped "powder" on top?). The rosewater, on the other hand, smells very refreshing, also very sweet.
- The Indian cakes, which come more like balls to me, are very sweet. They taste like mochi balls (without the white powder) serve in a hot/warm liquid. I don't want to continue to describe the texture of it.......I know it will sound nastier and nastier... : You can give it a try and tell me what you think :)
Again, the same question: Will I come back? Yes I will, definitely. There are still other roti rolls and starters I want to try.