We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The end of an era for Nyala” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nyala African Cuisine - CLOSED

Nyala African Cuisine
4148 Main Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
(604) 876-9919
Improve this listing
Cuisines: African, Ethiopian, Moroccan
Restaurant details
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“The end of an era for Nyala”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

Nyala was my place of choice for Ethiopian food for the past 14 years in Vancouver. Half of the time they have been operating in Vancouver. Incredibly friendly service and atmosphere, delicious food, and a welcoming owner who over the years became a good friend.

Alas, it is now done and Nyala closed, as of October 30. Thank you for all the experiences, Asafa.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

24 reviews from our community

33% Recommend
    6
    2
    9
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, BC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Horrible food, no service & an owner yelling...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2011

I know I know when I think back to the evening it's hard to believe it all happened!

We took advantage of some coupons and were also greeted by the owner with a sour face. Not a good sign.

We ordered pakora which basically was individual pieces of tasteless deep fried battered veg. Not the usual flavourful combination of shredded veg.

My entre was the evening special of lamb tagine which was presented beautifully in a traditional tagine baking dish. However the lamb shank was tough with lots of fat and I could barely cut it with my knife. For $24.95 I expected better.

Service was lacking with having to ask the waitresses for numerous items they kept forgetting to bring to the table. Both looked like they'd much rather be somewhere else and it soon became evident why.

Our bill included a 15% gratuity of the amount before deducting the coupon which normally I'm quite ok with, however if you're automatically going to tack the gratuity on you better be prepared to deliver. So when service & food is sub par I prefer to be able to determine my own gratuity or at least be told it was included. Good thing we noticed it added to the bill or we would have tipped yet again.

Regardless we paid what was asked without saying anything which turns out to be a good thing as another couple were standing at the bar with the owner quietly voicing their concerns about this very practice of adding the gratuity to the owner who commenced yelling at them about a 15% tip being added to the bill in most restaurants nowadays. NOT! The customers remained speaking quietly while the owner kept on and on in a very loud voice. They finally left the restaurant at which point the owner yelled throughout the whole place that the customer was a "cheap son of a B" to the absolute amazement of the remaining guests.

It was all quite unbelievable and such an inappropriate display of downright boorishness on the part of the owner that there is no way we will ever return.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The tasty food did not make up for the AWFUL service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

My boyfriend and I have tried to eat here a few times, but it was usually so busy that we didn't wait around. However, when a social shopper coupon was available, we jumped on it and made plans to eat a few days later.

On dining day ,there were only three other tables occupied, which you would think would mean quicker service. That was not the case. After we showed our server (possibly the owner) the coupon, his face dropped, especially when we did not want any liquor. It took an hour to get our food, easy to keep track of because we were paying for parking outside. In the meantime the server was chit-chatting with two of the other tables,even sitting down at them to mingle with customers. He ignored one table that also had a coupon. When we had finished our meal, we asked the hostess for the bill. She said that only he (the server/owner?) could do it...but he was quite busy joking around with some his favoured guests. Instead of tapping him on the shoulder, she hovered around him for the next 15 minutes waiting for him to stop talking with them.

Honestly, the food was good, but after that service, I will definitely never go back.

  • Visited August 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Worst dining experience in a long time”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2011

We went to Nyala last week. I was dreaming of yummy injeera and curry and wow, did I get an awakening! The injeera felt like sandpaper: Injeera usually is served in rolls (in other places where I've dined) but these ones were flat and falling to pieces because they were so dry! It felt like they had made it 3 days ago and put it in the microwave to warm it.

We ordered the yeshimbera (chickpea cakes) which tasted like mini hockey pucks. They were so dry you could choke on them if you didn't take your time to chew properly! The only items that were okay were the ingudie watt (yellow split peas) and the gomen watt (chopped greens).

We came out of the restaurant without finishing the injeera (which is the first, usually we ask for more!) or the mini hockey pucks. We half thought that we could take those back for slingshot material! We were terribly disappointed because what is ethiopian food if your injeera is bad! It's like going to a Chinese restaurant and the congee is burnt! The price is too high for the quality of food and the ambience is not that great either. It feels like they've just stock their shelves with items that cannot be stored anywhere else so they can create some kind of decor in the restaurant.

I don't eat meat so I don't know how good those dishes are. But if you're going for injeera and vegetarian options, go to Harambe on Commercial Drive. They're a LOT better.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazingly Delicious!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

My mom and I decided to try Nyala last week, as I had never had African food before. I honestly was not sure what to expect. Wow...was I ever impressed!! We ordered 2 entrees, and as a result received 2 compliementary salads to start. The Azifa Lentil and Tabloueh salads were delicious. A short time later, the entrees arrived. We had ordered the Yedoro Tibs (chicken with red & green peppers and onions) and the Scallops with this peri peri sauce that was to die for!! We both could not stop commenting on how impressed we were with both the quality and taste of the dishes. They were spiced to perfection. I was a little worried that since we chose mild spice that it would compromise the taste, but that was not the case at all. I can honestly say that my meal here was one of the best I have had...ever! Definitely worth checking out!!

  • Visited September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Nyala African Cuisine also viewed

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
Vancouver, British Columbia
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Nyala African Cuisine, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.