Monday, March 1, 2010

Sanafir - Dubai meets Vancouver

Sanafir is one of my favorite restaurants in Vancouver, and one that I frequent quite often. It's located on Granville, so it's a great spot to plan a dinner or drinks with friends. I love how it has that Arabian Nights feel to it. Downstairs they have 25 foot ceilings with a communal table and some private booths and tables, while upstairs they have day beds, where you can lounge and relax while overlooking downstairs. For the food, it's great to try the tapas trios. You pick the focus ingredient - halibut, prawns, calamari etc.. and then you get 3 different takes on the dish. It's a great deal for 14$, and it makes a great sharing dish. Their main dishes are also priced really great for the quality ranging from 15-22$, or you can opt to try their platters to share for 22$ person where you get a HUGE platter that is quite filling. In the summer they open up the wall on the street to provide a more patio appeal, which is a great spot to eat at. This is the type of spot where you would want to have your birthday at also as they can take a nice sized reservation. Below are some pictures from a few of my dining events there.

The first of the Halibut Tapas Trio we tried was the Pistachio Crusted Halibut with moroccan spiced lentils and grilled vegetables. This was a great way to start the halibut off. I love how the cream sauce really brought out the texture of the pistachio's.

2/3 Prawn tapas we tried was the Creamy Halibut Korma with summer squash and toasted cashews. I've had Korma a few times, but usually it's more of a butter chicken like color, so I was wondering how this one would be! It was actually really great and the cashews gave the softer dish a nice crunch. It didn't really have a Korma taste, more like a spiced delicate cream taste.

The first of the 3 Calamari dishes we tried was the Grilled Calamari with indian spiced yellow curry and slivered almonds. This dish we thought was just OK. The Calamari was a little more chewy then what I'm used to... I think I just prefer my Calamari lightly fried then grilled. The sauce however was another amazing curry sauce, but then Sanafir sure knows how to make great Indian dishes!

I love hummus alsmost as much as I love guacamole, and I love great Naan bread, so I really wanted to try Sanafir's take on it. You get a pretty big portion for only 6$, I believe it was 8 pieces and a pretty big bowl of hummus. The Naan was perfect, freshly baked and moist. The hummus I found a little bit salty, (you can actually see the salt on top in the picture). Also, we skipped the olives as neither of us are olive fans. If you are a salt lover this is a dish you would probably love!

One of the main Entrees we have tried is the Seared Ahi Tuna 19$, which I loved!  I loved the presentation, how it was cut up in bite size pieces, with the perfect ammount of crispy asian salad and ginder soy to go with it. The quality of the tuna was great as it just melted in our mouth.
Here's a picture of me having some Naan and Hummus on Sanafir's Patio. We were at Sanafir that night before going to the Commodore to see Beres Hammond and Culture, in which Culture walked by before hand - said hi, and I had no idea they were Culture.. I just thought it was random people going to the show!the highlight of this dining experience was when Culture walked right by us.

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