A small casual middle-eastern and Indian restaurant. Sit in or take out and quite affordable.
A small group of us gathered here for a Sunday evening get together. Not knowing what to expect we were thrilled with the outcome.
Its soothing decor takes you away from the traffic of Broadway with warm colours that leaves you with a sense of calm. Right down to the furniture details everything feels authentic, including our tree slab counter; it's concave nature made for some cautious maneuvers. Really, the sense of authenticity.
The menu is kept simple, really only 2 entree choices: the stuffed roti rolls or the Eastern plates that offer various small dish samplings. It was easy to forget that most of the dishes are vegetarian while I enjoyed my potato and cauliflower roti and the fantastic Dhal soup and especially the various nibbles off my gf's plate, which included Afghan rice, Saag Paneer and Chicken Masala. The portions here are not the hefty North American servings so it can be a bit of a shell shock, but this is where good flavours and textures overwhelm you and truly where less is more. The complimentary teacup of spiced chai also hit many notes on the tongue once we were seated.
Our server was friendly, cheerful and full of zest. A bit tardy on the ball once the dinner rush really got going but worked through the grind with poise.
Happened to stop by here on a Sunday afternoon after checking out the local farmer's market. What a lovely little restaurant! The service is friendly, ambience is a bit dark but cozy and warm. Food is delicious. I had the Eastern Plate - Dhal Soup, Salad, Roti, Afghan & Coconut Rice w/ Chicken Masala & Mango Butter Squash, and my hubby had the DHAALCHA - Roasted chunks of lamb in organic dhaal soup, topped w/ lime, red onion, & Afghan rice served w/ Roti. Both dishes filling and yummy! I was so full from the Eastern Plate that I didn't have room for the free refill! Next time! Love the flavours and food - will definitely be back for more! =)
Went here tonight with 3 other people and I am quite satisfied with the place. Since my pros happen to be more than my cons, i'll start with the cons.
#1 - small tables - i'd say 90% of the tables seemed to be made for people under 5 feet (no offense) because they are really just that small. Combine that with a large party and people will start fighting for elbow space.
#2 - lukewarm food - the food are all pre-made so they came lukewarm not hot which is usually what foods "should" be at.
that's basically all the cons :) nothing too serious so now onto the pros!!
#1 - generous place - FREE REFILLS of entrees. This is going to be their number 1 selling point and customer grabber.
#2 - generous place - FREE UNLIMITED SAMPLES OF DRINKS. Another big sell off because you can practically get 4-5 samples in 1 swoop and that'd be enough for you free loaders :) of course I tried both samples and also ordered :P.
#3 - mostly organic ingredients - the use of organic produce in this restaurant is one of the reasons I will return for more.
#4 - pretty waitresses - hehehe
#5 - semi-authentic with a dash of contemporary flavors = creativity
#6 - the drumming upstairs got me anxious because I couldn't eat up there tonight :(...they're only open wed- sunday for upstairs entertainment and buffet.
#7 - fair price - for the amount of free refills and sample drinks i'd say the price is more than fair for this place, even if entrees start at $17 a pop it is actually only half that because you will definitely have room for more. Take your time :).
I'd definitely return tot his place because i love the drinks and their watiresses @O@
Roti rolls w/meat are superb! I was so impressed by the fact that the roti wrapping the juicy contents had NO hint of sogginess--even better was the fact that the wrap was crispy to a point but still completely giving off the texture of bread & no grease! Absolutely mouthwatering! The meat/veggie plates are good as well--served w/single roti to use as you will, salad, soup & rice. If you like thick, fuller flavoured drinks, go for icec ream shakes, not the lighter lassies. I'd recommend their delicious teas or chai's whilst eating in (you get a sampler cup while waiting for seating or for takeouts, etc., either w/milk or soy added) to go with your dinner @$2-4. After your meal, wait around out/inside for a takeout order of the thick dessert drinks being that small's $4.50 while large is $5.50, but dining in, they're $5.50 & $7 respectively. A warm drink'd actually better complement the meal. The fact that the entree plates are served on a round sectioned metal dish/pan (think tire/wheel cap and/or prison dishware), it only adds to the experience (practical to use/clean, sanitize, and durable, etc., I'm sure)*grin*. The service is friendly & enthusiastic. Few seating lends for a cozier atmosphere. 2 tables of 4 seated on comfortable benches; 2 larger tables of 6-7 with one side seated on cushioned/couch along the one wall which may double up as possible communal tables; and 1 possibly larger table at the back. It is spaced well enough that you aren't anywhere near bumping elbows w/neighbouring tables. The rice pudding dessert would have been better if it was served slightly warmed so that the refridgerated-rice texture & taste wouldn't have been so apparent. Entree plates @$17; single roti wrap dish (comes w/potato lentil soup & baby spinach leaves) $11.50 or two rolls (can choose a different meat/type for 2nd) for $14 instead. Their simple menu consists of lamb, beef, chicken, vegetarian/vegan dishes, and a grilled shredded salmon variety. I'm in love~
That's about all I can say. The place is definately different. Ok once. After that the food has to be good, the service great and the value there. That's where it all falls apart. We all had different food and it all tasted the same! It was very dry too, I did not order one of the refillable plates, which is good because I tried some of my friends' food and was not a fan so I would not have refilled. Most of them did not either, which seriously affectedt the value rating. But, then I left hungry! It was quite expensive too. But I really didn't want any more of that kind of food, I actually felt like a Filet-O-Fish. That's how much the whole place turned me off. Hit Mcds and was ok. Would not go again.
