Beef, turkey, and ham covered in mozzarella cheese and tucked into a ciabatta bun. Hot Tommy’s specialty sandwich, the Wrangler, may not appear to have the same Mexican flavour profile as its fellow menu items until diners take a bite. Inside, a drizzle of hot black-bean sauce brings the spicy flavour that weaves the eatery’s whole menu together. Chicken enchiladas and banana-pepper-covered nachos recall the hot sun and natural hot-sauce springs found closer to the equator, and chili dogs and a bavarian sausage slathered in barbecue sauce blend a hint of old Europe into the mix.
The cooks at Maurya Bistro Indian Cuisine harness the high heat of a traditional tandoor clay oven to bake lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian dishes marinated in aromatic indian spices. Coconut-milk sauce flavours pieces of chicken breast, and ginger garlic and yogourt season alaskan salmon. A dozen vegetarian entrees quell meat-averse appetites, with dishes such as mashed eggplant roasted in a tandoor oven with onions, peas, ginger, and herbs.
Nando's Flame-Grilled Chicken, founded in South Africa in 1987, brings Portugal's peri-peri flame-grilled chicken to the Vancouver area with only the bare minimum of laser lights and smoke-shrouded, two-way mirrors. Discovered by Portuguese explorers in Africa in the distant days of maritime exploration, peri-peri is a fiery chili pepper that adds a kick of capsaicin to any cuisine, clucker-related or not. Nando's fresh chicken breasts luxuriate in their peri-peri marinade for 24 hours, resulting in dishes with a slate of Scoville-scale-scorching spice levels—mild lemon and herb, medium, hot, and the daredevil-only extra hot. Step up to Nando's counter to order from the menu of sandwiches, pitas, wraps, salads, and peri-peri chicken. Enjoy a grilled-to-order peri-peri half-chicken with a side ($11.39) such as spiced rice or hearty coleslaw, or bite around basted bones with a dozen peri-peri chicken wings with a side ($9.99). Nando's also sports peri-peri chicken breast sandwiches or pitas ($8.49–$10.79), chicken or veggie whole wheat wraps with a side ($8.49–10.79), and veggie burgers or pitas ($8.49–$10.79), as well as salads and salad meals ($3.99–$9.99) for lovers of leaves of lettuce.
Adi's On The Ridge's lively lounge bustles with music and energy, but inside the kitchen Chef James Reeder is deep in concentration, assembling innovative plates of eclectic international cuisine. Whether whipping up dinner, appetizers, or brunch-buffet dishes, James and his kitchen crew prepare each item diligently from fresh ingredients.
Outside of the kitchen, bartenders gaze out onto the glitzy lounge and dining area, mixing up cocktails from premium liquors and uncapping bottles of international beer. A big-screen television glares down on drinkers and diners perched upon cushy red chairs, and sunshine pours over those seated in the outdoor patio. On weekend nights, the venue transforms into a vibrant nightclub, hosting DJs, live music, or spirited whisper choirs.:m]]
The coffee-drinking cultures of Seattle and Old World Europe intertwine at The Wired Monk. Baristas swirl steamed milk into organic, fair-trade coffee drinks, which guests sip beside hand-painted art and a roaring fireplace. Meanwhile, the scent of cinnamon rolls wafts from the bakery case, past aromatic tea leaves by Zhena Gypsy and Mighty Leaf. Red espresso, a roobois tea from the mountains of South Africa, fills caffeine-free lattes with flavours as bold and smooth as a saxophone’s pick-up lines. Healthy treats such as fruit smoothies and gluten-free muffins round out the menu with a touch of sweetness. The sound of tapping toes fills the shop on Thursday nights, when artists such as Harma White and Vaughan McKay flaunt their rock ’n’ roll chops. Large-screen TVs draw sports fans to the couches on game days, and drink specials lure wine lovers on Wednesday nights.
Champions of adhering to traditional recipes and culinary practices, a father-and-son team serves as both the owners and head chefs of New Passage to India. Their kitchen staff whips up dishes native to a variety of Indian regions, granting diners a taste of the subcontinent without the paper cuts that come from eating maps. They handcraft ingredients such as house-made paneer cheese, garden-fresh mushrooms, and fresh lamb with pinches of hand-ground spices. Sensitive to varied tolerances of piquancy, the chefs customize the heat levels of many of their creations to individual preferences. Affable servers wend from table to table within the dining room’s deep-green walls and wooden columns.