Halal Restaurant is a New Neighbour
Al Qudus Restaurant
9656 107A Avenue
People in the area have known the restaurant at 9656 107A Avenue in its various noodle house incarnations over the past few years. Now, it’s a halal restaurant called Al-Qudus. It is a new neighbour in this area known more for East Asian cuisine than Middle Eastern.
Early one Wednesday evening, I just entered and took a seat at one of the nine tables. Shortly afterwards, a server came to me and I learned to order off the green menu board posted on the wall. I could see the pictures, but the words were hard to read. When I asked what was best, he confidently offered the “Number 2” from 18 menu dinner options. Others included several kebab and shawarma plates as well as various lamb and chicken dishes, all about $12.99. (A few whole chicken dishes were twice as much, presumably to feed two.) A la carte donair, burgers, wings, salads, and poutine (in the $6-$9 range) were also listed on the green board.
Immediately after I ordered, I was brought a tray with a pitcher of juice, a small bowl of hot sauce, and a banana. Even before I had a chance to pour myself a glass of juice, my Number 2 lamb shank meal arrived. Wonderfully presented on a colourfully ornate plate, a huge piece of bone-in lamb was accompanied by a large portion of rice with onions, carrots, cranberries, potatoes, roasted red peppers, and spices, plus a plain lettuce salad.
The Alberta lamb (as I was told) was just falling off the bone, inviting me to dig in. Tender, hot, moist, and flavourful, the meat was the perfect complement to the complexity of the rice.
I added a little kick from the hot sauce (beware: just a few small dashes are enough for the whole platter!) There was plenty of food to savour, enjoy, and even devour! Each bite had a wide range of textures and flavours, none overpowering another, which maintained their distinctiveness, yet combined in a natural and comfortable balance.
The atmosphere was that of a Mom and Pop place. While I would have preferred some music rather than BBC television, little detracted from the delicious and hearty meal. In fact, I found the familial atmosphere delightful and personable.
After dinner, I was offered a pot of “our tea” as it was listed on the menu. Other options included Arabic coffee, fresh juice, bottled pop, and water. The lightly spiced tea, with a little sugar, brought this excellent meal to a close. I felt fully satiated, satisfied, and content.
Welcome these new neighbours by having a meal there. Let’s hope the incarnations are over and Al-Qudus becomes a permanent fixture in our neighbourhood.