I love Middle Eastern food because it's healthy and tastes good. I may return to Kayan for the entertainment and belly dancing in the evenings but I won't return for lunch. There aren't that many choices and the items are primarily vegetarian. The simple green salad was surprisingly good and flavourful. Romaine mixed with a few slivers of veggies and dressed in a olive oil and oregano dressing. The dips were dried out, the hummus was far too dry, the foule tasted too tangy and a bit sour almost as if there was feta in it. There were plain pita pieces in a sad plastic bag on the side. It would have been much better if freshly warmed pita was served to you at the table. Avoid the soup it tasted like canned Campbell's vegetable soup with some barley added to it. There was falafal circles that were alright, normal not amazing. Two rice choices were both cooked perfectly, a cinnamon savoury rice and a lentils with fried onion slices rice. There was a weird dried out hybrid chicken cassarole with lasagna noodles and topped off with shepards pie topping. The kibbeh stew had frozen vegetables and the meat kibbeh were few and far between. Essentially there was almost no meat on the buffet. They should have given at least one grilled skewer of meat or given the option of adding a skewer for $2-$5. There were a few desserts like pita chips sprinkled with chocolate and cinnamon, carrot cake squares and a different middle eastern cake that tasted like egg yolks and a bit like a macaroon. It wasn't even that vegetarian friendly as besides the falafal and rice and salads there wasn't even a good fresh vegetable savoury warm dish. Pity as there was an amazing smell of something eggplant being cooked in the restaurant that wasn't offered on the buffet. If you go here skip the buffet and just order off the menu as they are stingy on the buffet. In fact the food here was underwhelming overall and I wish I'd gone to Nuba instead. The space is nicely decorated with a good view but on a nice sunny day they hadn't opened the patio doors unfortunately and it was far too warm and stuffy inside the restaurant. The service was efficient and not very warm, the only smile came at the time we were paying and I suppose that came because of a hope for a tip. They should just scrap the buffet as it's really mediocre and just do lunchtime specials. Not recommended.
I am a lebanese person who lived here for so many years. I used to come to vancouver and eat lebanese food in different places but was never happy with the choices because the food I used to try is not a real representation of my Lebanese heritage and culture. I was walking on broadway and noticed this Lebanese restaurant, Kayan. I came up for lunch and had 4 more people with me from different ethnical background. I never knew about this place before. I wanted to order form the regular menu but after some hesitation we all agreed to have the buffet. I could not beleive the food. it was so "Lebanese" in tasted and texture. they had Kabab with eggplant, chicken and peas and carrots, rice, falafel (that reminded of the time when I was a child in beirut). they had fresh hommos, baba ghanouj, muhamarra and lentil soup. the food was really incredible and I was so proud to have the group of people compliment me on my choice and the lebanese food they just had. as I understood from the people there that they always make changes to the buffet to keep the customers coming back and not bored. I loved the dessert with the pastry and the icing and chocolate and the chocolate pudding made with cookies. Finally, a place I can always come back to when I am in Vancouver and that I can really recommend to other people and friends.
No wonder the service is ultra crappy and no one working at this restaurant cares about providing good food and service - they have a guaranteed 15% tip!
I would suggest that anyone who goes to this restaurant return the final bill and demand that the automatic 15% gratuity be removed. Tips/gratuities are based on the quality of the food and the service received.
I added a small tip (hardly deserved) and didn't notice the additional 15% gratuity charged to our bill. My husband noticed and we were able to cross out the tip I had added. (Their bills conveniently have a space to write in tip amounts.)
The next reviewer stated that the 15% is an amount they charge for entertainment. Well, my husband and I were there for a late Saturday lunch and there was only one other table for two in the restaurant. We never experienced any entertainment.
We will not return and we continue to tell everyone possible not to go there. It took 20 minutes for two beers to arrive, food was agonizingly slow to arrive and was mediocre at best. But the worst? The presumption that they are automatically entitled to a 15% gratuity. This is a demonstration of blatant arrogance that should not be tolerated in such a competitive industry.
I wonder how many other people have unknowingly added a tip on top of the automatic 15% gratuity that they charge?
I ate at Kayan a few months ago for the first time and here are some thoughts:
Service: Fairly good, the owner is a sweet woman, and the tea that we ordered ended up being on the house! On the downside, the server we had seemed a bit inexperienced and didn't really know the dishes (we received green salad, not tabolueh! And he didn't know what kibbeh was....)
Food: Good, but can't pinpoint anything special.
Ambiance: Clean and quite comfortable.
We have been to this place several times. The food is good to very good. The place is not always clean... actually some of the chairs are not clean. The service is absolutely not good! Although the owner was walking around and there was not much customer during the lunch time on a Friday... it took them more than 10 minutes to come and ask if we need anything!
