Location: 1881 Steeles Avenue West, North York
My dining companion and I visited Kavkaz at lunch, and like a lot of the obscure restaurants I’ve been visiting for this blog, the place was almost entirely deserted (a couple of people eventually showed up, but it was mostly a big, empty restaurant).
I’m glad places like this can survive, even if I’m not sure how. And I’m especially glad in the case of Kavkaz, because the food was great.
Almost immediately after sitting down, we were brought a bread basket with warm flatbread, and a bowl with sauerkraut and sliced pickles. I’m not sure how these three things were meant to be combined (if at all), but they were tasty.
Up next was bughlama, a stew with fork-tender pieces of lamb, a very pronounced lemony zing, and fresh pops of herbiness from the abundant cilantro (or maybe not cilantro? It tasted like cilantro, but had a heartier texture and appearance. I don’t know; I’m pretty terrible at identifying herbs). The quality of the lamb was great, and the tartness from the lemon really made it stand out.
Our last dish was the lulya kabab, which I liked even better. Featuring a mix of ground lamb and beef, this tasted very similar to the kababs you can get from Afghan joints all around the city. It was tender and perfectly cooked, and was nicely complimented by the sweet and spicy sauce that came on the side.
It came with a side of potatoes that almost looked like thickly-cut chips. The slices were creamy and perfectly cooked, with a nice hit of flavour from garlic and dill. I wish they had been a little bit crispy, but they were otherwise pretty great.