Nuba brings modern Lebanese fare to the industrial no man’s land on 3rd just East of Main. The neighbouring buildings are all anonymous, drab facades of beige and grey. Nuba’s bright lights above the entranceway serve as a beacon signalling an oasis for hungry patrons.
(Above: Najib’s Special — Fried Cauliflower in a Pita Wrap.)
This is Nuba’s third outing, the first is a casual cafe on Seymour near Davie, and the second as a sit down restaurant on Hastings and Cambie. Case and I settled into a nice, spacious dining room. The front counter and kitchen ran along the entire side of the restaurant. The rest was decorated with artifacts of chairs and tables from the 70s and geometric patterns. All cleverly subtle, yet distinct in character.
Case ordered a Nuba staple: Najib’s special served in a pita wrap. The deep fried cauliflowers was gently spiced with lemon and sea salt and crisped to perfection, while the wrap garnished with a garden of fresh vegetables and a satisfyingly sour and crunchy homemade pickle and tahini.
(Above: Chicken Tawook with Hummus, Pita, Taboulleh and Chickpea Salad.)
I ordered a plate of Chicken Tawook: a duet of beautifully grilled, skewered, tender chicken breasts — juicy and drizzled with tahini and garlic sauce. It was served with a lush, lightly dressed chickpea salad, a garden fresh taboulleh, grilled potatoes and a generous scoop of velvety hummus garnished with paprika and a drizzling of olive oil.
(Top to bottom: 1. A pot of Turkish Coffee. 2. Walnut and Pistachio Baclava.)
Our meal was accompanied by a pot of beautifully brewed Turkish coffee that was steeped in spices and a truckload of sugar. We finished off with an extremely delicate and flaky walnut and pistachio baclava — all crispy, not hopelessly drowned in honey as is often the crime.
The meal came to around $35 including taxes and tip (and an extra baclava to go) — an excellent value for fresh ingredients and a beautifully executed meal.
Perfect for: an oasis of Lebanese cuisine somewhere between Main and Downtown.