Sizzling Skillet Halal Restaurant
Our choices for dinner were between a South Asian restaurant or Sizzling Skillet which features a continental menu. Since the kids were a bit fussy, offering some comfort food like pizza or pasta seemed like a good idea so we headed off to Sizzling Skillet at Markham Rd and Finch Ave in Scarborough.
Pulling up to the facade I like the fact that it was a stand alone restaurant with ample parking and a nice entry way with a patio space for summer.
We walked in and weren’t quite sure what to do. There was no ‘wait here to be seated’ sign (or maybe we missed it) so we walked to the front cash to look at the menu. The owner who was at the front immediately asked our soon to be waitress Sarah to seat us and take our order.
Sarah was great; friendly, professional and quick! She gave us her recommendations and we ordered. We selected the steak and their recommended jalapeño burger.
While we waited for our food we got a chance to take in the ambiance. There were familiar faces all around which was nice. The dining area was large and there was ample seating. As time passed we noticed the tables were filling quickly and even a small line had started.
Our food promptly arrived – steak on a sizzling skillet and each side on a separate dish. The burger came out on a plate with all toppings arranged on the side so you could build it the way you wanted.
Overall our food was fair. I enjoyed the citrus undertone of my steak and the burger toppings, including the bun, were all fresh and generously sized. Other than that we were looking for that signature taste that could only be found at Sizzling Skillet, but unfortunately, we didn’t experience that with the dishes we chose. Friends have recommended the nachos and panera bread, but we didn’t want to order appetizers.
One huge bonus (that I still need to verify) is that their meat is HMA certified. That alone gives them two thumbs up from me! (*UPDATE* It was confirmed with the owner that they purchase their meat from an HMA certified supplier, the restaurant itself IS NOT HMA certified. The owner can verify upon request.)
Aside from their ambiance and food; their service is noteworthy — completely genuine and warm. Everyone down to the person pouring our water and clearing our plates was very courteous. Which is huge because it’s one of the main things lacking from most halal restaurants in my opinion.
Sizzling Skillet has a good foundation for what could be a hit, but only with some serious culinary tweaking. Since Sizzling Skillet is the only halal restaurant in the area with this type of food, they don’t have to worry too much — people will come because it’s an under served market in a densely populated area. In fact there is no other restaurant that’s exclusively halal with this type of food for several kilometres.
Recommendations: pare down the menu; find your signature dishes, your niche, and add slight variation but then really develop the taste to give more depth of flavour for all main dishes and sides. Add some warmth by new paint, wall art and lighting. Add some structures like tall plants, etc. to absorb and break up sound. And of course a wait to be seated sign in the entrance if you do not wish your customers to find their own seat… 🙂
2290 Markham Road, Toronto, ON M1B 2W4
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