Review: Kaya Bistro with YVRFoodies, January 2016

Like I did with a previous meetup at East is East on West Broadway, I had a great time with the YVRFoodies meetup group. Ricky Shetty was again a great organizer and host.

I had to arrive late, so I missed out on a course or two. But I can report that the seafood bouillabaisse was terrific. I’m sometimes skeptical of Malaysian food, as it can be very sweet, but Kaya tones down this aspect. The texture, the flavours, the combinations–I can’t remember a seafood soup I have enjoyed as much as that one.

My food photography rarely does the food justice, but I’ll give it a try again. There’s an exquisite coconut-milk base here.


I noticed Kaya was very respectful and helpful with the various dietary restrictions that my fellow diners had.

Apart from the lovely food, we had a great evening hearing from several presenters. Again, I think I may have missed someone, so I’ll just report those I heard from.

Teen Across Canada: Teenager Anastasia and her mom and dad are in the midst of a cross-Canada trip. Much of the trip has centered around food, and not surprising to me, the Maritimes including Newfoundland have provided star memories for both food and friendliness.  Read more about their adventures here at

Hot Arusha (aka Iqbal Ishani): What a cool guy (to mix temperatures). Iqbal is a great drummer too, and he got us moving in between courses. He also wants to preserve the culinary heritage of his family with these wonderful hot sauces (most of which are not that hot, but very flavorful and savory). I particularly loved the garlic one, which I tried a few days later. Iqbal was born in Nairobi of Indian parents. His website is

Feeding the 5K (with Elaine Cheng): We know a huge amount of food is wasted every year. It could make you cry to think of it. Elaine sets up a dinner that feeds thousands where all of the food would otherwise have been discarded. Read more at

Theresa Nicassio, Ph.D (Yum Food for Living): Theresa is a psychotherapist who focuses on eating issues and disorders. At dinner we discussed having daughters who had adopted a vegan or vegetarian diet as preteens. Theresa supported her daughter in this choice, and when Theresa later found she had celiac disease, she also had to make her diet gluten-free. But rather than be limited by these restrictions, Theresa has used them to focus on creating a terrific cookbook suitable for anyone, but completely vegan and with substitutions that allow each recipe to be gluten-free. This cookbook is available at It’s gorgeous with delicious-sounding recipes and I am going to try it out this weekend. Theresa also talked about emotional eating, and how it is universal and should not be a source of self-denigration. But she also suggested looking at other ways of achieving satisfaction, such as through music, art, play, and so forth.

Thanks again, Ricky Shetty, who did a great job coordinating the speakers, the music, and encouraging us all as bloggers. We had a wonderful time!



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