Kandahar Kabab (Thorncliffe)
Kandahar Kabab serves Afghani kababs and other traditional cuisine specific to the Kandahar area.
The mini-chain has several locations in Toronto - this one in what was a Beer Store for forty years.
The interior is surprisingly over-the-top for what’s primarily a casual takeout place, a wall of waterfalls with a kitschy faux fireplace set into it greeting you when you first walk in.
The trickling of the waterfalls and the blare of orders being called out for pickup over the loudspeakers provide the main ambience, no real music to speak of.
Kandahar Kabab ($15.50) is somewhat obviously the signature dish here, a double kabab dish of veal filet mignon that’s been marinated for nearly 48 hours and grilled on extremely high heat with wedges of onion.
All double kebab dishes are served with a second chicken kofta kabab, rice, salad and Afghani naan.
A chicken breast double kabab combo ($13) is more middle-of-the-road price-wise, its vibrant yellow colour thanks to saffron, like everything also marinated for around two days.
It’s served with all the same accompaniments as the veal. These dishes aren’t cooked with oil so they’re technically lower in calories.
KK Fish ($13 for a small order up to $19 for a large) sees marinated white fish either grilled or fried according to your preference, finished with spices and herbs and served with a lemon wedge.
Kandahar Fries ($3.50 for a small order, $6 for a large—go for large!) tops relatively ho-hum fries with their famous house sauces, a wonderfully spicy hot sauce and a cooling white sauce. They complement pretty much every dish excellently, especially kababs.
A sundae ($3) is done up in typical Afghani style with a base of vermicelli soaked in syrup topped with soft serve and a choice of two frozen fruits (mango, raspberries, blueberries).
Mango juice ($3) and lassi ($4), like the sundae, are incredibly thick, creamy and refreshing to offset the spicy grilled food.
Everything here is made with spices traditional to Kandahar cooking, and recipes such as those for the sauces are closely guarded. This is a particularly great location to visit if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about Kandahar Kabab and some of the best kababs in the city.