Parallel is a cafe and restaurant that serves a range of hot and cold drinks as well as hummus, halva and a variety of sandwiches and hot dishes. They also make their own sesame butter.
The spacious restaurant breathes fresh air into an industrial area desperately in need of some love and places for locals and those working and creating in the area to get a bite to eat.
95% of Parallel is visible from the moment you step inside, emphasizing the total transparency of the operation with with a completely open kitchen and production space at the back.
Herb falafel (only $5 for a 3-piece order) are some of the best I’ve had in the city, right up there in terms of technique and taste with Shawarma Empire.
The difference is here falafel are bright green on the inside, due to an aromatic, sharp mix of coriander, mint, scallion, parsley, and green pepper. A little tahini on the plate is the perfect nutty complement.
You can also get it in a sandwich ($9) on your choice of organic white or whole wheat Ozery Bakery pita with hummus, Israeli salad, tahini and spicy schug.
Truffle hummus ($12) is decadently topped with soy mushrooms, truffle, their own tahini, zippy parsley and paprika for a hummus that’s silky yet chunky and way above average.
House labaneh ($8) is topped with rich olive oil, punchy zaatar, confit garlic and grated tomato that elevate the simply, tangy dip.
The Parallel Salad ($13) combines kale, lentils, walnuts, sweet potato and goat cheese with a lemon dressing and sweet beet tahini for a dish that feels filling and nutritious but tastes complex and textured.
Arais ($13) is an Iraqi dish of pita grilled with lamb and beef kebab inside it so the juices all stay contained while the outside is crispy. It’s almost like a delicious Iraqi burger, set off excellently by sides of yam and spicy tomato salad on a bed of tahini.
A tahini smoothie ($9) is something I’m so glad I can get here now, a sweet yet nutty blend of dates, banana, tahini, carob honey and walnuts.
A turmeric latte ($4.25) is very balanced and not at all too intense.
In addition to the tahini, Parallel also makes their own halva ($2.20/100 grams) in house in flavours like matcha, banana chocolate, and cookies and cream.
House sesame butter is made by milking sesame seeds with gigantic rotating basalt stone.
A twenty-odd seat space upstairs features a window directly facing the train tracks so that when a train goes by it’s like an art installation. This is cheekily emphasized by a cool table made out of a shipping container door.
From up here you can see all the action as well as the herb garden on top of the bathroom.