West Hastings and Cambie (downstairs), Vancouver, BC
Nuba is loud, popular, delicious and basically everything one could hope for when going to an awesomely hip eating establishment. The decor is simple and works hard to get across its desired reincarnation of 40’s Beirut vibe. The service is fast, efficient, polite, and easy going. And the food ….. dear god. The food is absolutely ridiculously good. I couldn’t believe it. Get anything … or rather get EVERYTHING. It is all damn good. From the creamy red lentil soup to the roasted cornish game hen – the food at Nuba is always hit, never miss. There are plenty of vegan dishes (11 of 27) and the prices are VERY affordable – don’t worry about the portion sizes – they look small – but that is deceiving as it always is when establishments strive to use top quality ingredients. I am an eater – a good, big eater. Yes, I will finish my meal and probably yours too – but 2 dishes from the mezz section (appitizers/tapas) would probably be enough. You might regret trying to tackle 3 mezz dishes; and if you try a mezz and a main your belt might blow right off. All five of my dining companions were taking some serious deep breaths and grumbling about being overfull before the end was even near. But no, we did not stop eating until the deliciousness was consumed – the food at Nuba is too good to go to waste. Let’s look at some of the pictures and reminisce over the goodness.
I began withe the fruit et feta salad ($8.5) – now this ain’t no regular feta – it is creamy amazing macedonian feta – and the greens are topped with a variety of chopped nuts and dried apricots. Oh my, YES. It is finished off with a red wine vinagrette that hits your taste buds in all the right places.
I was also lucky enough to try the Najib special ($7) which is a tasty little dish of crispy cauliflower tossed with lemon and seasalt. If you thought you didn’t like cauliflower – you will be proved wrong at Nuba. Crispy, browned, toothsome. I sampled the lovely falafel – there’s something different in the spice mix here, but it’s a closely guarded secret that Nuba will not reveal. I also stole a lovely, juicy, fat tiger prawn in a spicy oyster mushroom melange – totally worthy of the $16 price tag. And I got to dive my fork into the eggplant rattatouille – which for a mere $8 is a virtual towner of sauteed eggplant.
Onto my main:
The outstanding cornish hen ($16). This mouthwatering taste treat is roasted with herbs and spices and served over babaghnnoj (roasted eggplant puree). I was blown away – I’ve made cornish hen at home and it SUCKS compared to this. The hen was tender and nearly boneless. The fowl paired with the smoky eggplant had me floating up to food heaven.
The only thing better than the hen was the beef tenderloin ($18). It was a delight of rare grilled beef served on the cold side – with roasted potatoes. From now on anytime I order a steak I want to order it “extra rare, extra delicious”.
Yum. Yum. Yum.
That is all.
All of Nuba’s meats are free-range, non-medicated, and hormone-free. And Nuba tries to use organic, local ingredients whenever possible.
Though Nuba is in a basement and seats over 60 – you need to make a reservation. It is too good – and everyone knows it.
They have 2 additional locations – but they are more takeout cafe style places:
146 East 3rd (at Main)
1206 Seymour (at davie)
Nushi – Future Hazzard
Enjoy the Najib special while you listen to Najieb sing his guts out.
The National – High Violet
The National keeps hitting the sweet spot – they seem to be improving a little more after each album – if you thought you were in love at Alligator – you will realize that was just the tip of the titanic iceburg.