The first time I came to Nuba was last year when my friend came back from Peru. Everything we ordered was amazing, except the chicken skewers which were really tough and dry. And the only other issue was the scallops, we had 3 pieces for a table of 4, but the couple beside us had 4 pieces. If our server told us it comes only with 3 pieces, we would have ordered 2 orders instead of 1 so there would be enough. Anyways, I remember the duck breast and roasted chicken was AMAZING, seriously. THE BEST. So I forced my boyfriend to make time to see me earlier and take me here. I was here for 2 things, the roasted duck breast and chicken.
We came on a weekday without reservations, and waited around 45 minutes for a table. Our server brought our drinks after we waited 20 minutes, which is pretty long. I was kind of already cranky since I was hyped to come here and it has not been a great start.
We ordered the chicken, duck breast and lamb shank.
The first entree is the pan seared duck breast with jewelled couscous, crispy duck skin and grilled asparagus ($22.00). The duck is really chewy and I was surprised because I came here specifically for this. It is a bit on the luke warm side and really hard to eat. My boyfriend was making fun of me for coming here for this. I swear the first time was really good. The asparagus is average and not over or under cooked.
So about after 45 minutes... yes 45 minutes.. our second entree came.
The second entree is the braised lamb shank on roasted mushroom israeli couscous "risotto" with cardamom raisin relish ($25.00). My boyfriend wanted to try this and was disappointed. The lamb is not tender and it is tough. There is nothing special about it and if anything, it is below average. I enjoyed their risotto because it is just couscous. Meh, it is always good to think you can enjoy the sides if the main is not really good.
So as I am defending for my life to my boyfriend, justifying why we are here and that the first time the only complaint was the chicken skewers... another 30 minutes pass and our last entree comes.
The third entree is the fraser valley chicken glazed with honey, cinnamon and cumin, served with roasted carrots and potatoes ($21.00). Yay! Finally after 2 bad dishes and waiting for over an hour and half, my favourite entree came. When I say favourite, I
mean meant it. I remember the first time I had the chicken, it melted in my mouth and the sauce was so flavourful and delicious, I wanted to lick the bowl. This time, the sauce is super thick and tastes like sweet honey and caramel (not in the good way). The texture of the sauce is almost 100% the texture of pure honey. The sauce tastes like pure caramel watered down, it is not pleasant. I do not know if they changed chefs.. but all the dishes are different then a year ago. When I told my friend who came with me the first time, she was shocked and speechless. She even thought I was joking, I kid you not.
Anyways, I will not go into more detail about the food because as you can tell, we did not enjoy them. I will admit that the first time was literally so good and a 4.5/5.
Service wise, what happened? It took 20 minutes for our drinks, and when we got our first entree, there was a 45 minute gap for our second entree, then another 30 minute gap for the last entree. I can say that the first time I came here, there was only about a 10-15 minute gap between every dish. But this time? On a weekday that is not busy after we were seated? To make things worse, a random server or hostess (I do not know what she does) came to us and started clearing our plates without saying a word, that shows literally how long we waited. We did not even get our second entree before she cleared our plates. It was pretty embarrassing and awkward for me to say that only one of our dishes came.
Nuba is a place to relax, have a couple of drinks and share some dishes. If I came for some appetizers and wanted to drink, I probably would have been happy. But if I came for 2 specific dishes that I swear were the best and is now not edible, obviously I am pissed.
By the way, the hummus at the Kitsilano location is 10x better than this location, the hummus is pretty bland here. On my first visit, my friend was still eating the hummus and our server tried taking the plate as she was dipping LOL awkward.