Naan & Kabob
Naan & Kabob is a popular halal Afghan chain with several locations throughout Toronto, including a counter in Scarborough Town Centre.
The vibe is way less like a greasy Ali Baba’s and more like an elegant cafeteria, offering a mainstream, accessible version of Afghan cuisine, not too hot, not too bland, and using fresh ingredients.
The Markham Road location is outfitted in a slick colour scheme of orange, black and dark brown with patterning and intricate lamps throughout.
The space was designed by Jenny Lu, the same person behind the look of another chain, Thai Express.
A classic chicken breast kabob ($10.99 with rice) is made using boneless, skinless marinated meat. It’s accompanied by your choice of salad, and we go with fatoush for a small upcharge, with seasoned pita, cucumber and cabbage.
A paneer kabob ($9.49) is marinated in a special house blend, kind of a veggie version of tandoor kabobs with thick slices of salty cheese and zucchini.
You can also get your chicken kabob tandoori style ($11.99) with rice, and I think I’d recommend this style over the plain chicken breast, though of course your tastes may skew one way or the other.
I find this style is excellently complemented by the thick garlic sauce that accompanies most kabobs, as well as the flavourful and generous portion of rice.
As for the titular naan ($1.29 for a basket), don't expect anything like you get at Indian and Pakastani restaurants around town. This Afghani style naan is expectedly bready, stiff, and fairly bland, though it still makes a good typical bread basket for a fair price.
All kabobs are grilled on expensive, high end EmberGlo stone grills that use a different kind of charcoal to produce the exact right amount of heat without a lot of smoke.
The one at Naan & Kabob is customized with double tempered glass.
Traditional house-made drink options include mint yogurt doogh ($2.29).
There are also refreshingly slurpable mango smoothies ($3.49).
Nothing against the naan but the kabobs are definitely the half of the name of this place you should focus on. That, and the convenient service and lower prices.