East is East on West Broadway in Kitsilano

by Victoria on January 25, 2010

Let’s get something straight right away here – if you are going to East is East for dinner, you will not be able to drink any alcohol. They are not licensed and do not serve anything with booze in it (although they have many different smoothies and chai teas that look like they would be delicious)!  I was a little upset, as I was looking forward to having a drink with dinner, but I had to head out early and do an eat and run to another friend’s birthday dinner (yes, two in one night).

So when I walked up to the Kitsilano restaurant at first (there is another location on Main Street), I noticed a large group of people already clustered near the door, which was likely part of our group of approximately 24 people that night.  It was going to be my first time meeting a lot of the other food bloggers in town, except for about four others that I had already met at Jackie Connelly‘s food photography workshop at Irashai a couple of weeks ago.

As we waited, we all got little samples of ginger chai in a small teacup the size of a shot glass.  It was warm and delicious – it had quite a strong taste of ginger to it, which is something I love in practically anything!

Ginger ChaiRating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4

A couple minutes later, we were escorted to the other side of the restaurant (there is a second entrance to the right of the first), and I noticed a whole other room that I didn’t know was there.  It was filled with quite a few tables, and could probably fit about 40 people in the area, and had a washroom towards the back, plus space for their live entertainment seven days a week.  This ranges from classical Indian to Persian to Flamenco and Gypsy music.  The music this past Saturday evening was ‘authentic Gypsy,’ and there were four band members playing together by the latter part of the meal.  The music added to the warm and lively atmosphere of the restaurant.

Once we sat down and did some introductions, I started to peruse the menu, and most of our table decided to share our food so we could try out more dishes.  Other people continued to join our group over time, and we put in our orders shortly thereafter.  The food came really quickly, so we were able to dig in.  We started with a couple of appetizers (Angie, from Sea Salt with Food, Wilson from La Petite Vancouver, and myself).

The Tofu Dumplings, served in a yogurt with chickpeas and sprouts were quite good.  The dumplings were a good size (small – like half the size of a standard perogie) and were quite refreshing!

Tofu DumplingsRating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5Rating: 4.5

Next came a full appetizer serving of Bhulani (our main also came with one piece of it), served with a chickpea dip.  Unfortunately, I can’t find all of the ingredients that were served in this dish and don’t remember them all.

BhulaniRating: 3.5Rating: 3.5Rating: 3.5Rating: 3.5Rating: 3.5

Midway through the meal, I decided that I wanted something to drink besides water, and our server recommended the Iced Lemon Ginger Chai.  So I ordered one for myself, and thought it was quite tasty.  It was a little on the sweeter side, so I could only drink one at a single sitting though.

Iced Lemon Ginger ChaiRating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4

Our main Eastern Plate showed up shortly afterward, and it consisted of a platter of two choices of mains  served with Dhal soup, a Bhulani, a piece of roti, and Afghan and coconut rice.  Note that on the menu, you can choose two of the ten or so dishes available, and that is what comes served with the rest of the dinner plate option.

Eastern PlateRating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4

Our two choices included the Saag Paneer (an Indian dish with spinach and a white cheese with mushrooms), as well as the Chicken Masala (served with a light masala sauce and herbs).  I found the spinach to be a bit more runny in texture than others that I’ve had – it was almost as if it just hadn’t been mixed as well as it needed.  It tasted like there were button mushrooms cooked with it, and for some reason I think I would’ve preferred it without them.

Saag PaneerRating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3Rating: 3

The chicken masala was quite light, as the menu had stated – I was actually expected it to be a bit more spicy with even more of a kick to it in terms of a variety of flavours.  There were a tamarind sauce and chili sauce on the table though, that could be added to all of the dishes.  I ate this with the rice on the side.

Chicken MasalaRating: 3.5Rating: 3.5Rating: 3.5Rating: 3.5Rating: 3.5

Even with all of this food, I found myself to still be a bit hungry after eating the meal, so when I moved on to the birthday dinner later on that night I did actually eat yet another dish.  I did find that the food was quite good though, especially considering that the ingredients were so healthy as well.  There were also quite a few vegan dishes on the menu.  A bonus!

The restaurant itself was definitely very comfortable, and would be a great casual place to settle in with a group of friends to some chai and chit chat.

If you want to check out the sites of and review for East is East from other food bloggers that were there and not yet mentioned, here is the complete list (I hope!):

Melody (GourmetFury)
Jonathan (Food and Tell)
Jessica and Mark (Yum-O-Rama)
Sherman (Sherman’s Food Adventures) – thanks for organizing!
Kim (I’m Only Here for the Food!)
Joyce & Frank (Van Foodies)
TS (eating_club Vancouver)
Kevin (604Foodtography)
Anita (La Petite Foodie)
Jennifer & Ricky (My Secret Eden)
Mijune (Follow Me Foodie)
Darina (Gratinee)

East is East (Kitsilano)
3239 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC, V6K 2H5
604.734.5881
View Map

Overall: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
Food: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
Service: Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4Rating: 4
Atmosphere: Rating: 5Rating: 5Rating: 5Rating: 5Rating: 5
Price: $$

East Is East on Urbanspoon

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

KimHo January 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Although we did not chat, it was good to see you again.

It is funny that the plate picture looks different from the rest of the other pictures. Could it be it was capture when I fired my flash? :)

Finally, from your list, you missed Mijune and Darina!

Victoria January 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Yes, it’s definitely from someone else’s flash. ;)

Ack! I just copied and pasted the list from the email, and didn’t even think about new additions after that. I am going to update now. So sorry Darina and Mijune!

Sherman January 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for attending! Nice to see you again. I think we freaked the owner out because she came out as we were leaving and was asking how we enjoyed it and such…

Victoria January 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I’m sure we did! A lot of people with a lot of cameras… :) It was great to see you again too, Sherman!

Joyce January 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Hi Victoria, it’s very nice meeting you. Thanks for the shout-out and hope to see you at another meet-up soon!

Victoria January 26, 2010 at 8:29 am

It was great meeting you too, Joyce!

Frank January 26, 2010 at 9:50 am

hey, thanks for the mentioning. it was great to meet you though we didn’t get a chance to talk.

Darina January 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

It was nice to meet you, Victoria. I didn’t realize we were already following each other on Twitter. I hope to see you at another meet-up soon.

Victoria January 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

It was great to meet you both as well, Darina and Frank!

Darina, I will send a separate email to you tomorrow about what we discussed at dinner. :)

Angie January 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Hi Victoria, it was nice to meeting up with you and thanks for the mention! Well, I was a little bit hungry after the dinner too and I’m with you with regards to the “runny” spinach. Nevertheless, as long we enjoyed the evening :)

Victoria January 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm

No problem, Angie! I’m sure I will see you around sometime soon at another dinner. Thanks for sharing with me! ;)

Victoria January 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Frank: For sure – hopefully next time we’ll have the chance to chat more.

Jonathan January 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Victoria, Great post! I think you beat us all to it? It was nice to meet you and hope to get a chance to chat next time!!

Sherman – im sure we do freak out owners. For good reason!! As a group we are frightening. I mean that in a nice way :)

Follow Me Foodie January 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Thanks for the shout out Victoria! I hope you don’t mind if I steal your list :)

It was great meeting you and I like the stars you added…maybe I should change by number rating to stars too? It’s cute!

Ethan January 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm

So was it a table full of people taking pictures of their food? I certainly hope so!

Victoria January 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Ethan – yes, it definitely was!
Mijune and Jonathan – it was great to meet you both as well! Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to chat next time! Just let me know if you ever want to meet up for a meal. :)

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