Introducing: Kadbanu, a casual Iranian café and restaurant on Dundas West
Contact Info: 771 Dundas St. W., @Kadbanutoronto
Previously: Chinese restaurant Eastern Legend
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Owner: Salome Mohyeddin, who also runs Queen West kebab bar Banu with her family
Chefs: Banu chefs Amir Sina Derakhshan and Cosimo Trichilo
The Food: Many of the restaurant’s Iranian dishes are based on recipes passed down by owner Salome’s grandmother. Lighter options include a golden beet tartare studded with pomegranate seeds, or a chilled corn soup topped with freshly ground sumac. Some items on the chalkboard menu are meant for sharing, including a bowl of meaty koofteh balls in tomato broth, or the mirza ghasemi, a traditional Persian dish of roasted eggplant topped with a lightly fried egg.
The Drinks: Pomegranate and sour cherry juices are available all day. Sekanjabin is a tart, minty cocktail blended with vodka and cucumber.
The Place: Stripped of its old red window treatments, the former dumpling house has been reborn as an airy corner café. Owner Salome Mohyedding, who also runs Banu on Queen West, completely gutted the space, building a sit-down bar area and an open concept kitchen. The stark white walls and high ceilings make the place feel roomier than it really is.