Saturday, February 28, 2009

54. Somalia: New Bilan

New Bilan
183 Dundas Street East
(east of Jarvis)
416 943-0330

On this windy, sub-zero Saturday morning we arrived fifteen minutes before New Bilan officially opens but nevertheless ventured inside and take a seat.
Appetizing smells are coming from the kitchen and we are offered soup made with goat broth and vegetables which is tasty and warming. From the limited menu we choose the Vegetable dish [seen here] a stew made with kidney beans, broccoli, carrots, onions and other veggies in a delicious sauce that comes with either a side of chapatti or Somali rice, $6.99 and the grilled chicken steak served with a smaller portion of the same vegetable stew and rice ,$7.99, which is equally tasty and filling. A complimentary pitcher of mango juice arrived. It is not as thick and sweet as mango nectar and was very refreshing. At the end of our meal, we ask for some Somali tea which is sweet and spicy and comes in Styrofoam cups.
Total for four hearty lunches is $32, including tip - amazing value for money.
The decor is an odd mixture of depictions of Somali culture in plywood and garish dollar-store plastic tablecloths. Under a mural of an African village, a large TV was broadcasting the local news. We recommend you tread carefully in this neighbourhood and avoid the restaurant's washrooms.

Rating: Ambiance (2)
Service (2)
Food Presentation (3)
Food Quality (3)
Value for Money (4)

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