March 3, 2019:
This was a complimentary tasting of the food at ZIBA Berlin Döner thanks to Patrick of @feedmyphone who organized this flexible tasting experience for me. ZIBA Berlin Döner is located in the east end of Toronto. I was able to get here by car (there’s a small green P parking lot just a few minutes’ away or you can park on the street). Their storefront signage is bold and stands out in this area of Queen Street East.
Walking in after 11:15 a.m. on a Sunday, we were the first to arrive. It is a fast casual restaurant where you place your order at the counter, take a seat, and then the food is brought to your table. Utensils, lemon-infused water, and napkins are available at the counter. When you are done your food, you can bring your tray to the garbage receptacles at the doorway to dispose of your trash yourself.
I have had this type of food before previously at Otto’s Berlin Doner in Kensington Market. However, the food here at ZIBA Berlin Döner is a tad different in that their German street food items are considered to be fusion döner. In addition to the döner sandwiches (with a pick of protein similar to shawarmas), they have something called a “kapsalon” where all the ingredients are spread in layers inside the box. You can dig in and all the flavours are infused together. It’s almost like a mixed box of poutine items with French fries at the very bottom.
My friend and I both ordered the Build Your Own Döner Kebab but had different bases and proteins.
I chose the Turkish Pide as the base of the döner with beef and veal as the protein. I topped it off with lettuce, red cabbage, red onions, cucumber, and yogurt garlic. The döner was presented beautifully on a metal triangular tray to prop up the Döner Kebab. It was a huge portion. The Turkish Pide was very crispy and held up all the ingredients well. The beef and veal were thinly sliced. It was a very hefty and generous portion.
The staff also gave me the “ZIBA” sauce to try on the side, which was a spicy orange sauce. It was indeed very spicy with only a dollop for taste! If you have a high tolerance for heat, you’ll love the kick in this sauce!
My friend ordered the Döner Kebab with Lavash (Turkish flat bread) for the base, chicken as the protein, and topped it off with the same ingredients that I got. Hers wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing when it was unwrapped but the taste was still very good. The chicken meat was very flavourful within the wrap. It looked like a giant burrito!
During our visit, we were also given a free cup of lentil soup. I really enjoyed this sample! The lentil soup was very comforting and tasty!
I also ordered the Kapsalon to try since it was such a unique item. It is a box of various ingredients stacked in layers. I chose chicken as the protein. The toppings included melted cheese, lettuce, red cabbage, red onions, cucumber, and yogurt garlic sauce. Despite ordering a “small,” it was a very generous portion! It was a good mixture of all the ingredients. I thought that it tasted all right and I couldn’t taste the melted cheese very much. Since they were at the bottom of the box, the fries were also a bit mushy for my taste.
Thank you ZIBA Berlin Döner and Patrick for giving me this opportunity to try out the food!
FTC Disclaimer: Although ZIBA Berlin Döner invited me to a complimentary tasting, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the restaurant.