Aleph: Vancouver’s new Middle Eastern eatery is stunning (PHOTOS)

Jan 4 2018, 8:06 am

This piece was written for Daily Hive by Matthew Murtagh-Wu (AKA Vancouver’s one and only Dumpling King).  Facebook // Instagram

At the foot of Victoria and Powell Street stands the 110-year-old Hamilton Building, the unofficial landmark to signify that you’ve entered one of the last cultural heartlands of Vancouver.

Welcome to Port Town, home to some of the city’s most brilliant craft breweries, restaurants, cafes, and now finally the newest kid on the block – Aleph Middle Eastern Eatery – set to open on Wednesday, January 17.

Aleph exterior (Matthew Murtagh-Wu)

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Nestled into the forefront of East Van’s backdrop of train tracks, mountains, brick streets, and water is a re-creation of Palestine (AKA home) through the eyes of the husband-wife team: Palestinian born Lebanese chef-owner Haitham El Khatib and his native Vancouverite wife, Fiona.

Aleph’s menu draws both its identity and innovation from the staples of a Middle Eastern pantry to serve up brunch and lunch in East Vancouver.

Aleph interior (Matthew Murtagh-Wu)

Aleph interior (Matthew Murtagh-Wu)

With an intent to proudly showcase the fundamentals of the Levant’s home cooking style, Aleph’s food purposely transcends the region’s national borders in a theme of commonality – you’ll see flavours from different regions.

Charred eggplants, Fattet Hummus, Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, and salads of fresh produce can be found on this menu. These are some of the mouthwatering nods to the tastes of home on Aleph’s offerings, all supplemented by baskets of freshly baked handmade flatbreads brushed with olive oil, and zaatar (El Khatib shipped a traditional Saj bread oven from Lebanon where they will bake in-house).

“Aleph” is the first character of the Arabic and Hebrew languages, FYI, so it’s not suprising that El Khatib has based his menu both on the basics of Middle Eastern cuisine but also on a skillful elaboration of them.

Aleph interior (Matthew Murtagh-Wu)

Aleph interior (Matthew Murtagh-Wu)

Aleph also provides playful elaborations on breakfast staples – a Lebanese-style Benedict? Yes please. Think tahini, poached eggs, beets, sumac, and olive oil. Halloumi grilled cheese with a sweet and savoury tomato jam and pink onion pickles? I’m down.

Welcome to the neighbourhood, new friend.

They’re doing a brunch, and lunch service to start with. Keep your eyes on the expansion of their opening hours to a dinner menu.

Aleph interior (Matthew Murtagh-Wu)

Aleph Middle Eastern Eatery

Address: 1889 Powell Street, Vancouver

Hours: 10 am to 2 pm daily

Instagram: @alepheatery

Matthew Murtagh-WuMatthew Murtagh-Wu

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