When Cauliflower from Middle East Takes Over

04Feb15

Restaurant Review

At first, it was all about pizza, then it moved to burgers, tapas and finally tacos. The restaurant industry in Toronto has been evolving over the years, and the Mexican cuisine is currently being pushed aside my Middle Eastern. Byblos and Fat Pasha are fine examples of Eastern Mediterranean restaurants that opened their doors in 2014.

I have to say that Byblos left me a bit disappointed because the dining experience that one encounters in Patria, a Spanish restaurant with the same owners, did not transcend in this new Lebanese restaurant in the Theater District. Aside from interesting food and drink presentation that included edible flowers, everything else was… unmemorable!?!?! The service also was slower than expected even though I visited the restaurant on a quiet weeknight.

Cocktail at Byblos Restaurant

Cocktail at Byblos Restaurant, Toronto

Roasted Cauliflower at Fat Pasha

Roasted Cauliflower at Fat Pasha, Toronto

On another hand, Fat Pasha with its so-called Jewish menu turned to be a fun hang-out that did not break anyone’s buck either. Grilled lamb served with apricots was cooked to perfection, separating easily from the T bone and melting in one’s mouth like butter. The restaurant’s signature dish must be roasted cauliflower with tahini, pinenuts, pomegranate and halloumi. The dish presents a bold statement that is as colourful as flavourful. Roasted cauliflowers were delivered to almost every table at the restaurant, and I would bet that Fat Pasha is the biggest consumer of this vegetable in the city. Move over kale, because cauliflower is the new “it” vegetable!

Let’s wait and see which ethnic food will rise in 2015.

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