The food at Nyala Ethiopian Restaurant is as exotic as the African continent itself, featuring a rich blend of spices. The décor is warm and bright, with festive Northeast African accents. Large groups can order the house specialty roasted-while-you-watch coffee.
This place really disappointed me. People used to rave about how yummy it was, but when I went, it was downright bland and unpleasant. The service was decent, however. We also sent a bunch of our students there for a dinner, and every single student complained about how gross the food was. I find it hard to believe that this is the best African this foody city has to offer!
I have to say I was surprised to find Nyala in my neighbourhood, as I used to go to the one on 4th all the time. I loved this restaurant, even celebrated my 30th bday there. So when I went to the new Nyala, I was quite disappointed. We waited so long for our food to come, and when it did it wasn't the right order, nor did they remember to bring water.The food seemed different, more spicey I think, and there is no longer a vegi buffet.
I hope it's just moving pains, but I'm not in a hurry to go back. It's too bad, like I said I really used to like it.
Went to Nyala a few months ago, and to be honest didn't know what to expect, but was pleasently surprised.
Staff was great and friendly, and very helpful trying to explain what the dishes were. Family run restuarant, which adds to the charm. Was a packed house when we went, but must say service wasn't rushed or bad - great job!
Food was great! For a first time trying a different ethnic dish, this was great. Will hopefully be going back soon!
I went to Nyala for Dine out Vancouver event. It was a disappointing experience for me. The owner could have been more friendly. The chicken that I got had no taste. It was actually quite bad that if I had not been quite hungry, I wouldn't have eaten it. The dessert, a cheese cake slice was very small. The restaurant was so dark that I couldn't even see the food that I was eating. I don't think they want any repeat business after dine out.
I was pretty disappointed by this place, considering it's more expensive than most ethiopian restaurants around.
I ordered the spicy chickpea flour nuggets dish from the vegetarian part of the menu.
The nuggets themselves and sauce were OK, and would have been fine as a side dish, but they were served in too large a quantity with really incompatible side dishes--tabbouleh (cracked wheat salad), a mountain of basmati rice, and an acidic, crunchy raw onion lentil salad.
I've eaten veggie platters at lots of ethiopian restaurants here and in ontario and I've never had such a lacklustre, starchy combination of dishes.
I'm sad to say that the chickpea nuggets reminded me of a spicier version of the dish you might get on an airline if you ask for "Indian Vegetarian".
If you have lots of time on your hands and a tremendous amount of patience then Nyala African Cuisine is the restaurant for you.
A lot of care and attention must be put into the preparation of their food because appetizers were served 45 minutes after they were ordered and the main courses came another hour later.
At no time did anyone attempt to explain why there was such a delay or even apologize for it.
I spoke to the host/manager/owner about the service afterwards and found him very defensive. He asked how I found the food. I told him that it was "fine" and he said that he can only be responsible for the food and nothing else. Basically, he was blaming me and other patrons for eating there and creating this problem for him. His idea of making it up to me was to give me complimentary tea with my dessert.
The food was simple but nothing spectacular. I did see another table send back chicken because it was raw.
This was my worst dining experience ever and just so you understand how bad it was, it occured more than 6 months ago and I still can't get it out of my mind.
Go to Nyala's (on 20th and Main) with a group and have fun. This is a place that is all about your company and the pleasures of enjoying a meal together. Definitely have a good read of the menu as the owner has a wonderful sense of humour and the descriptions are highly entertaining.
It is a relaxed atomosphere with really good food and it has live music every second Tuesday. This is the kind of place that you make an outing of rather than grabbing a quick bite to eat. Don't go if you are in a rush. Talk with the owner when he circulates--he is the head chef and also makes all the pottery that your food is served in! When you consider the fact that you also eat with your hands there, it really has a "hands-on" sort of vibe.
I recommend all of the lentil dishes. I personally am not crazy about some of the red meat dishes which are traditionally served on the bone, but the chicken with the egg is exquisite and all of the vegetarian dishes were delightful.
I hope you have fun and bring good company. (Keep an eye out for their Ethiopian coffee ceremony which they will be starting soon).
I love Nyala's! The food is absolutely beautiful. Yes it is true... there may be a bit of a wait sometimes, but the rich flavors are worth it. The owner is always kind and personable, adding to the dining experience. If you want to go to a truly unique restaurant, you must check this restaurant out. The only thing I would change, or perhaps add to, would be the ambiance. While the candle light is nice and there are some beautiful drums and Ethiopian pieces in the room... it still needs a little something. Nonethless, the food outshines everything and makes you fall in love with the restaurant.
We came here for dining out Vancouver. It was decent food but definitely hasn't stood out as a must return. We had the dining out menu and when we asked the waitress about one of the items she said she didn't know how it tasted as she's never had it.
The place was pack and I found my lamb shank to be quite good but not very meaty and a bit over salted.
Other than that it was a good enough meal.
My husband and I always wanted to try out this restaurant but it always seemed closed. so after about 6 months we finally decided to try it out. for me food is everything and everything else is a far second. the food didnt have much flavor nor did it have any spice. I ordered the spicy beef dish and was pretty mild. the beef wasnt bad a lil tough tho. As well, we ordered the goat. a lil too bony for my liking and it was more bland than the beef.
Overall I wouldnt go there again. the food wasnt as tasty as I thought it would be. I would rather go to Red Sea Cafe if you're looking for good eats.
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