YaMan Restaurant

YaMan is sure to become a favourite lunch and dinner spot for downtown residents.

By Jason Leach
Published January 27, 2006

Sat, Jan 20th was the official opening of YaMan Caribbean restaurant on King East in the burgeoning International Village.

Judging by my first experience in this new eatery, Hamilton has landed another great spot for healthy, tasty dishes in a comfortable setting. The building, renovated in recent months, is very cozy and small, yet well-lit and enjoyable to be in.

I spoke with Annie, one half of the ownership team and the main chef. She has a very health conscious menu, yet doesn't lose any of the flavour you would expect from the Caribbean.

She sent me home with a sampling of various dishes - curried pork, curried shrimp, bittermelon, roti, rice, split peas, and potatoes. My wife and I wolfed back the entire platter, amazed at the quality and flavour of each dish.

Annie is another Hamilton booster, and as so many like her, is from Toronto. She moved here five years ago and fell in love with the city: the escarpment trails, waterfalls, downtown streets, bayfront and range of architecture found in the city centre.

She can't figure out why many Hamiltonians speak negatively about our city. She's not alone. Hamilton's future, in my opinion, lies with exactly these types of people and these business ventures.

This sort of eatery is what makes city life so enjoyable. As a downtown resident I can walk for 15 minutes and enjoy food from every corner of the planet. Or if I choose, I can buy the ingredients at one of several markets in the area and make it myself. My wife just made her first attempt at sushi rolls and the results were amazing.

Like other downtown restaurants, YaMan buys their food from the Hamilton Farmers' Market. This is another glimpse into how local economies should work. We don't need mega corporations selling chemical versions of food shipped in frozen for weeks and slapped down on my table by a teen who hates their job.

True sustainable economies include this sharing of resources and buying/selling from local businesses. As I've said before, your ten dollars spent at a locally owned/operated business stays in the community and will likely end up changing hands again at the butcher and yet again at the butchers farmer.

YaMan is sure to become a favourite lunch and dinner spot for downtown residents. And of course, the entire menu is available for takeout. YaMan is open everyday except Sunday from 10:30-8:00. A website is being developed at

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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