Food: I really liked the mango dish they had. All the meat dishes were disappointing though...the fish and the beef tasted the same - dry!
Service: They missed our refills once and it took forever to reorder it. They need more servers.
Value: I wish they gave you the option to try 3 dishes (without refill) for a cheaper price. I know the price is as it is because of the unlimited refills. However, the 3 dishes filled me up quite quickly and I didn't think it warranted the price tag.
Ambiance: Really cozy; I totally love the setting. The table and chairs may not be suitable for really tall people though. They had live music that night; it sounded great.
I may consider returning, but more for the ambiance than for the food.
I stopped in here after hearing good things and really enjoyed my meal. The chicken thing (whatever they call it, it was simply butter chicken with rice and raisins in a whole wheat wrap) was delicious. The salad was a garnish and didn't taste good (again with boxed greens and nothing).
I got a sample of the lassie and it was great although they put nuts in it so you have to chew carefully....
I enjoyed it but I thought it was overpriced (12$ for a chicken wrap, not insane but for something out of a takeout window it seems a bit odd). might go back might not
this place is quite expensive for what it is, but does taste good. And considering they don't actually have a kitchen, they do a pretty damn good job of serving up meals.
The curries are refillable, but they take so long to give you the refill, by the time they arrive, your brain has had time to catch up with your stomach so you're not hungry anymore. Ended up having my friend eat the rest.
The sample chai they give you is strong and good, but not sure I want to pay $5 for a cup of tea.
Overall, the taste is exceptional, but so is their high price.
service and food were awesome and especially the live entertainment - but must mention one thing that was awesome quality except for the quantity : i have been to India 4 Xs and the Chai @ East is East is the best i have ever tasted - the Chai Wallas in India need a lesson from E is E, BUT, [ here it comes ] $4.50 was NOT awesome for the tiny glass tea cups it came in....Isabella darling, you need to serve it in at least 20% larger cups for that amount of money...thinking of bringing my own cup next time and see if....:-) otherwise, the best cafe in town for my money.
My husband and I decided to try this restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised. The decor was definitely interesting with wooden tables, benches and perusian rugs on the walls. Ethnic music played in the background.
BEVERAGES: All we have heard about with this place is how good the chai is. We both had the Darjeeling Marsala Tea and it was absolutely amazing. The best chai I have had in Van anywhere. It is SUPER spicy, but SO GOOD!!! Water is served in stainless still glasses, with lemon, which is a nice touch.
FOOD: The menu is certainly not extensive; however, there seemed to be some good items. We decided to go with an appetizer salad and share a "feast" meal with the Silk Road Salmon and Spinach Paneer as our entree's. The salad was good with lots of vegetables, served with an excellent hummous; however the salad in itself had no dressing on it, so I found it to be a bit bland. I really liked the addition of the beet and fresh herbs though. The "feast" dinner we found very good. It's not huge, but by the end of the dish we had eaten everything and were FULL. The Dahl Soup was excellent with tons of flavor, the tabboulli salad was good (nothing special). The salmon was excellent and the Paneer was good as well, but quite spinachy (not as creamy as we expected). The rice was also good. We were actually impressed with how good the food tasted.
VALUE: A little bit more on the pricey side, but I certainly don't think the food is overpriced, for what you get. The portion sizes could be a bit bigger, but by the end of the meal we were full.
SERVICE: We had no proble with the service. Our waiter was friendly, polite, attentive and prompt with the cheque. Food came out within a satisfying time frame.
