Dec 292010
 

Located behind the Calgary institution Chicken On The Way, Royal Kabab Express is definitely the healthier choice! The owner Eric Hosseini creates a variety of delectable Persian kababs accompanied by pita and/or rice sprinkled with sumac, a purple delight.

Having visited this place several times, my companion and I have found ourselves regularly ordering the same dishes. The Jujeh Chicken is outstanding! 4 pieces of chicken breast, grilled on a skewer and served with perfectly cooked basmati rice, a grilled tomato, green onion (raw), lime and two butter packets. Not knowing exactly what to do, we improvised, melting the butter into the rice for that added richness. This, combined with grilled tomato juices and the crunch and mild spiciness of the raw onion, made each spoonful of rice divine. The chicken breast was tender, moist and just exploding with Persian flavours. A sprinkling of sumac gave the chicken a little texture that caressed the tongue as the succulent pieces melted in the mouth.

The Kubideh Kabab is a spiced ground beef skewered delicacy and is served in twos here. The same rice combinations as the Jujeh are served with the platter but one can also get this as an extra long wrap; and if taken to go, make any hungry passerby’s mouth water. The meat is juicy and tender and is delicious with the pita. A combination of the Kubideh/Jujeh platter – Sultani – is perfect to share as most dishes here are not for the faint of appetite when ordered individually.

The only specialty drinks available are a few imported sodas and a persian yoghurt drink which is very much an acquired taste! If you are staying to eat, don’t be alarmed by the lack of service as Eric often acts as a one man show, but know that the food will definitely make up for both it and the persian music videos playing in the background. The decor is not exceptional although there is some local artwork on the wall that serves as a distraction.

Desserts are the standard baklavas and other common middle eastern desserts which are hard to go wrong with, especially for the sweet toothed.

Lamb shank is served as a specialty on Fridays over lunch and is usually sold out. The Persians seem to like it – it must be good! All said and done come for the food!

Royal Kabab Express, 20 14 Street Northwest, Calgary, AB, (403) 270-4323, Map it.

Royal Kabab Express on Urbanspoon

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  3 Responses to “Royal Kabab Express”

  1. Hola Amigos

    I was looking to eat good middle eastern food and searched online for Iranian, Turkish and Kurdish restaurants in Calgary. I had a wonderful experience of quality middle eastern kebabs when I was in London, UK . It was amazing and sooo cheap for the quantity and quality of food. Here is the link to that http://menu.dinnerin.co.uk/willesden_charcoal_grill
    Check out their family deal for 22 $ (12 GBP) http://www.dinnerin.co.uk/show_pdf_menu.php?p=726
    Litterally their whole range of kebabs in this much amount of money!!! with a 1.5 L coke, 1 big bowl of fries and 1 big bowl of salad included in the price!!!

    With this background I was hoping to find a quality middle eastern food outlet in Calgary. I had checked 5 or 6 up until now, including Sheraz Persian restaurant on Center street, House of Kabob on Edmonton trail, Pita basket on 6 st downtown, Mazaj Mediterranean Cuisine on 7th Av downtown, My Donair in Castleridge and one restaurant on 7th Av downtown between 9th and 10 street (dont remember the name, it was run by an afghani) apart from several Indian/Pakistani ones.

    So, after doing a bit of online search and reading reviews I went to check Royal Kabab Express on B-20 14 St NW Calgary, AB T2N 1Z4. and to my amazement I found the worst middle eastern food outlet of them all in Calgary. I bought Sultani Jujeh and Mix chicken and beef Shwarma. This verdict is unanimous between me and my wife

    1- Large mix beef and chicken Shwarma = 13.5 $. Tomato in the shwarma was so stale that we practically threw the whole thing afterwards. Beef was cut in big, thick and lumpy chunks. the slightly thinner ones were fine but the big rectangular and square ones were raw, reddish and quite pink in the center. When I showed it to my wife she agreed that it looked raw. although smell was masked by strong smells of other sauces and spices. Chicken was almost shredded kind of mix. Bland and no taste in that. Sauces were not so bad till the point we came to know about stale tomato and raw lumpy beef. Place was so deserted that perhaps he uses the same ingredients prepared days ago
    Conclusion :- If you ever try it, watch out for the stale salad and raw beef in the center of meat chunks.

    2- Sultani Jujeh, Price = 22 $. rice were good, sauces were again good but the grilled pieces of jujeh chicken were not very good. quite bland and tasteless although their color looked nice yellow/golden. I cannot really say if they were slightly undercooked or not but definitely not tasty and succulent or well cooked. Marination was poor on chicken.
    The kubideh kebab in it was cooked and grilled on one side and literally raw on the other side. My wife noticed this and showed it to me. and when I smelled it, waooooo, smell of raw minced meat!!! Can you imagine that. It was such a huge disappointment. We were quite dismayed to have thrown 37 dollars on such a poor quality, raw, stale take out food.

    3- The owner, oh the owner. This guy was totally amazing in all the negative sense. He was aggressive, discourteous and someone used the right word in previous reviews “belligerent”. Truly service without a damn smile. and to make matters worse, he continuously says that his food is the best, “my food is very tasty” and that preparing food is an art bla bla bla. His whole demeanour was obnoxious and aggressive. When I said that there are many negative reviews along with some good ones on the internet about his restaurant, he replied that all the negative reviews are in fact from other Iranians who are jealous of his food and his success. “They are other restaurant owners who say negative things about me because they are jealous”. Well Mr. mighty chef, I am not a restaurant owner or food critic but a simple food lover and I did not like your raw and stale foods at all. and I am writing this to let others know of my experience and decide for themselves. Here is the health Inspections report for this restaurant as well (which I searched for later on) click “show all violations”

    http://www12.albertahealthservices.ca/health-inspections/SearchServlet?direct=showReport&ID=A4A13609-AC75-4941-AA30-40DA83BB3239

    Are food temperatures during storage and processing being controlled to maximize food safety? REFRIGERATION OF FOODS – Foods under refrigeration are not being maintained at or below 4 C. High risk foods must be kept at a temperature of less than 4*C or greater than 60*C at all times. AR 31/2006 s 25(1) FRONT DISPLAY COOLER MEASURED 13 DEG C.
    ENSURE COOLER MEASURES 4 DEG C OF BELOW IF IT IS USED FOR PERISHABLE FOOD.

    Lastly, about other restaurants mentioned above.

    –> Pita Basket, tried twice. Both times mixed chicken and beef shwarma for about 10 $. Satisfactory but not amazing.

    –> Mazaj, tried once, mixed platter with everything. about 16 $. Satisfactory but not too great

    –> Sheraz, tried Sultani chicken, satisfactory but expensive.

    –> House of Kabob. Tried chicken kebab with rice (Sultani of some sorts). Satisfactory and worth the price. but place was run down and later on when I checked the health inspections website (to check for Royal Kebab Express initially), for this restaurant there were problems like rodents droppings mentioned in the inspections. Here is the link

    http://www12.albertahealthservices.ca/health-inspections/SearchServlet?direct=showReport&ID=C1660229-6389-4ADA-8014-C8AEE2A21625

    –> My Donair, tried donair. abut 9/10 $. Nothing special

    –> Afghani joint. Not mentionable.

    Adios

  2. As an Iranian, I should say that this is the best Iranian authentic food in Calgary. The owner/chef is NOT friendly and nothing fancy about the ambiance; but the food works for my wife and I.

  3. i can never get enough from the taste of that food

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