Tamam has become a fixture in the East Village, serving authentic Palestinian cuisine made with heart and soul. Owners Tamam and Sobhi have had the restaurant for eight years now, and have received praise from local food reporters and bloggers alike. “I actually did not start cooking professionally until I came to Canada,” Tamam explains. “My father was a good cook. He cooked in a hotel in Jerusalem which is part of it. My way of cooking after travelling became really open minded. I added concepts and flavours from all different kinds of food, like Spanish food and Italian food. It all inspired me.” When it comes to finding inspiration in his kitchen, Tamam says it’s not too hard to find – it’s everywhere. “I like to add a little bit extra to recipes. Sometimes it depends on what I have in front of me, like seasonal weather, what’s new in the market, or the weather.” Tamam and Sobhi are examples of the the warmth and kindness in our district, and Tamam says that at the end of the day, that’s what it is really all about. “I love the community, the people,” Tamam says. “They make me feel at home. They support me and I feel like I have a lot of friends. The customers that come in, we have a nice relationship with them. They love our kids. It’s like we’re at home. I really love that about my job.” “I also love when people come and enjoy the food, and can feel like they are back in Palestine when they eat here,” he says. “ I love hearing that my food can take people somewhere else. That’s another thing I love about this neighbourhood, all the food and restaurants take you to other places in the world.” Tamam offers a wide selection of gluten-free and vegetarian options. If you’ve never eaten Palestinian food before – what are you waiting for? Tamam is located at 2616 East Hastings Street, and is open Tuesday – Thursday from 5:30 -9:00 pm; Friday – Sunday from 5:30 – 10 pm, and closed on Mondays. Check out their website for more info.