Shawarma Palace at Sands Plaza, Richmond

Nanzaro is a big fan of middle eastern food. When he found out that there is a new sharwama restaurant at Sands Plaza, he went to check it out.


Sharwama Palace originated from Ontario.


You order at the counter and pick the ingredients that you like, just like Subway.


Nanzaro ordered a Beef Sharwarma Combo with a side of their recommended garlic potatoes. The potatoes was good, just like what he likes.


The wrap was average as it was not spicy enough for him. He still prefers Abdul’s Sharwarma. Moreover Shawarma Palace does not have the lamb option.

Shawarma Place Menu (2)Shawarma Place Menu (1)

Menu uploaded on 20th Oct 2015; you can click on the menu to have a larger view. Check out the lunch special which is a good deal.

Shawarma Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Al Bhasa on Blundell Road, Richmond

Lorna called me to go for “yum cha” on a weekday. “Yum cha” generally meant to go for dim sum for Hongkong people.


I suggested middle eastern food instead. I remembered Nanzaro told me about a sharwama place in Blundell and Garden City Road.


This restaurant used to be operated by Filipino but now it looks like it’s more authentic as the owner is of middle eastern descendant.


We ordered two items to share. Continue reading

Aladdin Cafe and Chatime on Robson St, Vancouver

On the Friday before the Scotia Bank Half Marathon, Nanzaro went to downtown to pick up his running kid.


This will be Nanzaro’s third half Marathon.


After picking up his running kit, he went for lunch on Robson St. He went to Alladin Cafe as he loves middle eastern grilled meat.


You can click on the photo above to have a larger view. Continue reading

Einstein Wrap House on Abbott St, Vancouver

Nanzaro went to watch a Hockey Game between Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers on St. Patrick’s Day. He went to downtown early to have his dinner first before catching the St. Patrick’s Day celebration near the stadium.


He went to Einstein Wrap House for some sharwarma. He loves the grilled meat and the spiciness of the hot chili sauce that comes with it. He ordered the platter version instead of the wrap for a bigger meal.


The platter version comes with pita bread, potato and rice. It also comes with hummus and tahini as toppings.


The meal came to $15 which also include a pop.


Nanzaro picked the right day to go for a game as it was a historic day that Pat Quinn was honoured with a road named after him.

Einstein Wrap House on Urbanspoon

Tibisti All You Can Eat

Ben saw a new banner at Tibisti on his way home from work. Tibisti now serves buffet.


We went to check it out on a weekend evening. Frankly, we were kind of disappointed when we saw the spread for the dinner buffet.


I started off with the above plate of appetizers and salad. The appetizers include Dolmah which is grape leave stuffed with marinated rice and hummus with pita bread. There were two types of salad. The first salad is Fatoosh which is a Mediterranean style salad made with fresh lettuce, cucumber, onions, tomatoes with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and garnish with oregano. The second salad is Greek Salad.


For main, there are baked potatoes, rice, chicken, chickpeas curry and sausages. That’s all in the buffet.

Ben did enjoy the rice, chicken and sausage.

When Ben went to pay for the dinner, the owner only charged us for the lunch buffet price. That’s a more reasonable price for the spread of food. The owner/chef told us that we should order from the menu. The buffet is for people to grab a quick bite.

Tibisti Grill & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Girls Night Out at Nuba on W. Hasting St., Vancouver

Angie of, Polly, Whitney and I met up again in downtown Vancouver for dinner.


Whitney who works in Gastown, shortlisted a few places for us to pick for the meet up and the winner is Nuba. We were there at 5PM and Nuba is still not busy yet. I think Whitney told us that Nuba only takes reservation after 5:45PM, so we just walk in at 5PM.


We decided to order from the sharing menu, one order of Le Feast (for 2) and one order of Le Grand Feast (for 2).  LeFeast is a vegetarian option while Le Grand Feast has meat.

We got 2 servings of the above which include hummus, taboulleh, baba ghanooj and pickled cabbage.


The above was served with pita bread.


Angie had wine while Polly had ginger beer. Whitney and I preferred just water.


The above is the main platter for Le Feast. It includes (starting from the salad clock wise) fattoush salad, macedonian feta, olives, mujadara (a Lebanese lentil dish), a vegan stew, crispy cauliflower and falafel. Continue reading

Tibisti Foods & Grill on Victoria Drive, Vancouver

Tibisti Foods & Grill has been on our wishlist for a long while. Ben had been away for business trips a lot. Finally we managed to go to Tibisti before his long assignment to Beijing again.


