I was introduced to Somali food about 20 years ago at a well-known restaurant in the Rexdale area — I was hooked. Such warm, comforting flavours and textures kept me coming back for more on a regular basis.
As the years passed by, life got busier and I stopped making the trek “out West”. I’m an East-ender as a side note. As I got older I couldn’t commit to the long drive and sadly, Somali food went from staple to special treat.
No matter what new Somali place opened up that was more drivable, nothing could match my early experiences. Maybe it was just nostalgia to a younger more carefree me.
It wasn’t until recently that I finally tasted the same (if not better) flavours and comfort — at Sahan Restaurant in Scarborough.
On the inside, Sahan Restaurant Scarborough looks fairly typical to most humble halal restaurants. It’s large and spacious with space for large groups.
After being seated we received our menus and recognized all the familiar Somali dishes that we love.
We decided to order Stew Beef and Steak platters. The manager (could have also been the owner) came to our table and gave us complimentary soup then challenged us to a dish of Hilac.
The soup came first and it started us off on a high note. It was smooth, warm and felt like it was touching our soul (dramatic, I know).
Stew Beef was by far the champion of the day. Tender morsels of marinated meat sitting on top a bed of spaghetti melt in your mouth. As pictured — this dish is MEAT HEAVY! But there is just enough vegetables to keep things balanced while adding more flavour.
Next up, the Steak Platter — also full of flavour, but not as tender as we hoped (which we were warned about by the restaurant!) Next time we’ll try the T-Bone Platter which is what we were recommended.
I’ve never heard of Hilac before this day. We asked for more info and was basically told it would pretty much be an inferno in our mouths. Sold. I don’t eat very spicy, but I get sold on things fairly easily.
Just when you thought the momentum has to go down, they surprise the heck out of me with their dessert — Somali Tiramisu! YOU MUST try this if you visit. I would visit again just for this!