A small casual middle-eastern and Indian restaurant. Sit in or take out and quite affordable.
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.
I'll be brief. The food is not only the best tasting of any style of cooking I've had in years, the price is more than reasonable. You can't go wrong with anything. I love the Roti rolls... the Mugal and the eggplant rolls are heaven in a wrap. The little soup and salad you get with them not only taste healthy, they taste fantastic. I'm a bit of a jock and don't go for the bohemian (sp) lifestyle but I love this place. They have this desert that has ice cream, rice pudding and rose water with some other things thrown in for good measure and I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and not ever want to stray...like when you meet the woman of your dreams :-) The women they hire are always super nice and the manager always has her beautiful smile to warm you and make you feel welcome. If you've never been here, don't dress up...really... but be in for a big suprise. Like Arnold you'll be saying "I'll be back". I guess I wasn't that brief ")
I haven't eaten in an Iranian/Persian restaurant before & this place really sets the bar quite high.
First, many of their dishes come with 2 types of rice, salad, roti & dahl soup. My bf had mostly meat while I had mostly vegetables. The lamb & chicken are fairly good, as are the eggplant & squash. You also get free refills so you definitely get your money's worth.
I ordered the Mango ice cream drink w/ cardamon & rosewater (I knew what these were) but it was a bit too sweet & seemed yogurty rather than ice creamy.
The place is quite dark & you can't really see your food but there was awesome music playing in the other room, so it had a good feel.
I will definitely come back again as most good Iranian restaurants are in North Vancouver & a bit too far.
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.
We've wanted to dine at East is East/Chai for some time because we had heard so many good things about it.
One night, we peeked inside East is East, which looked really cute and cosy, but I guess we came too late because it was closed. We heard music coming from upstairs, and decided to venture in (we found out that they hold a fundraiser there every Wednesday).
Upstairs, we found a beautiful, dimly-lit room, the kind I would only imagine out of an exotic, Eastern movie... with dancers, music, people laughing... I could tell right away that it was my kind of place. The atmosphere was elegant and romantic. I could not believe that something like this exists in Vancouver; it was like something out of a dream.
We got greeted and made our way back to the tables with the food. To tell you, since I've been going there, both my ears and my tongue got spoiled. The food was tasty, flavourful, and intricate.
After dinner, we decided to sample the desert bar. The deserts were delicate, unconventional, and delicious. Afterwards, we had some organic wine and danced until early morning.
This is one of the most memorable experiences I've ever had anywhere in Vancouver. I highly recommend this place to anyone who is passionate and adventurous.
I highly recommend going for the Eastern Plate option for lunch. I had the Organic Lamb and Afghan Eggplant. The food is so delicious. The Ambiance makes you feel like you're part of a caravan traveling the rugged mountains of Afghanistan during the silk trade.
Let's just say I left the place happy. The service is excellent where the staff is friendly and helpful. I would definitely go back here for lunch!
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.
I went upstairs and paid 35 for the buffet and entertainment. I thought the food was very good but at 35 per person was too much. The service was fantastic, this could be due to the fact the place was practically empty on a Saturday night. I don’t think I will go back upstairs but might check out downstairs where you can get a la carte menu.
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!
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!
Went to the main street location first with wifey, it looked really cramped so we picked up my bro and move on to the broadway location. The Ambieance is top notch, really cool decor, servers are very charming and helpful.
We all ordered eastern plates, which to some might seem very expensive @ $17 for two entrees+rice+salad+dall......but what most ppl dont know ( and its not mentioned on the menu..i think ) is that they are bottomless, you can have refills. The lamb and daal was excellent, the strawberry urugula salad was great. We also tried a bunch of vege dishes which were okay, the chicken and beef dishes were not spiced well enough to my taste. The only downside were the rotis, they looked like store bought tortillas. Tried the chai, and I must repeat my self over here, why the hell do ppl add sooo much spice to their chai, chai is supposed to be lightly spiced!!...
We even checked out the CHAI loung upstairs, looked like a cool place to hangout, but a bit pricey at $25 a pop.
Will definitely be back to try out the roti-rolls. Not a place for real indian / afghan food afficionados...
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.
persuaded by the raving reviews like food fanatic's, i was expecting a mouth watering meal whilst enjoying chai. The chai is miniscule suitable for a dwarf and priced quite steeply. My food was bland, pricey and dissapointing. Average food priced steeply, roughly 30 dollars for a filling meal. If the prices were about a quarter to a third less, I would feel content.
The decor is awesome, definitely the best part of the experience. Cool lighting, rugs and decor that creating an exceptional experience. I sat on an uncomfortable wooden stool and my legs were terribly cramped due to the low table (perhaps a dwarf table, for dwarfs to drink small cups of chai)
service was good. pleasant and enthusiastic waitress who was prompt.
perhaps I got the wrong dish. I will go again, sit at a larger table, look for a plush soft non-wooden seat and try something else, worth one more chance
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.
Food: The Roti Rolls were amazing, as was my friend's lamb and beef dish along with lentil soup, salad, a plain roti, and rice. Their chai is sooooo good.
Price: $30 for two including tips for lunch.
Ambiance: Warm interior with cozy couches and a special private seating area at the back... very laid back and comfortable.
Service: Excellent service!
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.
A wonderful hideaway for something different. Great ambiance -- walls are covered in carpets, candles everywhere, ethnic pillows and wood tables and stools. They make great drinks! I had the Ragoon Rain yogurt shake and it was one of the best shakes i've ever had. We ordered 2 entrees - one with chicken and chickpeas, the other with lamb and eggplant. They come with salad, rice, a little dish of soup, and roti bread. Entrees are $15 which is a decent price considering you're getting a plate full of different samples, and we were so full by the end. Most tables are communal - we shared the table with another couple. Atmosphere is very peaceful, quiet, and ethinic with Indian music playing in the background. Definitely a place worth trying!
Wary of the reportedly high prices, we dined here on a Saturday night with Entertainment Book coupon in hand.
The Persian tea was wonderful! I cannot explain in words the delicate flavours that tickled my tongue. My wife’s Kama Sutra smoothie was also an extremely tasty beverage.
When our meals arrived, the amount of food appeared to be rather small. However, by the time I had finished my meal, I felt quite satisfied. I really enjoyed the soup that accompanied my dinner platter.
All in all, two thumbs up for the great flavours.
decided to try this place for dinner last week, It was interesting. The food was good mostly, but the prices are high for what you get. we each got the dinner plate which was $17.00 I would have been happier paying @ $14.00 as the portion sizes were tiny. They serve a soup and salad with a choice of two stew items to put into a roti wrap. The soup was very tasty, but you only get about 4 tablespoons in a tiny bowl. The atmosphere is not really for me as they sit you with strangers at small tables, we actually sat outside on a couple of stumps, and ordered through the take out window. The server was okay but I never really felt comfortable.
The soup was so good that I went to the main st location for lunch a couple of days later and ordered a large bowl for $5.00, it was the same great soup and a nice healthy portion size, I actually noticed a sign at this location that said if you wanted more food just ask your server, I never saw that sign at the Broadway location, or I would have taken them up on that!!