A small casual middle-eastern and Indian restaurant. Sit in or take out and quite affordable.
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.
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! =)
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.
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~
From the moment we walked in (a party of six), we were treated with warmth and kindness. We were offered samples of almond green chai and darjeeling masala chai, as well as shake and smoothie samples. We were also offered samples of boulani, a delicious stuffed bread with vegetables inside. I tried the Turkish Chill (a delicious concoction of chocolate, hazelnut, cinnamon, espresso, frozen yogurt and organic milk) and enjoyed it so much that I ended up ordering a large.
The ambiance is beautiful, yet relaxing and unpretentious. The walls are covered in rich coloured carpets and all of the tables and benches are made of carefully handcrafted wood. The atmosphere exudes an organic, natural vibe. We sat at the back table with curtains and truly felt as though we were transported to another world.
The server was very helpful in explaining the menu so all of us (except my nephew who opted for the kids meal) decided to undertake the Silk Route Feast, which is a refillable platter with different dishes from along the Silk Route. The feast is indeed, a feast. You choose two items to start with and can order refills of any additional dishes you'd like to try. I particularly enjoyed the lamb, eggplant, saag paneer, alu gobi, chicken masala and mango butternut squash. You can also refill any of the items that the feast comes with so I loaded up on refills of boulani (the aforementioned stuffed bread).
I will definitely be back again, perhaps for a romantic dinner for two. Thanks for the outstanding service and for answering all of my questions (I know there were a lot!)
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 $17 a pop it is actually only half that because you will definitely have room for more. Take your time :).
I'd definitely return tot his place because i love the drinks and their watiresses @O@
I stopped in here after hearing good things and really enjoyed my meal. The chicken thing (whatever they call it, it was simply butter chicken with rice and raisins in a whole wheat wrap) was delicious. The salad was a garnish and didn't taste good (again with boxed greens and nothing).
I got a sample of the lassie and it was great although they put nuts in it so you have to chew carefully....
I enjoyed it but I thought it was overpriced (12$ for a chicken wrap, not insane but for something out of a takeout window it seems a bit odd). might go back might not
Really disappointed with dinner at East is East. It's been a while since I've been but this will certainly be the last time. Decent food for the most part (thumbs up for the chicken masala and the lamb kebab, thumbs down for a super oily spinach, and lamb korma which came with about 0.75oz of lamb).
Service was deplorable. We had a few people touch the table, none of whom seemed to care at all, and who were all quite blunt about the restaurant closing for the evening right away. Very slow to take a food order, no explanations given about the dishes when the food arrived, etc etc. When one of the dishes was barely touched (see thumbs down above), no one asked why.
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!
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.
Overall the food was good, but portions are small and I found it over priced for what you got. I left still feeling hungry (& I'm a girl!). While the food had a lot of flavour, it wasn't spicy enough for Indian and was kind of cold by the time it arrived.
The seats are horrible. You either get stuck on a stump or a bench that looks comfortable but isn't. The stumps were so bad that I had to keep standing up and wandering around during my meal so my bum didn't get too sore!
And the absolute worst thing about this place is...THEY DO NOT SERVE ALCOHOL. I'm not just talking the hard stuff, no beer, no wine, no nothing...no love! No one bothered to tell me this, so be warned.
The restaurant had an amazing and comfortable atmosphere from the very first step through the doors. The decor created an amazing warm ambiance. We tried the feast menu which was sampling small dishes of almost everything on the menu for $21.00 which was an amazing deal. Between two people, we tried 10 different dishes and the meal also included 2 types of rice, roti, salad, soup etc. The food was so tasty and meats were done perfectly. We were so full by the end, we didn't have room for dessert! The only issue we had was that the music was too loud, but we were sitting right next to the live band. We will definitely return!!
Went here in early January for a friends birthday with a group of 6. Surprisingly, although my friend had called ahead and made a reservation for dinner, the restaurant had somehow lost it! But, they were extremely accommodating and rushed to find us a table. In the meantime, half of us crammed into the tiny restaurant to wait while the other half waited out in the cold on the street - but the restaurant was nice enough to serve us some complimentary chai! Very nice gesture, and just the thing to warm us up while we were waiting.
A short while later, we were seated. The atmosphere inside was lovely. The walls are covered in Persian rugs and there were low hand-crafted tables and benches with lots of pillows and cushions. There was even some traditional music being played live in the background. Now, this is something worth mentioning, as they had rushed to find us a table, they ended up seating us at a table with a couple who were just finishing their meals. This means that the seating is basically communal style - and if you come with a group less than 6/8, you're likely to get seated with another couple of people if it's busy. This wasn't a problem for us though, the other couple was pleasant and recommended some dishes to us.
There are basically only two entree options: an eastern platter (includes rice, soup, bread, salad + 2 choices of mini entrees - like curry) and the roti rolls (sort of an eastern style burrito + soup, salad). I had the eastern platter w/baked salmon + chicken masala. The platter was huge! All of the items on the platter were small in portion, but after eating a little bit of everything, you begin to feel full. Some of my friends (college-age guys), however, finished the platter easily - but the great thing with East is East is that they offer complimentary refills of all the items on the platter (you can even try a different entree from the 2 you originally chose!) - so everyone is happy. Both of the entree options are a little under $20 bucks - not incredibly cheap, but for the amount of food you get and the variety, it's a good value.
The servers are cheerful and quick to bring refills/top off water. The only issue we had was towards the end of the night. The restaurant was less busy, but it did take a long time to bring out the birthday cake and even longer to get the bill. However, I would definitely recommend East is East; as it provides great atmosphere, unique food and all of that with happy servers and good value.
The food is flavorful but too expensive for the portions. Taste the chai before you order a full cup as it's tasted different from time to time.. somedays are better than others, otherwise, it's the best chai around. The ambience is fantastic but too dark during the day. Service is good, friendly. The Tali plate is the best deal. For $17 or 18 bucks, you get refills of whatever you want but they don't always tell you that when you order... It's Afghan food, not indian per se... so if you're expecting butter chicken and naan bread, you'll be disappointed. Overall, it's the best chai in the city with a great evening ambience.
I confess that I only like to get take-out from East is East. While some may enjoy the ambiance and theatrics, it is not my cup of tea. Yes, Kitsilano was once a hippy haven, and this restaurant acts as a hommage to a previous era. Personally, I prefer not to reek of patchouli after enduring an hour of sitar and silly stage sets! So: I do encourage other yuppies out there to try the take out. It isn't easy to find healthy options when on the run. I recommend the Daal soup, which is fantastic. Most of the Smoothies and shakes are unbelievably good. I appreciate the fact that the take-out window exists - and they even let you sample the chai when you order from outside!
Firstly, I think the description above should be changed: East may be East, but it is NOT an under $10 restaurant! Expect between 20-30$ if you plan to get a meal and a drink, entres go between i think 11 and 17 dollars.
Unfortunately, they messed up our reservation, but our server was timely and polite.
We got awesome samples of their signature spicy chai and the amazing mango lassie.
The food was really good, smaller portions than we expected- what you really come for is reliably tasty cuisine and a truly different atmosphere. Stepping into the restaurant feels like you've just been teleported- its extremely bohemian, exotic, and sexy!
I'll definitely come back soon!
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.
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.
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