I was referred to this place by friends who keep complimenting it. SInce I came back from Lebanon, I have been wanting to visit a Lebanese restaurant where I can both dine and have entertainment. 20 of us went this Saturday and I am glad I finally did. apparently they made some changes and the place is different and better. the food was incredible, the portions were really huge and the entertainment amazing. it really hit the spot. it was exactly what I needed since I had the craving for my Lebanese ambiance. It might be exactly like in Lebanon, but this is the closest it can get, at least for me. there was also a belly dancer who I danced with. very entertaining. love the whole experience.
well. let's start by saying I am actually surprise at some comments. I read the reviews and I cannot believe some of these comments. We made reservation for a big group on mother's eve Saturday celebration. It was an incredible evening. we had a great buffet thatincluded beef, roast lamb, chicken, few kinds of Lebanese appetizers, dessert, etc. the band was incredible. they had 2 bellydance shows and best of all, all mothers in the restaurant were honoured and their names were mentioned one by one and they were all brought to the middle with a big cake. My mother was so happy, she really felt special. It was an incredible night and each one paid $25 for the evening and buffet. that was a great value for such a night.
I have been there on other nights with few middle eastern friends and we ordered from the regular menu, and they always compliment how great the food is and how it reminds them of back home. I find the portions huge as well. I love that restaurant and their ambiance and atmosphere, especially now they made some changes and renovated and opened the patio with a view of Vancouver. Definitely worth the money and time.
I don't know
Im from the middle east, and I know our food really well
this place has nothing to do with lebanese food
I would never recommend it to any one
Service is not good, i don't know if they ever heard of the term "customer satisfaction"
Hummus is normal exactly the same as the one you can get from safeway
Bread also is not baked on premises, just pita from safeway too
the have big problem with dishes name; the naming is misleading
Bottom line, there is no good middle eastern restaurants on Vancouver. Only in Montreal
by the way, I'm not being so uptight, i know i can't expect the food the same as in the middle east. Im talking about the least accepted taste which is not even there in Kayan, and expensive too..
Our first visit having decided to wait for them to get up to speed after opening. When we called to book we were told that there was a minimum charge if we were staying for the entertainment. Since we booked for 730 and the entertainment does not start until 930 it looks like we escaped the 15% extra charge that others have commented on.
There is no coat rack. I hate having to pile up hats, scarves and coats on an extra seat.
We were essentially ignored by the server. Was it because we were not dressed like so many Vancouver slobs and actually had attired for an occasion? Or because we were not Mediterranean in appearance? There was only one other table occupied when we arrived but it took forever just to get a plate of homous and some wine.
There was no paper towel in the men's room.
We would have ordered more homous and more wine before dinner but were never asked. I didn't think the entrees would ever arrive. When they did they were not overwhelming. It was food, with some spices on it. Mediterranean spices perhaps, but to use that as an excuse to refer to what were eating as Mediterranean Cuisine was an insult to the numerous restaurants serving the same kind of food, all over the world.
As dinner was ending I would have like some sweet tea, or dessert, or sparkling water, but our server continued to ignore us. So when we had all finished eating we just paid and left.
We will never return to, or recommend this restaurant.
I was in Edmonton in June for a conference and ate at a Lebanese resturant. The food was awesome. When I returned I told about that to my family. As my wife's birthday came up on July 12, 2008, my kids (boys 15 & 17) suggested to go to a Lebanese resturant. After searching on Internet, we came to this site and found very good review of Kayan Resturant. We went at 7PM and there were very few people in the resturant. The Manager asked us whether we came for entertainment or food only. We asked what was the entertainment and what time. She said that it will be at 9 PM. We figured it will be too long waiting and decided to go for food only. The manager put us in a table at the corner. The waiter (we learned later that most waiters are Mexicans and have no idea about any menu item!) came and we ordered Baba Ghanouj, Quail, Swarma Beef plate, Swarma Chicken plate, Lamb Shank, and some more. Unfortunately, the waiter was not able to provide any description of the item. Baba Ghanouj and Quail were complete flop! No taste at all. I had better Baba Ghanouj in San Francisco in a grocery deli. The Lamb Shank was good but could be better. Swarmaa were so so. You can get better Swarma at Abdul's Place in Kingsway. Then we wanted order dessert, we ordered one but they don't have that one! We ordered another, they did not have that one too! Finally, we asked what available, they only had Ketayaf. That was good. By the time, we were done, it was after 9. We asked about the entertainment, we were told, it will start at 11 PM! Wow, how information change.
When check came, there was 15 percent service charge. In addition to that I tipped to the waiter. I was so upset with the service and the food, I left feeling worse than I came in! I called following day to inquire about the service charge which was about $20 and was told it was for entertainment. What a ridiculous explanation!
I will never visit this resturant ever! I am telling everyone about that!
Went for the lunch buffet after reading good reviews. I was curious to see what it looked like after Tojo's. It didn't look much different, just more red! I'm no expert on Lebanese cuisine, so I can't offer any thoughts to authenticity or anything like that.
