Nuba is a trio of restaurants offering authentic Lebanese food in Vancouver. One is located on Hastings and Cambie and is a larger sit down type restaurant while the other 2 are more like small downtown cafes with a few tables and take out. The location at 1206 Seymour street (Seymour and Davie) is the original Nuba and has been in business since 2004.
If you have never had Lebanese food you are really missing out on one of the most satisfying cuisines the world has to offer. Although very similar in taste and ingredients to other middle and near eastern food, Lebanese food rarely consists of red meat, other than lamb. Chicken, fresh fish and vegetables make up a large part of Lebanese cuisine and most foods are grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil as butter and cream are rarely used. Most dishes rely on herbs and spices to elevate common food to extraordinary levels of taste.
My coworker and I spotted Nuba while working down the street and decided to walk over at lunch time and check it out. Mike has been to the middle east and had been to Nuba before and swore it was the most authentic Lebanese food in the city. I’m always a sucker for a special or a featured item so i decided to sample the Pulled Braised Chicken Musakhan Pita. Wow…Musakhan is something I didn’t know existed but I’m a better foodie for having sampled it. It is made of chicken baked with onions, sumac, saffron, all spice and fried pine nuts. All of that taste bud tickling awesomeness was wrapped up in a crispy thin pita with chick peas, hummus, shredded pickled beets, lettuce and a little hot sauce for good health. The flavor that the Musakhan brings to this dish is intense but not over powering, a little citrus from the beets balances out the taste and the chick peas and hummus add a nice creamy texture with a garlic twist.
The next time I head for Nuba I am definitely going to try a falafel plate as they looked amazing. Another thing that really caught me off guard was the water offered at Nuba. There were 3 jugs of chilled water for customers to enjoy, one was straight up, one had lemon wedges and the third had cucumber slices. Most places that give free water as opposed to selling bottles (which they also do) don’t offer a selection of water but they should!!! Water with cucumber slices is probably the most refreshing thing on the planet, if you’ve never tried it I strongly suggest you do.
Thanks so much to everyone who takes the time out their busy lives to read about my adventures with food, it means the world to me!!!