315 King Street East
On a Friday night after a long week of work (they all seem long these days!), I stopped by A's for dinner. We were going to check out an Indian restaurant nearby. It wasn't quite what we were expecting so we ended up going to Ya Man! instead.
We started out with some ginger beer at A's insistence. The waitress placed a little bowl of what seemed like pickles and took our order. I decided to indulge and ordered a starter of doubles ($2.50), a Trinidad treat, consisting of curried chickpeas sandwiched between fried flat breads. I mean, just the definition of doubles sounds awesome, non? I'm glad I shared my doubles with A so I'd leave enough room for my main dish. (Note that doubles are only available on Fridays and Saturdays. I guess we were lucky!)
Oh, back to the hot sauce/pickles. So while we were waiting for our food, I couldn't help myself but taste it trying to figure out what it was. I was quite intrigued. It was very fragrant with onion and garlic with a good kick of heat. There were pieces of green vegetables. Artichokes, I thought? Not sure artichokes are part of Carribean cuisine. I finally asked the waitress who told me, it was called kutchella, a hot sauce made with green mangoes." Green mangoes! Awesome.
Kutchella hot sauce and my doubles.
A ordered Combination #4 ($11.99), which consisted of a Dahl soup, and any two vegetables with roti or rice. The waitress suggested that A add some kutchella to the Dahl. I love Dahl's and don't be surprised if you see a dahl post soon! A picked chickpeas and eggplant for his roti. I forgot to ask him to take a picture when he got his roti, so it's half-eaten below (and it was rather dark). When I was considering my choice, I thought eggpland and chickpeas would make a great combo also!
Vegetarian Combination: Dahl soup and eggplant/chickpea roti.
I decided to give up meat for Lent this year so was limited to the vegetables and fish dishes. After going back and forth, I looked at the specials board and noticed the Bake and Fish, a YaMan signature dish (also only available on Fridays and Saturdays for $7.99). I was so happy with my choice of fried perch, served in a fried bake, with tomatoes and lettuce, and... tamarind chutney! This is what made me fall for this dish! I just loved the sweet and sour dimensions that the chutney offered. The battered perch was also perfectly fried and hot. I will definitely have to come back on Fridays and Saturdays!
Bake and Fish.
As we were leaving, I spotted little mason jars and asked if they were the green mango pickles. I got a small jar of kutchella for $4 (or rather A got it for me. Thanks A!) and have been enjoying them at home (embarrassingly, I just eat it on its own). I say Yes to Ya Man!
Sal y Limon, Vancouver
5 days ago