Perfect Stop Over at Ali Baba Kabab in Kingston
A restaurant that I hold near and dear to my heart is Ali Baba Kabab in Kingston. Kingston is commonly known as a stopover hub for many Montreal locals travelling to the GTA and many Toronto locals making their way to Montreal. While many may make a stop to the nearest OnRoute to grab a quick meal, they may also be unaware of the delicious halal options that are available in Kingston. With Kingston having the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, it is great to know that there is a blossoming family of halal restaurants.
Ali Baba Kabab in Kingston serves a variety of Persian and Middle Eastern specialities. The location, the food, the ambiance, and the prices are all strung together to compose a symphony of amazing. Simply speaking of course. On top of all these great aspects, it’s a family friendly atmosphere. Families with young children can dine within a comfortable setting.
When you step inside, you immediately feel welcomed by the staff and venue. The bright orange walls contrasted with the limestone walls and the beautiful decor make you feel like you’ve been welcomed to a home. If you can get a spot by the window, you get a great view of the charming downtown area.
Unlike most restaurants, you’re not simply asked if you would like to be started off with something to drink. Instead, you are offered endless cups of complimentary tea. This tea is a house blend of seven different types of tea. You might even say it’s their special-tea. Pun intended.
You probably wouldn’t guess which teas are married together in this delightful concoction. Thankfully, the recipe is a not a secret one. The tea is a mixture of white, black, red, green, jasmine, cardamom, and rosewater teas. The fragrance and taste of this tea takes me to another place. I’ve tried making it at home and while it was still very good, it didn’t quite compare to the overall loveliness that’s served here. An added bonus is that you can purchase this blend for your home.
My parents were in town to for a visit and we decided to bring them here for lunch. Although I’ve been here many times, I always order the same dish: the Shawarma Mix Platter ($10.99). With this platter, you are given chicken and beef shawarma on a mound of rice, salad, garlic sauce, hummus, and pita bread. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish.
We also decided to try the restaurant owner’s suggestion of the Saffron Chicken (11.99). We were certainly not disappointed. In addition to the wonderful flavour, the gorgeous colour that emerges from the saffron is an artful bonus to this dish. It’s not a spicy chicken by any means, and it doesn’t need to be.
Next up was the Kebab Koobideh (10.99). This dish involves 2 skewers of perfectly marinated kebab koobideh surrounding a large mound of flavourful and colourful rice that was decorated with a tasty embellishment of currants. They looked like little rubies to me.
The presentation of this dish certainly lived up to the common phrase “you eat with your eyes.” The grilled tomato on the side was also a nice touch.
With the exception of the Shawarma Mix Platter, all platters come with a choice of soup or salad. Their lentil soup is a delicious and hearty blend of lentils, lemon, and various spices. If you choose to have a salad, you are offered a choice between the Shiraz salad and the Tabouleh salad. Both of these salads lent delicious and refreshing qualities. As our waiter gave us these items, we were also presented with complimentary appetizers such as Hummus, Garlic Dip, Dolma, and Falafel. Ali Baba Kabab advertises their falafel as “the best falafel in town.” Although I haven’t done much extensive research on the falafel scene in Kingston, I have to say that this one is pretty amazing.
All this generosity from this staff left us with very little room to consume our main dishes for lunch. After a few bites of our mains, we ended up packing it to take home. Lunch for the next day. I can’t be mad at that. While the portion sizes here are incredibly generous, there are plenty of satisfying options for much lighter fare including shawarmas, salads, and manakish pies.
Overall, I would have to say that Ali Baba Kabab is a great choice for a relaxed and delicious meal. There is something for everyone. Before you decide to pull in to the next OnRoute, consider taking a detour that’s more worth your while and discover the beauty and charm of Kingston’s downtown by enjoying a delicious meal at Ali Baba Kabab. Trust me, it’s worth the extra few kilometres and the extra time to relax. You may be more likely to enjoy the remainder of your drive after you treat yourself.
Meat Source: Chicken is from Sargent Farms (hand slaughtered) and Beef is purchased from Al Medina Halal ** NOTE: meat was checked (verb assurance) at time of review and can change at anytime – please check meat sources before eating and let us know if there are any discrepancies **
Aysha Tayab is a writer and editor who currently owns and operates a business called Objective Perspective Content Writing & Editing. She supports business owners, students, and community members in acheiving their goals through clear and persuasive written content. In addition, she also runs her own personal blog called Cheia de Vida. Her constant cravings for inspiration and creativity allow her to combine her loves for writing and research with her loves for food, travel, culture, health, and anything else that inspires her. While she is colourful with her wardrobe choices, she is also colourful with her word choices. She lives in Kingston, Ontario with her husband. Check out her websites to learn more and follow her on social media.
Ali Baba Kabab
320 Princess Street, Kingston