I went to Tabülè for lunch as part of the Winterlicious celebrations in Toronto this afternoon. I’ve always wanted to dine at this restaurant since it’s quite popular and because I also wanted to have some Middle Eastern food. Participating in Winterlicious and Summerlicious for several years now, I’ve tried quite a number of predominantly Western restaurants (French, Canadian, etc.) that I really wanted to branch out and try more of the more “foreign” cuisines.
At the time of writing this, I had just visited Tabülè in the afternoon for lunch. I’m pointing this out because I have been feeling so thirsty ever since I visited the restaurant a mere 10 hours ago. Throughout the whole afternoon, I have been feeling so parched and needing to drink water every 5 minutes. I can’t understand why. The only reason I can point to is that the restaurant probably uses a TON of MSG in their food and that’s the reason why I’m feeling like I’m in the desert. This is not a good feeling.
In any case, let’s get on with this food blog: Tabülè is located in the midtown area of Toronto on Yonge and Eglinton. They are serving a $15 prix fixe lunch this year as part of Winterlicious. We chose outstanding dishes on the menu to share. The service was excellent here as we were promptly seated and served quickly. I had a special request to leave early since there was only street parking and informed our server of our need to dine quickly. The server was so accommodating and made sure that all the dishes arrived right after another and even brought our bill to the table as we were waiting for our desserts. It was very considerate of her and I really appreciated the quick service.
The two appetizers that we shared were the Combination Plate which consisted of humüs, babaganüj, tabülè and falafel and the Kubbeh (cracked wheat shell stuffed with ground lamb and beef, onions and pine nuts).
I liked the Kubbeh and how there were two pieces — perfect for sharing. It tasted good with the ground lamb, beef, onions, and pine nuts inside the cracked wheat shell. I also really liked the sauce that was served with the Kubbeh. The Combination Plate was a great way to taste a range of appetizers from the restaurant. I really liked the falafel and how crunchy its deep fried skin was. I liked wrapping it in the pita bread and smearing the smooth humus and babaganüj into it and eating it all together. The humus and babaganüj were rich and creamy. I definitely was 80% full after eating all of this due to the pita bread and heavy Baba ganoush.
Both main dishes contained the same sides — one was a salmon kebab and the other was a kefta kebab. I really enjoyed the salmon kebab! It was juicy and well-seasoned Atlantic Salmon that was cooked perfectly. I was a bit surprised actually at how juicy the salmon was. Yum! The kefta kebab was a skewer of middle eastern spiced mixed lamb and beef. It reminded me of Greek gyros except that it was thicker and meatier. It could have been a little more juicy, but it was tasty for the most part. I really liked the rice that was infused with a bit of fried garlic slivers (I think). I also gobbled up the crunchy salad very quickly because it was refreshing and livened up my taste buds after all of the relatively dry food items we had had so far. By the time I almost finished my plate, I was feeling SO full. All of the rice and the entire portion itself were very generous! I almost wanted to give up and pack it home, but I ended up finishing it all. D:
Lastly, dessert! Of course, we had the Baklava and Knaffa Ashta which were the most distinctly middle eastern of all the dessert choices. I’ve had Baklava countless times and wanted to see how they prepared it here. I wasn’t disappointed. It came presented in a cute way too; three bite-sized pieces stacked together like a sculpture. I liked all the honey that was drizzled around the plate; it was very well done!
I’ve never had Knaffa Ashta before and this turned out to be one of the most unique desserts I can recall eating. It was a platter of “angel hair filo layered with custard and topped off with rose water syrup”. Wow! What a description. I loved the soft pieces of angel hair filo; it reminded me of eating many flakes of coconut strands all at once except that it melted in your mouth and blended perfectly with the rose water syrup. It was very yummy! I will totally have this dessert again in the future now that I know what it is. :)
All in all, the food at Tabülè did not disappoint at all! Everything was very tasty and I enjoyed every course. The service was so excellent and I was very pleased with how the server made sure that we were out of there in due time due to our special request. However, I am curious as to why I was so darn thirsty after the meal. Did they really use too much MSG to make everything taste good? You, the reader reading this, have you been to Tabülè? If so, what was your experience like eating there? I’d love to know! Thanks for reading. :)