Wednesday, February 3, 2010

East is East - the biggest blogger meet up !


East is East

3243 West Broadway, Vancouver

East Is East on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Service: 3.5
Price: Fair (consider it's all you can eat for the Eastern Plate)

In comparison to the last blogger meet up which I organized, this one is massive, and it's all thanks to Sherman organization skills. The bloggers in attendance were: Sherman (Sherman's Food Adventures), Kim (I'm Only Here for the Food), Kevin (604Foodtography), Joyce & Frank (Van Foodies), Mijune (Follow Me Foodie), Angie (Sea Salt with Food), Jessica (Yum-O-Rama), Anita (La Petite Foodie), Darina (Gratinee), Jonathan (Food & Tell), Melody (Gourmet Fury), TS (eating club Vancouver), Victoria (Victoria's Food Secrets) and Wilson (La Petite Vancouver).

Wow, that's a lot of people, it was very nice to meet everyone and we had so much fun chatting and getting blinded by the flashes of all the camera that constantly went off. I just hope other diners weren't too annoyed with us.

As soon as we arrived, the hostess started to hand out samples of their signature drinks. I forgot the names of the 1st chai I sampled, but it were very strong and a bit too spicy (not hot spicy, but a mixture of too many spices). I certainly liked the mango lassie (mango yogurt drink) I tried, which was slightly sweet with a heavy yogurt taste. The last sample was the ginger chai, it was so gingery, I took one sip and felt a hot burning sensation. Needless to say, I didn't continue drinking this.
I choose Rumi's Joy yogurt lassie which is just yogurt with blueberries and strawberry. The drink was not sweeten at all, in fact the only sweetness came from the pureed fruit. It was definitely a healthy drink, consider I couldn't taste any additive except the fruit and yogurt. R like trying weird drinks. Oops, I mean he likes to try interesting food. Therefore he chose a yogurt lassie called Peshawari Bazaar which consisted of cucumber, cumin, mint salt and of course yogurt. As horrible as it may sound, it was actually not bad. You can barely taste the salt in this drink and it just mostly refreshing cucumber taste. I think after Kevin took a sip, he mentioned it tasted like a watery version of tzatziki sauce. Both single serve yogurt lassie cost $4.50 each.
I chose a vegetarian roti call The Gypsy, consisted of baked eggplant, mango butternut squash and Afghan rice. In that stuffing there also seem to be some cooked mushy mung beans. Initially it was very good, it had a strong sweet taste with a bit of spice. But I think I much prefer salty when it comes to any type of food other than dessert. Therefore half way through it, I just started to eat R's food, as his had more wider variety of flavor and they were almost all salty. The above roll came with a salad and dhal soup costing $12.50.
R had the Eastern plate ($19.50), which stated that if it is not shared, then you can have unlimited refills. This pretty much translated to All You Can Eat. Because of this, we pretty much tried everything on the menu. Since we had over 20 people, and the restaurant was packed, they were really too busy to reinforce that rule, as everyone was tasting each others food. First round R got the Wild Salmon and the Lamb Kabeb. The wild salmon is supposed to be in a miso, green/red curry and coconut sauce, but I couldn't detect any miso taste, and barely any curry flavor. It was mostly sweet coconut milk flavor with some spicy. I didn't dislike it nor did I really like it. The lamb Kabeb is not bad, a lot of people mentioned that it's gamey, but I couldn't really detect much of it. I could taste the ginger and garlic and some unidentified spices in the sauce.
My favorite of the night has to go the the eggplant (top right) which is described as baked eggplant sauteed with herb, tomato, onion and garlic. I love how the texture of the eggplant was soft and smooth without being too mushy, and it really sucked up the flavor of garlic, tomato, and onion very well. The other good dish was the chicken masala(top left). The masala sauce was creamy and the chicken was moist, and on the plus side they used dark meat, which I prefer. The peas and cheese (bottom left) was average, the sauce was quite mild and watery. The Thai Tofu (bottom right) was not good at all. It was very bland, I will probably skip this the next time I go.
Here are the 2 appetizer that Mijune and Kevin ordered, one is the Tibetan Mandu ($15.5) and the other is Khichiri ($13.5). The Tibetan Mandu was interesting, it was stuffed vegetarian perogie in a chickpea yogurt sauce. The perogie was stuffed with Chive, at least that's what I could taste, because it has that gamy taste. The Khichiri was brown dill rice with ground beef, spinach and mushroom with yogurt sauce. I really can't remember much about this, so I will just leave it at that.

Their service is not bad, but it took forever for my drink to come. However the restaurant was packed and we had such a large group. They had live music playing in the background, it would have been very enjoyable if the restaurant was actually quiet, but then again given our large group, half the noise probably came from us.

Overall, the food here is certainly not bad, but some of the flavors seem milder than they should be. The restaurant itself is interesting, as you pretty much sit on benches and the tables are more like coffee tables. Since the dining experience was unique, and the ambiance is quite nice, plus the food is not bad, I think I will come back in the future.


Sherman Chan February 3, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Thanks for attending! You are too kind. It was all the circumstances. When people saw other people were going, it got big. I don't take any credit for this!

Jenny February 4, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Well, I hope this happens again for the next blogger meet up, or that cruise if we ever plan to go as a food blogger group.

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