Whenever I'm in the neighbourhood, I always go out of my way to grab a chai to go. Their chai is to die for.
I would have to say East is East is one of my favourite places I go to whenever I crave middle eastern, curry dishes. Usually I go on an empty stomach so I order the Eastern Plate Feast. You get a large plate with bowls of homemade Dhal lentil soup, two types of rice of your choice (Afghan rice and basmati for me), side salad of mixed greens, beets, parsley and dill vinaigrette, roti, biryani and TWO items from the menu. I have tasted the Organic Lamb Kebab, Organic Chicken Masala, Wild Salmon, Saag Paneer, Afghan Eggplant, Mango Butternut squash (creamy, so delicious) and Alu Gobi- all tender, flavourful, juicy and seasoned well. The added bonus is that the refills are FREE, but to get the refills you can’t share the plate (that’s why I go on an empty stomach, wink wink). I think it’s great value when you get to try various menu items!
I ‘ve also tried the Double Roti Rolls. Great value for 13.50 which is served with side salad and dhal soup. I absolutely love the Chicken Mughal, the Gandhara Blues. They are filled with Afghan Rice, delicious seasoning and meat or vegetarian delights. Go to www.eastiseast.ca to get the full ingredients.
They have a great menu for cold and hot beverages. I’ve had their apple ginger shot (tart and spicey), Nutty Gyspy (pistachio, cinnamon, chocolate, cardamom, with a hint of rosewater smoothie; Ganges Nectar (honeydew, pineapple, lychee, rosewater, cardamom); Himalayan High(Mango, pistachio, rosewater, cardamom). These are some that I’ve tried. I think the portion could be bigger for the price, but they make up for that with the ingredients and flavour. Great cold treat! Once again, I love their chai. Made in house you have your choice of green tea or black which either can be made with soy or milk that day at the Main Street spot. At the West Broadway location, they have added a Rooibos chai to their menu. They really should bring it to the Main resto. Another feature is that if you bring your own take away cup you get a 10% discount AND if you want a refill, the drink is half off!
As for the interior, they really excelled on making this spot feel as though you stepped into another place in time. It has a very organic look. The walls are a textured plaster with Afghan carpets hanging on the wall. Tables and stools/benches are crafted to look like they took a tree, cut off circular discs for the stool seats, thick branches for stool pegs, long pieces of the tree for the table tops, lightly coated with shellac. There are plenty of pillows to add comfort to your visit and more Afghan rugs detailed into the banquettes. The warm palette of creams, browns, burnt red and oranges are reminiscent of my own home. The sensual lighting is perfect for my dining experience.
The service is fantastic! I’m always greeted when I enter. The staff is very attentive and I always have my water refilled. Whenever I’ve ordered my Eastern Plate, I’m always asked if I want more....OH YEAH! They do take out as well, for those on the go.
Yes, I could be the poster person for this place. I give East is East two major thumbs up!
They are doing something great. I just wish they would open one in New Westminster!