The buffet was pretty good, $11.99 included lemonade & ice tea. I thought the hummus type dips were real good. They had a green salad and a tabouleh which had no bulgar, so it was more like a salsa. They had beef lasagna & sheperds pie, which was strange to me, but funny enough, the two items I liked most! There was steamed chicken, veggies, lots of rices, and a weird dish they called "kebabs" but just seemed like beef stew potatoes without the meat! There was a dessert station too. Really, a decent meal for the price! I can't complain.
It was interesting, and not bad at all, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to return...only because it wasn't my type of food!
I love Lebanese cuisine, an this place delivered. It has a nice atmosphere plus setting. The quality of food was good and reasonably priced. Make sure you have proper directions because it might not be that easy to find if you don't know Vancouver. We went on a Wednesday Night so parking was not a problem. I will be returning.
There are better choices for Middle Eastern food in Vancouver. While the quality of the food was alright -- edible but certainly not outstanding -- it is overpriced for what it is. The wine menu pricing is very misleading -- probably has not been updated in a while. The service was friendly but haphazard. All in all, a disappointing experience. We will not be back.
the place was highly recommened to me by a collegue. We called the restaurant to book for 4 people on entertainement night. Right away we were advised of the restaurant policy about the 15% service charge during entertainment night friday and saturday. I heard and read about the food, but coming from a Lebanese family i wanted to check the whole ambience and the food. we wanted to try differnet items, so we ordered mezza for 2 and 1 sheesh tawook and 1 lamb shank. WOW, the flavor awakened my senses, absolutely delicious.
i am very surprised to read some bad comments. i think this place is very underrated and deserves much better and objective opinions.
we stayed for the live music which started at 9:30, and people were having so much fun. it was a big party. I have bene to other middle eastern restaurnat but really this one was a complete package. music, food, and ambience. The bellydancer started at 11:00 and I was so excited , I even danced with her. she used double sword and also a chandelier with lit candles on her head.
i already booked my christmas party there.
I went to Kayan with a group of eight on a Saturday night. The restaurant was packed - every table full, people dancing, the music was great.
However the service was lacking - the server we had didn't seem to know the menu, and one had to point to the item on the menu when ordering. It took a VERY long time to get drinks - sometimes when we would ask her where the drink was, she would have forgotten and we had to order again.
The food was very good, and a great value for the price. A couple oat our table shared the "Mezza for Two" plate and said it was delicious, and there was plenty of food for them both. The entrees were a good size, we wished we hadn't ordered all the appys beforehand. Meats were done very nicely.
Drinks left lots to desired - the wine list is not extensive, and does not list the winery, only the grapes. There is five (approx.) different martinis on the list, one being a "bartender specialty". Unfortunately, each martini we ordered was EXACTLY the same, no matter which name we used. They were all a sour apple martini - including the bartender's special.
The decor was nice - definitely a Middle Eastern feel, but how "authentic", I couldn't really say. The view is amazing - I think people forget about the restaurants on that spot of Broadway that have such a great view of downtown. The patio was not open, however - it would have been nice to sit outside.
Overall - it was good, I'm glad we went to experience it, but not sure it would be a "must visit" again. I prefer Le Marrekesh.
My wife and I had dinner here recently. The place was easy to find and there is lots of parking around. The restaurant itself is on the second floor of the medical building. The decor makes an attempt to be "Mediterranean" but falls a bit short. Having said that, the views of downtown and the North shore mountains are splendid. Menu is diverse and should satisfy most. Having been raised in the North Africa both my wife and I were familiar with the type of food served at Kayan, and thought it was solid but nothing exceptional. The service is definitely lacking a bit. The server was slow and unfamiliar with the menu. We had to order by dish numbers rather than the names.
There is belly dancing as well but if you have seen authentic belly dancers in the Middle East this performance will not quite measure up.
There was an automatic 15% tip added to the bill, something usually reserved for large parties. This did not overly impress me, especially given the quality of service.
Overall a decent experience but nothing to write home about.
I visited Kayan today for the 2nd time. I'm really glad this restaurant opened because it is one of the few places where a really good Lebanese/Syrian cuisine is served. Forget the shawerma you get on Davie. It is not really a shawerma! Go to Kayan and get a real shawerma plate, or try the outstanding falafel.
Although the service was decent the food was really outstanding. All the restaurant staff were very friendly and welcoming. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Not kidding folks.
This restaurant was absolutely amazing, from the very first moment you walk in, you have entered another country, indeed, you truly are in an authentic restaurant in Lebanon complete with the beautiful decor, huge wonderful heartwarming meals, (I highly recommend the lamb!), and those big familiar smiles I remember so well when I was in the Middle East 11 years ago...wow.
I was fortunate enough to go there with loved ones on a Saturday night, fortunate because the owner. Oula, as we were all pleasantly surprised, was as well the entertainer as she belly-danced around her new home for her "family" of customers, complete with lit candles and swords on her head. The service was a bit slow and little chaotic ( much like in Lebanon!) but that was quickly made up for with their politeness and such wonderful food. My friends and I were quite enchanted and pretty much stayed until closing and will be returning very soon!
This is one place not to be missed.