Saba Foods Yemeni Restaurant: Enjoy dishes from Vancouver's only Yemeni restaurant

Sep 3 2021, 11:50 am


Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.


Since 2017, family-owned Saba Foods Yemeni Restaurant has been the only place in Vancouver serving up Yemeni cuisine. 

The family-owned business had humble beginnings, operating out of a commissary kitchen in Downtown Vancouver. It has since blossomed into a bustling permanent location in Chinatown.

As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to Alwaleed Ogbah and Brenda Seng, the co-owners of Saba Foods Yemeni Restaurant, about their eatery and which dishes we need to order.

Vancity has been supporting local businesses like Saba Foods Yemeni Restaurant with different programs. Now until Sept 30, Vancity enviro™ Visa* cardholders will earn 1.5x the rewards points at select businesses through the Load Up on Local program. To learn more, visit vancity.com/local

Being a Yemeni in Canada, Alwaleed Ogbah missed the foods of his home country.

Not being able to find anything comparable in Vancouver, Ogbah and his wife Brenda Seng decided to start their own restaurant which would serve all of their favourite Yemeni dishes.

We used to make Yemeni dishes for family and friends, and after hearing so much positive feedback from them, we decided to try it out as a business.”

The road to restaurant ownership wasn’t an easy one, though, as Ogbah came to Canada while leaving his country during a time of war. Leaving his family and friends behind, he had to start his new life well outside of his comfort zone. 

In a way, starting this business is a reminder of home,” Seng told Daily Hive. “He and I started this business not only to support our family but also to show the world what Yemen is all about. It is such a beautiful peaceful place with the most kind and generous-hearted people.”

 

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The two hope to share the beauty of Yemen through their food and hospitality, telling Daily Hive that Yemen is full of vibrant culture, people, language, architecture, and beautiful landscapes.

“The Yemeni people are some of the warmest, friendliest and most hospitable people in the world. It is a shame not many people know about it. As a brand, we hope to exhibit this hospitality and we strive to always serve the best quality food available.”

 

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According to Ogbah and Song, must-try dishes include mandi and haneeth (slow-roasted lamb and chicken served on a bed of fluffy basmati rice), Temeni kebabs, BBQ chicken, and of course, baklava that’s baked fresh in-house.

 

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Saba Foods Yemeni Restaurant is hoping to eventually spread all over Canada, but for now, is incredibly thankful to their Vancouver customers.

“We love and appreciate our supporters and customers for supporting us all throughout the past year. We would not be here without them and we are extremely grateful.”

 

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Those interested in visiting Saba Foods Yemeni Restaurant can do so at 509 Main Street in Vancouver.

This content was created by Daily Hive’s editorial team independently, with financial support from a sponsor.
Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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