A late lunch on a spring Friday brought us to this dilapidated building on Edmonton Trail. A bright “impact” sign announces it from the road and a tricky rear entrance ushers you in from the parking lot.
The inside is a slight improvement from the “rustic” exterior. A clean and simple cafeteria look with very minimal persian decor is accentuated by dark oak coloured furnishings. It doesn’t scream fancy.
The service was decidedly curt and unfriendly from the onset, which we attributed to our interruption of the chef’s lunch. We were seated furthest away from the kitchen and service counter, though we were the only ones dining at the time.
Complimentary pita wedges were served, but the absence of a dip forced us to order hummus from the appetizer menu. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika, the hummus-pita combination was very good. The hummus paste was slightly coarse, which added a pleasant texture to the dip.
We had to summon the waitress to order the Jujeh Chicken and Dizzy. As we waited for our main courses to arrive, we couldn’t help but notice the awkward mix of ambient music. Imagine Nickelback followed by persian strings. Weird! We hope that persian strings dominate during the busier periods.
The Jujeh chicken looked mouthwatering when it arrived. It was plated with a grilled tomato, rice, boneless chicken breast, and saffron rice accompanied by a pat of butter and a wedge of lemon. The rice was cooked just right and it was especially good when infused with the butter. A light drizzling of lemon only added to this dish, which tasted as good as it looked.
It was our first time trying the Dizzy, a lamb stew with chick peas and potatoes. The large platter that was brought out to us held a stew-filled cylinder wrapped in thick cloth and a flat faced mushing tool in a stainless steel bowl. After being prompted, the staff explained the traditional method of consumption, which is to put some pita wedges in the bowl and drown them in the lamb stew. Then the mushing tool is used to mix it all together to make a thick, chunky slurry which is then eaten with a spoon. This was not my preferred method and I resorted to using the pita wedges as scoops to dig out hidden chunks of the tender lamb and fixings. The dizzy is a fun dish but the lamb was not choice and some of it was just too fatty.
We concluded the meal with some saffron ice cream and tea. The ice cream was very frozen but nonetheless very flavourful. The tea was served without mint! Persian tea without mint?
The non-Persian cooking staff of House of Kabob does not inspire confidence, though the owner is Persian. The service wasn’t great but the food was definitely decent. Probably worth a try during peak periods but there are better Persian eateries in Calgary.