Meet Toronto’s upgrade from typical fast-food chains: Souk Tabule. A contemporary take on Middle Eastern food, done right.
Souk Tabule opened in September 2016, the newest addition the other staple Tabule restaurants in the city. This one is located in the Canary District, an area mostly dominated by condominiums surrounding the restaurant. Upon walking in, you’ll notice the space is massive: there’s tons of seating everywhere, with sunlight pouring through the large windows surrounding the space.
With a space as nice as other elevated restaurants, you’ll notice one thing that makes Souk clearly different from the others. The setting is an upgraded version of fast-food culture. Instead of waiting to be seated, you seat yourself, and order like you would from any fast-food chain (such as McDonalds.) The menu is behind the cash register, and if you’re unsure of what you want, the staff will happily give some recommendations. Once the food is ready, someone will bring the food to your table.
Souk Tabule offers lunch, dinner, dessert, and drinks. Brunch is available from 11AM – 3PM, which is what I went for.
Everything sounded delicious, so I asked for a recommendation. Without dietary restrictions, the staff quickly guided me to pick the Shashuka: roasted tomato and red pepper sauce with three soft-cooked eggs and a scoop of labni (a Middle-Eastern condiment, also called yogurt cheese).
If you’ve ever been to Wish Restaurant and had their ‘Eggs in Purgatory’, Souk’s shashuka dish is similar except spiced differently. It wasn’t spicy, but it did have a nice cajun kick. The yogurt cheese tasted pretty similar to sour cream in my opinion, and putting the mix into a slice of pita was really nice. I do wish they had added another slice of pita on the side though. The eggs were perfectly runny when I popped them. Warm, full of flavour, filling, and came in a respectful amount of time after ordering. It’s probably one of the better brunch dishes I’ve tried in some time. I’d rate this a 9/10.
Chloe (@chloezhaang) got the Akkawi and Tomato Omelette, while Tina (@tinahu) got the Basterma Egg Scramble. Both dishes had three eggs in it (cooked differently) with Arabic slaw on the side (beets). In their opinions, they were pretty plain, not well dressed enough. Chloe wished her omelette was a little more stuffed with other ingredients, but it was a sizeable portion for a decent price. She gives her dish a 7.5/10.
Tina’s scrambled eggs were well seasoned with lots of pepper, sprinkled with parsley and salt. She didn’t think it was “anything special” however, indicating this is a dish that could be easily replicated at home. Nothing too memorable, but tasty. She rates her dish a 7/10.
This might be the worst of what everything we ordered. Chloe got garlic fries on the side to share, and upon first bite, it tasted good. But as we continued eating it, we realized one flaw that prevented us from finishing it: it was waaay too salty. I love me some salt on fries, but this was just overwhelming. If you think you can handle salt, this might appeal to you.
This was the last of what was ordered: baklavas. It’s part of their sweets menu, and I seriously regret not getting one of my own. Tina let me try a small piece, and they were delicious! Pistachios and cashews are tucked away in this pastry with a good touch of sweet honey. I’d give this a definite 10/10 – it’s enough for me to come back just to get some take out of this dessert!
If you enjoy their dishes enough and would like to spice things up in your own kitchen, Souk Tabule has a cleverly set up pantry offering their house-made hot sauce and several spice blends. Why not get a little grocery shopping too, while you’re at it? I thought this was a great touch.
If you’re ever in the Canary District in Toronto and would like to try some food/dessert, I would highly recommend checking out Souk Tabule. They also offer coffee (apparently their signature cardamom lattes are awesome, I’ve yet to try it myself.) The casual ambience makes the customer feel all the more relaxed and inclined to hang out in this spot too.
What do you think of this place? Let me know in the comments below!
Till next time,