On the epicenter of Middle-Eastern cuisine in North York, in the north-east corner of Bathurst and Finch, you will find a tiny but mighty “shawarma” style looking spot called Belle Bar & Restaurant. The place is home to one of the best executions of modern-Israeli cuisine I have ever had the pleasure to come across.
From the outside, you will not even think there is a restaurant there. My first thought? Cool we are doing take-out shawarma. However, once you venture into the place, you will notice the welcoming staff and family feel to it, as well as spot about 6-8 tables hidden in the back. It sort of reminds me of El Trompo on Kensington Market.
The menu is quite extensive and offers all kinds of meats like Chicken, Beef, Lamb and even seafood platters. As a hummus lover, I order this to kick-start our meal.
The hummus is soft and not too garlicky; which is great, because it soothes the after-taste, or lessens it at the very least. Its centre is filled with olive oil and spices. Again, these are not overpowering, just the right amount.
Next I order the dark meat Chicken Kebab.
The meat is tender and moist (apologies to those who hate this word) and it’s seasoned with red onions, coriander (aka cilantro), parsley (aka Italian cilantro, just kidding) and from what I recall, paprika, pepper and cumin. All in all, a great tasting meat.
As accompaniments, you have the option to choose between fries, rice or salad or a mix. I ordered half and half of the fries and rice. The fries are in a potato chip presentation, but still are well done fries; not too salty, not too soft or crunchy, just done right. The rice is nothing special but it tastes great and is well prepared so I have no complaints here.
Last in the order are the Lamb Chops.
I have been asked before if I eat all of the dishes when I review restaurants, and my answer is always that I am blessed to have friends and family that are more than willing and happy to join me in my search for the best meals. And well, share some of their food orders with me.
The Lamb Chops did not disappoint either. With similar but slightly different seasoning as the Chicken Kebab, this lamb had the same attributes I spoke of before…taste, moisture, seasoning and preparation; a very good 8.5/10 for me.
Note to reader: Belle does not have a menu online yet or a website.
Until next time Foodies!
Venue: Belle Bar & Restaurant
Location: 4949 Bathurst Street, Unit 5, Toronto, ON
Menu items: Hummus Appetizer, Chicken Kebab and Lamb Chops