Lying just off the main uptown strip, on the corner of 17th and 10th, Tarboosh is a regular stop for late night revellers and those looking for a quick healthy bite to eat. I wandered in over the lunch hour and was surprised to find less than a handful of customers. The place is clean, spacey and has a pleasant ambience which encourages one to stay for the meal.
I ordered a chicken shawarma sandwich with Ayran (yoghurt drink) to wash it down. The lady at the cash was hesitant and seemed unsure of herself yet she was quite pleasant. The shawarma was prepared fairly briskly by a different, more curt lady. I did not understand the hurry seeing as I was the only one there. I requested pickled chilli peppers in my sandwich but she refused accommodate me, citing a barrage of unconvincing reasons. She did however, bring me a couple on the side once I had commenced my meal and redeemed herself.
The chicken was a little better than ordinary and it combined well with the garlic, hummus and tahini flavours. The fixings, comprising of lettuce, tomato and turnip, were fresh and tasty. There a was hint of sweetness in the meat which was further emphasized after a bite of the pickled chilli pepper.
The wrap is prepared from a combination of pita and a house made pastry - margoog dough. The shawarma was served tightly wrapped on some wax paper on a tray. I feel that at least one of the ends should have been put into a bag to prevent leaks while eating it, just like they did for take out wraps. The wrap was not grilled long enough and instead of being mildly crunchy the margoog was chewy. The salty/sour Ayran was served cold and was quite tasty.
Tarboosh is a typical mediterranean restaurant offering fresh food. The staff are still learning it seems – a request for wholewheat pita was not easily understood. The service is ok and the food is decent.