Aleppo Kebab is named for the scratch-made Syrian-style kebabs cooked over lava stone served here.
Owners and Syrian refugees Zakaria Mokdad and third-generation chef Antranig Kanajyan (aka Chef Anto) both ran two restaurants in Syria.
The space is decked out in orange, which they tell me stands for action and power in Syria, with antiques like a hundred-year-old radio providing decoration.
Most everything is accompanied by a spicy bread topped with tomato, onion, parsley and sumac that’s perfect for ripping, dipping, folding and using as a utensil.
All ingredients are actually bought fresh every single day, two to three hours spent on prep daily.
This includes grinding all meats in house.
From there, meats are seasoned with imported spices.
Cooking over lava stone gives the kebabs a particular flavour, grilled for eight to ten minutes with an attentive flip roughly every thirty seconds for evenness and fervent fanning to keep the heat on the kebabs.
A shish taouk plate ($13.99) proves this, the generous cubes of meat juicy and smoky.
Accompanied by a choice of fries or rice, fattoush salad, spicy bread, and a few grilled veg including fiery peppers, chicken dishes always comes with potent house garlic sauce.
The Aleppo kebab ($13.99 with a plate) is ground veal, a tender foundation for the silky house hummus beef dishes are always served with.
Beef cubes ($16.99 as a plate) are denser with more of a warm spice flavour, made using a choice cut of veal, the striploin.
The side fattoush salads aren’t messing around either, fried pita chips crispy, and a dressing of mint, cumin, olive oil, lemon, salt and paprika homemade.
Aleppo Kebab also does sandwiches along with hot and cold maza like kibbeh, muhammara, baba ghanouj and sujuk rolls.
Kanajyan is from Aleppo, Mokdad from Bosra, the latter working for a year at popular Middle Eastern restaurant Paramount to gain work experience in Canada.