Amal - Yorkville-style Lebanese [Toronto]

We had a dinner out with friends, one of whom doesn’t eat pork, so it provided an excuse to try Amal. The restaurant is located in the old digs of Dynasty, on the south side of the Mink Mile. The interior is all swishy, with plenty of comely lads and lassies to escort you to your table and attend to your needs. The noise level was significant, with people talking loudly over the vague club beats. Then the music was cranked when the belly dancer started.

The menu is generally more straightforward and less interesting than at Byblos, Khabouth et al.'s other Lebanese venture. However it was all well executed and the prices reflected the location.

Although several cocktails looked interesting, we opted for the Lebanese wines on the menu. We focused on our favourite producer Chateau Musar, trying out a new red and rose in their less-expensive line. We had a bottle of Musar Jeune Rosé 2020 (80% cinsault, 20% mourvèdre), Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - pleasant and a lovely deep colour, tasted almost red-winish from the tannins, but no butterscotch like the 2016. We also had a glass of Musar Jeune Red 2020 (cinsault, syrah, cab sauv) Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - maybe a little young yet as the tannins were still a bit harsh.

Amal’s Hummus is creamy, with hints of cumin and it topped with beef tenderloin and jus, pomegranate, and roasted almonds. This is a dish to get. Unfortunately they need to up their game with the pitas, which were somewhat anemic.

Truffle Rakakat - crispy cheese rolls (maybe akawi cheese?), with honey, grapes, mint and pistachios - fun and sweet with truffle coming through clearly.

Roasted Cauliflower - with green tahini, hawaij spice, feta, butter - the cauliflower was done lightly, so it was still a bit crisp.

Crispy Eggplant (round battered slices) with yogourt flavoured with compressed cucumbers, mint, garlic - great frying, light and not oily.

Kebab platter for 2 - two pistachio (minced beef and lamb, house spice blend, grilled tomatoes), one chicken tawook (charbroiled chicken breast cubes), toum (really strong garlic sauce), one AAA beef tenderloin (marinated beef cubes, sumac), with biwaz pita (triangles with onion, parsley and sumac), grilled tomatoes, grilled serrano peppers, grilled onions, peppers and zucchini, and fries (not too oily, not that salty though). All meat gorgeous, soft and moist and flavourful. We had said medium rare for the beef and it came medium, but it was still delicious.

Grilled branzino with parsley and coriander, oven-roasted lime, pickled red onions, green shug - a small piece for $52 but perfectly cooked.

Pickle plate - makdous (baby eggplants stuffed with walnuts, red peppers, chili, garlic), house pickles (cauliflower, cucumber, celery, hot peppers), wild cucumbers - good overall and a nice complement to the meats.

We just had room for one dessert. Mistkeh Ice Cream - cotton candy, pistachio - really appreciated this being not-sweet, however we also couldn’t detect the pine/cedar notes from the mastic.


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Nicely done. I need to go back soon I guess. It’s a good backup but being a solo diner most times their menu doesn’t bode well for moi

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I haven’t been to Amal. Sort of have mixed feelings about it. I went to Byblos uptown and had a very very salty meal, and I went to Sara only once. I think I will start a dedicated Middle Eastern thread.