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Popular Mediterranean restaurant leaves Penticton for Summerland

Chef Nasir
Chef Nasir

A popular shawarma restaurant has wrapped up operations in Penticton and started a new chapter in Summerland.

Sheanne Moskaluk, who lives in Naramata, has no problem travelling a little further to Summerland for some of her favourite food at Cleopatra Café.

“I’m so happy they reopened, it was a little bit of a hard time during that time when they weren’t available,” she said.

Moskaluk and her husband are vegans. Initially the menu did not cater to their dietary restrictions, however Chef Nasir was able to transform the dishes to meet their needs.

“I once called him to do a dinner for 10 of us, all vegan. We came in and he had the table all set up, bringing us platter after platter of this most amazing food all vegan. Everybody just sat there and could not believe how good it was,” she said. 

Cleopatra Cafe owner Fatima Yuceer, left, and Sheanne Moskaluk.
Cleopatra Cafe owner Fatima Yuceer, left, and Sheanne Moskaluk.

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While in Penticton for nearly a decade, Cleopatras was tucked away in a shabby plaza underneath someone’s apartment suite. But inside had a cozy atmosphere.

It’s a similar scene in Summerland, where the restaurant has moved to after the lease ended at its Penticton location.

The way Nasir’s friendliness comes through his Turkish accent, along with the music and artwork that decorate the restaurant, adds an authentic Middle Eastern feeling to the dining experience. He wants guests to feel like they’re at home, but at a home in Istanbul.

Nasir developed the menu by combining Turkish and European flavours. He’s careful about adding just the right amount of heat for each customer’s liking. 

And while the flavours taste genuinely Middle Eastern, he says all ingredients are all sourced from Canadian suppliers.

Cleopatra Cafe in Summerland.
Cleopatra Cafe in Summerland.

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Despite not having any vegan options in the beginning, a veggie platter is now one of the most popular items on the menu, he said.

“It has unique sauce and special flavours and olive oil lemon garlic, and patience," he said.

Patience is Nasir’s secret ingredient. “Always you need patience.”

He says making money is not his number one priority.

“First is about how to make people happy. I’m not looking to make money I’m looking to make people happy."

Cleopatras is now located on Rosedale Avenue at the corner of Jubliee Road in Summerland. 

Cleopatra Cafe
Cleopatra Cafe's new location in Summerland.

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