Tibisti Foods & Grill is an all day grill which serves Mediterranean food and middle eastern food. It is a halal restaurant.


We should have come on a Wednesday as the Roast Lamb Meal is at promotional price of $9.99 on Wednesday.


There is nothing much on decoration in this restaurant. Just some tables and chairs which are spaciously set. I came here for the food and I’m not bothered by the decor as long as it’s clean.


Ben ordered the Lamb Chop Meal for $14.99.  All the meal here is served with biryani rice, Greek salad, Tzatziki sauce and baked potatoes. Somehow, Ben’s plate is missing the baked potatoes.


The server told us that the lamb chop is made with fresh lamb. There were 5 pieces of lamb chops. Continue reading

Garden City Kabob Grill on Blundell Road and Garden City Road, Richmond

I got to know Ada and Heidi from A Taste of Community Kitchen event. They were born in Malaysia but grew up in Hong Kong. They are Muslims. We talked about eating out for Muslim which is quite limited here as there are not many halal restaurants that I know off. These are a hand full of those that served halal food: Kedah House, Seri Malaysia, Xin Jiang Delicious Food in Richmond Public Market, Darya Restaurant, Anatolia’s Gate Turkish Restaurant and Abdul’s Sharwarma. Beware that not all Malaysian restaurants are halal. The restaurant is deemed halal only if it gets it’s meat from a source which is certified halal.

Ada and Heidi wanted to eat out at Kedah House and invited me to come along. This is their second attempt to try Kedah House’s food as their first attempt failed because the restaurant was closed on the day they went. So, this time, I called up Kedah House to find out the days that they are closed before we went which is Monday and Tuesday. So, we decided to visit Kedah House on a Thursday. What a bummer, the restaurant again was not opened on that Thursday. Apparently, when we checked with a neighouring shop, we were told that sometimes Kedah House will closed if they have a banquet to cater for. What a disappointment to Ada and Heidi.


So, we had to go for plan B. Fortunately, Adaand Heidi have another place that they can go to, which is halal, of course. It’s Garden City Kabob Grill on Blundell Road and Garden City Road. This place was previously owned by a Lebanese but it’s now taken over by a Filipino family.


The sharwarma can be seen the moment you enter the shop. Sharwarma is made by skewing meat on a metal rod and slow roasting the meat on all sides by the rotating spit in front of a heat source for hours. In Turkish, sharwarma is known as doner kebab. The cooked meat is shaved off the stack and made into a sandwich wrap with a tortilla or pita bread and dressed with vegetables and dressing.


Garden City Kebab Grill is a small place with a few tables and you help yourself with the cutleries and condiments located along a wall.


Their menu is simple, some rice combo with kebab, wrap, fish and chips and even vegetarian spring rolls. Click on the image to have a large view.

Kebab Grill Richmond-8

Ada ordered two items from the menu. The first item was Gyro Chicken Donair on Pita for $5.69. The donair is big and I’m surprised … Continue reading

Darya Persian Restaurant on Pendrell and Denman, Vancouver

Updated 19th Nov 2014; This restaurant is closed according to

Of late, Suanne and I had been trying to make our dining out a learning experience.  This all started from our gastronomic tour of Spain. In the tour, we had taken on an entirely new perspective of food. We had come to appreciate the origin of the cuisine and how it had evolved over the years — stories behind food.

Growing up, we carried the view that Chinese cooking is supreme in the culinary world. We thought it had by far the widest variety and the longest history. Even the culture of the Chinese people are centered around food … i.e. the Chinese celebrate the new year, birth, marriage, birthday by banqueting. Why, even at a funeral, food is part of the ceremony. Fasting? Virtually unheard of.

So we were intrigued by cultures which has a long history in the area of culinary arts. The more we read about them, the more we wanted to find out more. One of them is the Persian cuisine. In the learning process, we understood the pride that Iranians have in the rich heritage of their cuisine.


Suanne and I arranged to meet up with Mohammad and his lovely wife, Ilham. I asked that he recommend his favourite Persian restaurant. Being such an overly considerate person that I had known him to be, he suggested one place that is the most convenient for us … in downtown Vancouver instead of North Vancouver where the best of Persian restaurants are situated.

