Kabsa the Divine Dish, Edmonton

hot sauce and cucumber and yogurt

Lamb kabsa with two sides: hot sauce and cucumber and yogurt

Kabsa the Divine Dish is a small downtown restaurant that serves a specific kind of Middle Eastern food called, well, kabsa. Kabsa is a dish consisting of basmati rice, vegetables, and meat (chicken, beef, lamb or fish).

When you first walk into Kabsa, you might feel like you’re in the Twilight Zone or maybe a large Ikea shower. The interior is covered with white tile, and all the tables and chairs are white. The chairs are these plastic bucket seats that look like curvy ice cream scoops, and I’m fairly sure I’ve seen them at Ikea. You can eat in the actual restaurant, but there aren’t very many tables and I’ve always found the place quite warm as I don’t think they have air conditioning. My guess is that people usually order take out.

Food at Kabsa is served cafeteria style, and you get your choice of two of three available side dishes: hot sauce, cucumber and yogurt, or a diced vegetable salad. Servings are large, and I’ve always ended up with leftovers if I am eating one order by myself.

I can only comment on the quality of the lamb kabsa, because that’s what I’ve only ever ordered. I keep meaning to try some of the other dishes available, but I eat lamb rarely so when I find a place that does it well I tend to go back to it again and again. I’m the same way at Greek restaurants; why order beef or chicken when the lamb is available?

In my past visits they usually served the lamb in chopped up pieces, but this time they gave me one whole chunk. Not sure if this is a permanent change or not. The lamb was still tasty and tender, although I’ve found a lot of fat here and there and usually end up taking that part out. The rice is well flavoured and the vegetables are okay. The hot sauce is fantastic, although very hot. I usually use the cucumber and yogurt to cool off the heat. It’s a little more watery than the tzatziki that I’m used to, but both sides taste good mixed into the rice. This isn’t fancy food, but it’s warm, spicy and filling.

One lunch serving of lamb kabsa is $11.99 plus tax and tip. I don’t remember exactly, but I believe credit cards are not accepted but debit cards are okay. Don’t quote me on that part.

Kabsa The Divine Dish
10345 Jasper Ave
Edmonton, AB
www.kabsa.ca

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