(Cut to the chase here, and sign up for the May YVR Foodies meetup. You need not be an active blogger yet; come and learn. I’ll be traveling, so say “Hi” for me.)
Ricky’s wife Anne was checking in participants, accompanied by their baby. I am always happy to see children included in day-to-day life. The vibe of the meetup was very friendly, which is a tone set by the Shetty family.
Once inside, we were invited to partake of the buffet. I am still learning the ropes of food photography, and I was carrying too much stuff, but luckily Justin Ruscheinski offered to let me use his photos, which I can attest do a very good job of capturing this high-quality food. Although the owner is from Afghanistan, the food mostly seemed Indian (although perhaps we can just say Himalayan cuisine!).
East is East buffet (photography by Justin Ruscheinski at jrmedia.ca)
See more of Justin’s photography and videography: http://www.jrmedia.ca/2014/04/07/yvr-foodies-east-is-east/
The manager (I believe she said her name was Hannah) told us about the owner of the restaurant, Mustafa Reza, who treats his staff as family, and has given jobs to Afghani refugees. She praised the work environment, and you can see the results in the food. You can read more about the restaurant philosophy here.
I enjoyed all of the dishes, but the vegan chocolate pudding was remarkable. Deeply,intensely chocolate, and not excessively sweet. The soy-milk chai (I did not try the dairy option) was exquisitely spiced and not too sweet.
I had fun meeting some of my fellow YVR bloggers. Although we do blog about food here at BeyondYVR now and then, it’s not our main focus (although my co-blogger yvrfoodfanatic is as good a food blogger as you will read anywhere!). But there are some excellent blogs out there that focus a lot more on food in Vancouver. Take a look at the Meetup group to see the attendees and their blogs. Vancouver has so much talent in the social media space.
Andrew Hall talked about Mealshare, a way that you can sponsor a meal for a poor person every time you buy a restaurant meal for yourself.
Featured speaker Adam Hart talked about how to eat healthily in restaurants. The tips mainly relate to portion control (take half to go). Adam gave out bottles of an interesting whole-food supplement. Ra Energy, that you can basically use as a condiment. I chose the garlic flavour, and my bottle contains: organic shelled hemp, organic unhulled sesame, organic sprouted buckwheat, organic brown flax, organic chia seeds, and garlic powder. Adam suggested shaking some on every meal. I have not tried that, but I have been using it off and on. What I find it useful for is filling out a meal that is a little light on protein. You might have a beautiful vegetable salad, for example, or pasta primavera (maybe made with quinoa pasta if you like), but adding a shake of what is essentially a high-nutrient seed mix really makes a meal out of side dishes. Adam Hart’s own website focuses on raw vegan foods.
On to the entertainment! Angie Faith and Timothy Hewitt are two solo artists with sweet voices and kind souls. Both create their own work, but also enjoy doing covers. Among other songs, Angie sang “Ring of Fire”, and Timothy, much to my nostalgic amazement, sang “Country Roads” (the John Denver song, if you don’t remember or are too young to remember). I enjoyed hearing and meeting them.
I had to duck out before the meetup finished, but I would have loved to talk to everyone further. The meetup was filled with fun, interesting people.