So I’ve had several vegetarian (and non-vegetarian) friends of mine tell me about The Naam Restaurant in Kitsilano, and I just never tried it yet. So this morning, my girlfriend Sabrina (Become the Voice) asked me if I wanted to join her, as she was heading that way and needed to drop off her dog for a haircut on the same block. Although I’ve always been a meat-eater, growing up on a farm raising cattle and all, I generally do have some at every meal; however I’m definitely still interested in trying vegetarian options that taste good!
When I looked at the site in advance, the first thing I noticed was that it’s open 24 hours! I had no idea that was the case, but it could definitely come in handy someday. This restaurant has been in the neighbourhood for over thirty years, and is only closed for Christmas Day.
We walked in, and it happened to be very quiet since it was fairly early in the morning, but by the time we finished off our meal, the casual restaurant had filled up completely with people happily eating away.
We sat down and I asked her for some ideas of what to order after we decided on some drinks. I started with Mama Naam’s Tea from their Herbal Tea Collection to warm myself up a bit. I noticed that it contained licorice root, and as I’m completely addicted to one tea nowadays that has this ingredient, I have to try anything that I find with it! This also had strawberry leaf, nettle, and rose petals – it sounded like a killer combination and I was not disappointed. When I drank it, I really enjoyed the flavours together, and especially the sweet after taste from the licorice.
I’d heard that the Dragon Bowl was popular there, and they did also have a breakfast option of this called the Breakfast Dragon Bowl (go figure). Sabrina decided to go with this choice and had it with tofu (they also had it with scrambled egg). The serving was huge, and also included plenty of veggies (green onion, parsley, red pepper) and homefries. It was topped with Sambits (crumbled up Sam’s burger patties, spiced with molasses and tamarind). It was also served with miso gravy to pour over top and a couple slices of toast, and the most amazing raspberry jam I’ve ever tasted! Apparently the cinnamon in it is what gives this its unique flavour. This dish was definitely a very healthy breakfast choice, but I would have loved to throw in some additional spices to give it a bit more oomph. On it’s own, it was a bit bland. I could picture myself throwing in some chili flakes and going from there…
I ended up ordering the Farmer’s Omelette. And again, it came in a massive serving size (we both had to take leftovers home with us because we barely made it halfway through our food)! This was filled with mushrooms, tomato, onions, zucchini and cheese, along with a veggie sausage and hot sauce on the side. I had to add some additional salt onto the omelette itself, and then slathered it with the spicy salsa-like addition, which I really enjoyed. And wow did I ever chow down on that jam after!
We then felt like adding some fresh-squeezed juice to round off our meals, and went with an Orange and Orange-Strawberry Juice. Who doesn’t like it when it’s fresh! Of course, I totally loved mine, and the hint of strawberry made it extra special.
I’d have to say that I’ve heard that the smoothies at The Naam are delicious, and the juices and teas were also excellent. The food itself was a bit bland, and I had to add salt and extra sauce to make it a bit more interesting. But the one thing that I definitely liked the most, and would give top marks was the raspberry jam! Go there and try it.
I will continue on my quest to try other vegetarian restaurants (and vegetarian-friendly ones) in Vancouver with Sabrina in future, and compile an ongoing series on my blog.
Please feel free to suggest some other vegetarian restaurants in the comments below – I have heard that Vancouver is lacking in this area a bit but I would love to seek out some gems and share them with everyone!