Sanafir, Vancouver (Downtown) #BCHydro’s #Candlelight Conservation Dinner

I am having a writer’s block moment tonight. My other half is eating at the new Glowbal Collection: Black + Blue, I’m sitting at a Starbucks after eating a BK Whopper dinner trying to describe my experience at Sanafir. I have lots on my mind but I don’t know where to start.



I don’t know what genre to describe this restaurant. Mediterranean? Indian? Moroccan? Now Vietnam? I’ll explain later.


I’ve been to Sanafir at least 5 times. I keep coming back because every time I come, I get more intrigued. I mean, who employs belly dancers to dance around the dining tables? Be aware though, you will have a hard time connecting to your date (if that’s who you’re bringing). It’s hard not to yell in Sanafir on a weekend.


I am beginning to see a pattern on the Glowbal group and their interior design. They love to bring the Yaletown influence. A loft style rectangular open space with exposed concrete walls, black fabric, lanterns and candles. They are not trying to invite you to their restaurant, but rather take you on a journey.

Sanafir Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon

Cuisine: Vietnamese, Mediterranean
Price/Entrée: $10-20 (dinner)

Out of 5… (1: Don’t bother —> 5: Excellent)
Food: 4.0
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 4.0

Another reason why I keep coming back, their food is innovative. I don’t have a chance to visit Peru, Morocco, Africa, etc. We’re here once again to try their Vietnamese Menu, which was offered for a limited time.



Duck Prosciutto-  Pickled Beets, Goat Cheese, and Fried Leeks: Very fragrant, very pungent. The goat cheese is an excellent complement to the duck. The prosciutto melts in your mouth. The portion size is excellent for sharing. Serves 4.


Scallop Ceviche: I’ve had this at least 3 out of the 5 times here. What is a better way than sampling fresh scallops on acidic vinaigrette. This will freshen up your mind and palette for the dishes to come.


Coconut Coriander Grilled Tiger Prawn (Vietnamese Menu): Is it a Vietnamese dish? No, Inspired? Maybe… It tastes extremely good regardless. Fresh greens to complement the 2 grilled prawns cooked and seasoned perfectly.


Moroccan mussels and clams: A combination of sweetness and bitterness. If I can perfectly describe the broth, it resembles Bak-kut-teh: a soup famous in Malaysian cuisine. I wouldn’t recommend it to EVERYONE. It does have a unique taste, which I am totally comfortable with because I’ve had similar things since I was young.


Caramel Braised Eel – roasted butternut squash, crispy ginger (Vietnamese Menu): This dish was very sweet with a unique Asian inspired taste. To be honest, I haven’t cooked eel as part of my chef training so I do not know the difficulty of it. I can tell you that the eel here tasted a little fishy. It didn’t stop me from liking this dish. I would order it again if this menu comes back next year.

So my experience is terrific as always at a Glowbal Group restaurant. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not feature chain restaurants unless there was a gimmick to it. In this case, Glowbal Group doesn’t have 10 of the same restaurants with the same menu.



They have a fusion concept that introduces not only a unique menu of things you haven’t tired,  but keeps it relatively safe for those who doesn’t want to take huge risks in global cuisine. To end of, allow me to give you a tip that might help you in dining at the likes of Sanafir and Black + Blue. Make a reservation and request a good comfortable seat. 5 out of 5 times I’ve been placed by the window of Sanafir and they really test your back postures with backless chairs in cramped space. I do understand that table space = revenue but I do want to be comfortable when I enjoy my meal. I am catching on and will request a booth seat next time.

PS: Never order anything too wild and crazy when eating with a client. Long story short:

  • Client wants authentic dim sum
  • Doesn’t just want Har Gow, or Siu Mei or Spring Rolls
  • I ordered something that he was intrigued with. Didn’t exactly know what it was.
  • I told him that it was phoenix claws
  • He was confused, I said it was chicken feet
  • He ended up not finishing the other 12 dishes I ordered
  • FAIL





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