I recently tried the Winterlicious menu at Tabule; everything was quite tasty, particularly the perfectly cooked salmon kebab, but what I want to talk about is the Knaffa Ashta.
Knaffa (which has various spellings that I’ve found online, including kanafeh or kunafa) is one of those dishes that should really be bigger than it is; it’s seriously delicious. I actually got to try the real deal while on a trip to Jordan, or at least one variation on it — it changes somewhat depending on where you get it and who’s making it. The one that I had in Jordan consisted of a layer of soft, white cheese, sandwiched between two cakey layers made of semolina flour, soaked through with a sweet, rosewater-infused syrup. It was amazing. I know cheese in a dessert sounds odd, but trust me, it was pretty much the best thing ever.
The version they serve at Tabule is a little bit different, with a more coarse, noodley pastry, and ashta — a Middle Eastern pasty cream — instead of the cheese. It doesn’t quite hit the heights of the one I had in Jordan, but it’s probably one of the better versions of this dish I’ve had in Toronto. The creamy ashta, in particular, really works well, and the amount of syrup is pretty much perfect — this is an easy dish to make cloying, but the amount of sweetness here was just right.