Overall, we will definitely be back to try this restaurant again. It was a great experience!
We stumbled into this place not knowing what to expect. They gave us a sample of their hot chai which was out of this world. We ordered a shake that was also really delicious.
My bf couldn't agree on which wrap to split, so they made a wrap half-and-half for us. It was good but not outstanding - but I would like to try some other varieties to see if they are better.
The lentil soup that came with is was absolutely delicious. Splitting one wrap was enough for both of us and was something like $11.
The servers were friendly and nice. I would go back again.
The decor is very interesting and pretty, but if you don't like sitting in anything other than normal chairs, beware.
I also think this would be a great place for vegans/veggies.
The food was overpriced for what we got, IMHO, but what you *really* have to try is the Eastern Ecstacy - I think it was called? It was a while ago that I went, actually. However, this dessert was simply divine. If I remember correctly, it had 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream served on top of some kind of warm sweet rice pudding with rosewater and pistachio crumbles on top. Nothing I say will do it justice. Go have it!
Try East is East, I have been going there since they opened a few years ago. the chai-no powdered concoction like you would normally get, the shakes, and rolls are so exceptionally good and different. Also, people who complain about the decor or lack of alcohol are typical mainstream diners, who think Earls is where it's at. My big complaint?? The prices are too over the top. The quality is good, but the prices do not match the product.
I love this place! It is one of my all time favorite places to eat. It is a tad more expensive, but the food is absolutely amazing! It is consistent time and time again. The chai tea they serve you when you are seated is one of the best! It's strong and can take awhile to get used to, but once you have it you will love it. I love the ambience. The place is unique. Service has always been great. Very sweet, granola-y girls work there and they are always cheerful! The seating is limited and is sometimes awkward, but again it's unique.
I recommend this place to anyone!!
For what you get, this restaurant is a bit of a rip-off. Nevertheless, the food is quite delicious (especially when you use the sauces!), and the shakes are to die for! Try the shake with ice cream, pistachios, cardamom, and rose water! The four-berry one is also delicious. The service is ditzy and the portions are tiny. At one point, there was a giant nail sticking out of a bench where customers wait for their take-out orders near the cash register, and when I told the girl behind the counter, she said "oh really" and then proceeded to do nothing about it. Not cool... So yeah, mixed review. I like this place a lot (and often get take-out here to go to the beach with to watch the sunset), but it also annoys me. Kind of like family :) I recommend to the owners to have less (but more competent) staff, lowering prices, and promoting take-out.
Food- Very good
Prices- a little expensive for the amount you get, the shakes are good but also don't expect the large one to fill you up.
Ambience- definately neat! A great first date sort of place. But although the place cool cushions and wood stools, it is so NOT comfortable. I'm short and I was knocking knees with the table.
east is east has the absolute best chai tea i have found so far in vancouver and i think it is really reasonably priced. however, as good as the other drinks are... i do not think a large size is worth $7! that is outrageous, especially considering it isn't a very generous portion. the food (ie. the roti) is just okay, i find that it all sort of tastes the same... the same seasonings are used every time. the lentil soup is excellent though, and the dumplings are sooooo good, but they are only served upstairs now.
You can cross the globe by climbing a single flight of stairs when you visit Chai. An Aladdin’s cave of cushions and candles, Chai offers the adventurous dinner and immersive experience. The heated enclosed patio off the north end is a pleasure on its own. Everything here is outstanding. Go to Chai and settle in for a night of sensual relaxation.
How does something that looks so nondescript from the outside hold such pleasures within? From your first sip of the complimentary Chai tea to your final bite of roti both East is East and it's sister restaurant upstairs are not to be missed. It is about time that someone got creative with the dining experience in this city and chose to challenge their clientele. My first experience was upstairs at CHAI. From the decor to the subtle touches of garnish on the most incredible snapper, I was in awe.
The restaurant was very interesting. The decor inside feel very relaxing. They have booths with pillows and curtains drawing down. The lighting was very dim, but with a candle at each table.
The waitresses there were very friendly and nice. They smiled a lot and were informative about the menu. Throughout the night their service was great from table to table.
The food was not that special. However, there were some plates were you can order and get refills of. I'm not sure if they mean the refill of the rice, roti, and vegetables, or the actual curry as well. Yet by the end of finishing a that plate we were full. They have other items, but we were only there for a quick dinner, so we weren't able to sample other foods.
It's a solid value. You get what you pay for.
If I have more time on my next visit, I'll definitely try their other dishes.