With the end of summer comes the return of University students to their books. At my job I’ve been lucky to have a co-op student help me out for the last 8 months, but now it’s time for him to leave (insert sad face here). I promised to treat Alex to a lunch before he left, at the location of his choice. Being a vegetarian, he was looking for a place with good reviews on their vegetarian cuisine. I didn’t look into the restaurant before we went, so I didn’t know what to expect.
At Mazaj, you go to the counter, place your order, pay, and make your way down the line to choose your condiments. There is a limited menu of shawarma’s and platters, but there are salads, samosas, meat pies and patties (oh, and don’t forget the baklava!). There are a handful of tables to sit at, but when we were there it did get really busy so I’d recommend coming early for lunch, or after the lunch hour rush.
I’ve had my fair share of platters and shawarma’s over the years, and I do have to say this was the best I’ve ever had. Oddly, I don’t really know why… It was just very fresh, and the flavours were subtle yet magnificent. When I saw the big pile of rice on my plate I thought there was no way I’d eat it all because it would probably be dry and flavourless. But alas, it was moist and yummy saffron rice and I finished it all! The smooth hummus and tabouli salad and veggies on my plate all worked so well together. The falafel was great too – it wasn’t mealy like they can be, and it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They even took care with the small touches – olive oil and paprika on the hummus and a shot of hot sauce over the meat.
The one downside is the place seriously needs a paint job. There obviously used to be posters on the wall because you could see the dirty outline where they used to be… hopefully they’ll fix the place up a bit (paint is cheap!).
I never would have thought to check out this place on my own but I will definitely be back to try out other dishes… Yum! Oh, and through their website you can pre-order and pick up – a great way to grab and go if you’re in a hurry or want to find a place to eat outside in the sun.