Ready for an epic Lebanese feast? You’re going to have to make your way to New Westminster to check out Wild Thyme. This authentic Middle Eastern restaurant is dishing up stunning spreads featuring bold flavours and bright colours which will give your tastebuds a happy kick.
The restaurant is situated in the original Big Star Sandwiches location, on New West’s 12th Street amidst a panoply of indie restaurants showcasing global eats. Wild Thyme takes its name from one of its star ingredients, the spice mixture za’atar. Wild thyme is found throughout the Middle East, and one loose way to interpret the core of za’atar is to translate it as “wild thyme.”
Once you’re seated inside their funky dining room, food lovers will definitely have a wild time exploring the menu of the family-run Wild Thyme.
Handmade flatbreads are coming out of their special imported oven, which diners can see blazing from just about any vantage point in the room. Their house flatbreads are Wild Thyme’s calling card, and come in all sorts of versions; get one topped simply in a white Armenian-style cheese, or go for straight za’atar spread all over.
They also make a ground beef (kafta), a Lebanese sausage and pomegranate molasses (Makanek), or a spicy tomato flatbread, among others. Trust me: It will be hard to choose just one, so…don’t. Bring friends and try a few.
If you’re a carnivore, you can tuck into hearty dishes of saffron rice with chicken, or kafta (meat patties) and all the trimmings, including tahini, a show-stopping puffed up pita, salad, and heaps of garlicky sauce.
Vegetarians will have an easy time filling up here, thanks to the abundance of options from flatbreads to soulful sides, like a traditional Fattoush salad (veggies and greens), Tabbouleh (an herb-based salad), and familiar dips like hummus and baba ganouj (eggplant dip). You can find more savoury heaven in protein-packed dishes like lentils, chickpeas, or beans stewed and topped with lots of lemon juice and olive oil.
While so many similar ingredients, like oil, garlic, and lemon, are found throughout the cuisine, Wild Thyme absolutely rocks each one so that there is a very clear individual flavour. Plus, these dishes are just so beautiful–some are like cheery green fields (of arugula or parsley, that is) and others are dotted with gorgeous jewels, aka pomegranate seeds. Go for the Instagram overhead shot.
The restaurant’s owners love their guests to fill their table, Lebanese-style, and indulge in a lingering feast complete with mint tea and lots of plates to nibble from. That said, you’ll probably be packing leftovers–which isn’t a bad thing in the least. Wild Thyme’s bright, savoury, and memorable salads, dips, and flatbreads taste pretty damn good the next day, too.
Address: 705 12th Street, New Westminster