I first visited Moltaqua at a Vanfoodster Tasting Plates event a few years ago and my intention has been to return ever since. Happily, they seem to have a pretty good number of vegan options (as North African food often does) and so we set out to visit their newer Yaletown location on Mainland near Nelson. I apologize for my front of the restaurant photo. Not sure what happened with that! The actual restaurant sign is not quite so blurry!
We ordered the Vegetarian (vegan option) Sampler Platter For 2 People. It gave us a taste of many different dishes. Our server showed up first with 2 soups (2 small servings of each soup) which were rich and tasty. The Besara Soup was a bit of a split pea soup (probably fava bean) rich with olive oil which was amazing. Mharie did not care for the olive oil richness and pushed this one my way (not a problem). The Harirra Soup was more of a tomato soup with chickpeas and north African spice. Also amazing!
The bread flowed freely and this was some great pita. They brought us more than one basket and we wolfed it down.
The main part of the sampler platter came all at once. Every one of these dishes was amazing. I couldn't put my finger on what was so unique about the beet salad but it turned out to be orange! Three of the dishes were substantial bean or eggplant concoctions, 4 were more saladish and then there was the bell pepper spread.
One significant thing that was missing from the sampler was a pastilla. This was a crispy phyllo pastry dish. It was close to Filipino chow mein (fine noodles and vegetables) wrapped in phyllo but definitely had a uniquely North African spice taste beyond that!
Service at Moltaqua was exceptional. The staff look after tables by committee and so there is never a time when you are wondering where everyone is. Empty dishes disappeared as if by magic. They were very friendly and enthusiastic about what they served. Good for vegans but everyone else too.
Food 4 out of 5
Vegan options 4 out of 5
Comfort 4 out of 5
Service 4 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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