I don't even know where to start. Walking into East is East on Main Street in Vancouver, BC makes me feel like I've entered an exotic retreat and I can honestly say that eating here soothes and feeds my stomach AND my soul.
I had the great joy of introducing a friend of mine to the experience last week and I could not have been happier that she was blown away too. We walked in to the drumming and strumming of live music and the ladies at the front counter greeted us with tiny cups of aromatic hot chai tea.
With a beautifully lit stage at one end of the room, the whole place is sumptuously decorated with thick rugs, wooden furniture, intricate carvings, wall hangings, mandalas, pillows and an entire wall of pink Himalayan rock salt. Don't forget to look up because that's where some of the most beautiful treatments are.
We wanted to try everything so we had the tasting menu that allows you to do (almost) just that. Every single dish is thoughtfully put together and the flavours absolutely sing. The way the Indian, Middle Eastern, Persian and Moroccan flavours are beautifully executed is why I keep coming back even though I now live in a different province. Mmmm I dream of that food! The tasting menu is $33 and well worth it.
The service is gentle and attentive. We really did feel like we were being cared for like when you go to a spa.
Throughout the evening the music grew lively, coaxing children to their feet and up to the stage to interact with the musicians, and then quiet again providing a gentle and exotic ambience.
We walked in at about 8pm on a Monday night. The place was about half full and we were seated at one of the tables along the wall right away but I would recommend reservations just in case because the place is popular and great for groups and small events. Maybe just call ahead if you can.
Note: The tables along the wall are a little low. The benches are also a bit heavy to move and to get around in some spots so if you are going there with anyone who has back issues just ask for a table in the middle. Then you also would get to look at the gorgeous 360 degree decor a little easier.
I would recommend this restaurant to everybody. They do have other locations but this one is my favourite. I could eat that food all day, every day.
Thank you, East is East, for all that you do. We'll be back again and again and again and again and again...