We met in the Darya Restaurant. Darya is located on a side street called Pendrell, just off busy restaurant row of Denman. The location of Darya is somewhat hidden and you will most certainly miss it unless you drive into Pendrell from Denman.

One tip about parking here … you know how difficult it is to get parking around the West End. Now, if you could not find a parking spot, you can actually go in and ask the owner and he will let you have the keys to the car park underground.

Darya labeled themselves as a Persian AND Mediterranean restaurant. This is quite common practice for Persian restaurants in Vancouver because not a lot of people understand and appreciate pure Persian cuisine. So to broaden the appeal to western customers, some Persian restaurants tag on the “and Mediterranean” label to the name. I felt it is unfortunate because the Persian cuisine is one of the richest and oldest in the world.


Darya is a very clean and pleasant restaurant. It is a self-service restaurant where most customers order and pay at the till. When we were there, we did not even had to order at the counter. Instead, the owner asked us to get seated and came by to take our orders.


We started the meal with some appetizers. We got something called Dolmeh Grape Leaves ($10). It is leaves wrapped with rice. We get a choice of hummus or salad.

There are many variants of Dolmeh with a lot of regional differences. This is a simple dish and is stuffed with rice. It is served cold and taste-wise, it is sourish.


The other appetizer is called Mirza Ghasemi ($9) which is an appetizer unique to North Iran. North Iran has the richest in culinary history and the region is rich in food produce.

Mirza Ghasemi is smoked eggplants, tomatoes, garlic & onions sauteed in extra virgin olive oil.

Suanne and I did not understand this part where it says “sauteed in extra virgin olive oil”. There are many types of olive oil for different purposes. For all we know, extra virgin olive oil is meant to be used for salad and for dipping. We thought that one should never use extra virgin olive oil for cooking because it burns easily.


The Mirza Ghasemi was really delicious eaten with the pita bread … and a healthy appetizer too.


The Baghali Polo Mahicheh … oh man, this dish is awesome.

I would just call this the Lamb Shank Rice but Mohammad was saying that it is not just any rice. It is basmati rice with fava beans. When he said that it just dawned on me that Persians take a lot of pride in preparing their rice. I learned that there are many ways that rice are prepared and many of them involve a complex process.

For the Chinese who eats a lot of rice, cooking the rice is a simple affair and often it is the only no-frill items on the table. Not in the Persian Cuisine. The rice must be perfect. I remember Kazem (an Iranian friend at work) used to tell me that rice used to be a food for the privileged and for special occasions. As such a great deal of care is placed in making it perfect. I remember I was quite amused when Kazem told me that in Iran, a prospective daughter-in-law is often judged by her ability to make the perfect rice (and tea).

I like the flavour, fluffiness and texture of the rice. It is not starchy like those in East Asia. As much as I thought this was perfect, Ilham complained that there were … Continue reading

Nuba Authentic Lebanese Cuisine on West Hastings and Cambie in Downtown Vancouver

Just as we were walking out of the La Taqueria Taco Shop having just had 4 tacos for lunch. @604foodtography suggested that we all go for dessert.

For a person who usually have light lunch during the working day, I was not too keen on doing this. That was until @604foodtography said the dessert he was talking about is one of the 101 Things To Taste Before You Die identified by the Vancouver Magazine.

That … is one thing I will not pass up.


That restaurant is located at the basement of the Dominion Building, one of the grand historic buildings in the young city of Vancouver. This 99 year old building was the tallest building in the British Empire when it was built. Because of its ornate structure, this building had been used to film many movies some of which includes The Neverending Story and Battlestar Galactica.


Nuba is the name of the restaurant we went to. The entrance to the basement restaurant is just at the corner of West Hastings and Cambie.

Nuba is a Lebanese restaurant. It was interesting to note that Nuba used to operate from the very spot that the La Taqueria Taco Shop is today. I guess business is good and they moved to this new location. Actually Nuba also has another smaller restaurant on Seymour too.


The decor is trendy and chic. It has a nice ambiance and just the perfect setting for a simple leisurely meal with friends.

Nuba menu is known for their Mezze. Mezze is like Spanish tapas … small plates. Nuba’s Mezze is quite reasonable too with prices ranging from $4 to $7.

Anyway, I am more interested in this one item of the 101 Things to Taste Before You Die. You know what it is?

Well, it is this …


Continue reading