Tucked away on an inconspicious location on a sidewalk full of pretentious restaurants in Kitsilano is one of Vancouver's best hidden gems....Deafined. Deafined is dining experience for those who dare to be different and open their hearts to the world of the hearing impaired. The restaurant is set up to make communication as smooth as possible between customers and staff. The menus have the item, price, and symbol you'll need to sign with your hand to indicate what you want to order.
In addition to that there are placards giving you basic lessons in sign language on how to say "please" "thank you" "eat" "drink" or ask for your bill. At each table there is a pen and paper in case the customers need to communicate and write down special dietary requests to the waiter. And the waiters themselves are trained to communicate with the customers. Our waitress was actually able to communicate with her hands to us asking us if we wanted seperate bills or put on one bill just like any other staff at a regular restaurant. Impressive....
There were also some elements of the restaurant that were touching. In the main foyer there is a huge vase with a pen and paper so that happy customers can write kudos, thanks, and encouragment to the staff. At Deafined being hearing impaired certainly doesn't stop love and positivity from spreading.
As for the food, I took one bite and spent all nite debating which was more beautiful....the food or the spirit of the people that made the food and are serving it? The debate still rages on inside of me and I don't think I'll ever really be able to decide. All I know is that every time I look back on this experience, gratitude wells up within my soul and I find the tips of my fingers touching my lips as my hand moves away from my mouth.....sign language for THANK YOU.