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Tabülè restaurant is the new kid on the block in Leslieville, but not new to Toronto as its sister location at Yonge and Eglinton has been bustling for several years and getting rave reviews. It’s a welcome addition to the area as there is nothing like it in Leslieville -- Middle Eastern cuisine with a side of belly dancing!

Falafel, hummus and babaganüj is not something I would normally go out and pay for at a restaurant because I can make it myself at home. However, I was proven wrong because I absolutely loved it (and was happy to pay for it)! Tabülè was absolutely delicious, simple food with fresh flavours and not overly complicated.  I went for the first time a few weeks ago and I’ve already gone back twice because it has been consistently great and I don’t have to worry about weird additives or too much salt, just clean good food.

On my most recent visit I ordered the sampler platter ($14), which is the perfect way to start off your meal as you can choose 3 items – perfect for sharing. First on our platter was the babaganüj. It was fresh and light, pureed bbq’d eggplant mixed with Lebanese tahini, garlic and fresh lemon juice hummus. Next up was tabülè, freshly cut parsley salad with whole wheat bulgur, tomatoes, onions and a hint of mint tossed in a light lemon & olive oil dressing. The tabülè also has an option for a few bucks extra to order it with quinoa instead, a nice gluten-free alternative to whole wheat bulgur. And the third sampler was hummus. Now I know what you might be thinking.  Ho-hum, hummus, but it was yet again, so fresh from the hint of  lemon and light. We ordered some gluten-free pita instead of the whole wheat. It’s always nice when restaurants offer these options as the trend for gluten-free continues to grow and more and more people are becoming intolerant.

We ordered two mains, tawük ($15.50) and lamb ($18.95). The tawük was as the menu described, “two juicy skewers of Mennonite farm-raised marinated chicken breast” and yes, they were juicy! The lamb was rich and fatty (in a good way) because it was also full of flavour. Both mains came with rice, lentils and chef’s selection of vegetables. Again, gluten-free side options are available for an extra charge.

Since we wanted to try everything, we also ordered dessert. Even though we were totally satisfied at this point, we just wanted a taste. The bite-size baklava with pistachio and cashews (5.50) was superbly fresh. Overall, Tabülè was wonderfully fresh offering simple real food with no secrets. Be sure to check it out!