How Parallel, Toronto’s new temple to tahini, creates one seriously saucy Middle Eastern mash-up
Say hello to hammshuka, a dish we didn’t know we needed until this Davenport eatery opened and started whipping up a 50-50 blend of creamy house-made hummus and tangy, tomatoey shakshuka. Here’s how it all comes together.
An airy, designer-industrial space on a rapidly commercializing stretch of Geary Avenue, with an indoor herb garden and the real star of the show: a stone mill, over 150 years old and roughly the size of a Smart car, that’s used to grind 50 kilograms of sesame seeds every hour.
Parallel’s house-ground tahini, which they call sesame butter, is superb. It comes in three flavours, but it’s the plain one, made from nothing but roasted sesame seeds, that head chef Tomer Markovitz blends with chickpeas and olive oil to create an unbelievably creamy and infinitely dippable hummus.
The fire-engine-red tomato stew is sharp and smoky, with two poached eggs bobbing near the surface like buoys, just begging to be split open and swirled around.
A base layer of hummus has its centre scooped out to create room for a deluge of chunky shakshuka that threatens to spill over the lip of the bowl. It’s infused with tahini and sprinkled with fresh parsley. Warning: The psychedelic swirl of colour may induce acid flashbacks.
Of course, you’re going to need something to scoop up all this deliciousness, and every bowl of hammshuka lands with a side of thick, pillowy organic pita. Parallel’s owners, brothers Alon, Guy and Aharon Ozery, also run Ozery Bakery, in Vaughan, so pita is kind of their thing.
217 Geary Ave., 416-516-7765, parallelbrothers.com