Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine - Bayview (Toronto)

Mezze are to Middle Eastern cuisine what tapas are to Spain: small plates generally accompanying drinks. They’re nibbles to start on or could be an entire meal in itself. They’re the dishes that draw me to Middle Eastern food and are ideal for sharing amongst friends.

Tabule has a variety of hot and cold options to choose from. Most tables share their sampler platter ($15.95), which gives diners a choice of three cold mezze from four options. Their hummus is thick and lightly laced with garlic, the babaganuj incorporating tons of roasted eggplant but could use more spices, and the tabule fantastic with a zippy lemony kick that’s goes well with meaty mains or tossed into hot rice.

To eat the dip, you will need an order of their regular pita bread ($0.50) or the gluten free laffa ($3.75 and pictured below). The latter is worth the extra money as it’s made-to-order, arriving hot, giving off a lovely smoky aroma, and incorporates a lovely chewiness in the dough.

For a vegetable that’s known to be a sponge, the fried eggplant ($7.95) isn’t overly greasy. In fact, get through the lightly crisped coating and you’re greeted by a soft almost creamy eggplant. Our dish arrived without the lemon garlic dressing, but it was still tasty and I ate my plain, not wanting the vegetable to get cold.

The sole disappointing mezze was the warak enab ($10.95), the layers of grape leaves too thick and the inside a plain lemony rice. Where was the tomatoes, garlic, and spices that were promised on the menu? Moreover, the yoghurt dipping sauce, reminding me of the Indian raita, didn’t exactly go with the dish. A warm spicy tomato sauce may be better suited.

Tabule’s falafel salad ($11.95) is hearty enough to be a main with a third of the plate occupied by crispy fluffy falafels. Generally, I shy away from these chickpea nuggets as they’re often dense and dry – Tabule knows what they’re doing, they’re one of the best I’ve eaten!

While the lamb chops ($30.95) were cooked way beyond the requested medium rare, the aged lamb was still tender and moist. Each piece had a great charbroiled flavour and arrives with plain chunks of sautéed vegetables. Sadly, the rice wasn’t substituted with müjaddara (extra $1.50), as ordered, instead in its plain form topped with onions – fine, but nothing special. Lucky for me there was still some of the tabule and babaganuj left, both went wonderfully with the rice.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2901 Bayview Mews Lane (at Bayview Village)

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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