Lately I’ve been trying out a few new restaurants, venturing beyond my familiar haunts in order to explore more of what Kingston’s food scene has to offer. Recently a friend suggested that we try out Kingston Iranian Food (KIF), a relatively new spot that popped up last Fall in the same location as Double Double Pizza near Bath and Queen Mary. Admittedly, I experienced a bit of difficulty locating KIF as I was unaware that it shared the same address and signage as a pizzeria. Further, after stepping foot inside, I was still confused as to whether or not we were in the right place, again because it doubles as a Double Double Pizza franchise. We quickly spotted another patron enjoying a delicious looking kebab, and knew that we were in the right place.
We placed our orders at the counter, took a seat and were promptly tempted with some barbary ($3.00), a common type of Persian flat bread, which KIF serves with butter. The barbary seemed as though it was fresh out of the oven, as it was both warm and soft, melting the accompanying butter almost on impact. We let a few pieces sit and cool off, while these became increasingly crunchy and the perfect pairing with other parts of our meal. While we also tried out the caesar salad as an appetizer, remember this is a pizzeria, so temper your expectations accordingly. Bottom line, skip the salad and ask for more barbary.
Next up was a side of hummus ($4.99), which was topped with a generous portion of olive oil and a dash of chili pepper flakes. We used our remaining barbary to scoop up the hummus, which contained a very healthy amount of garlic. Some folks might find this ingredient to be too prominent, but I quite enjoyed it. The texture of the hummus was creamy yet grainy, the latter helped along by little bits of cracked pepper you can make out in the above photo. If you’re not a fan of their barbary, and honestly I don’t know how that could be possible, you can also enjoy your hummus with some pita bread ($3.50).
Both myself and my dining companion ordered the Kabab Vaziri ($11.99), which consists one of skewer of charcoal-grilled lemon chicken, one skewer of koobideh (aka grilled ground beef), rice and salad. As you can see the portions are very generous, while I was particularly impressed with the chicken, which was juicy and cooked to perfection. The koobideh was an adventurous choice, and I must admit that I didn’t care for the seasoning as it took away a lot of the natural flavor of the beef. That said, my companion had no problem finishing everything on his plate. Next time, I would likely opt for a double portion of chicken instead.
When the Nezami Family introduced KIF to Kingsonians last Fall it was open 2 days a week, with a growth in its popularity, they’re now serving fresh, healthy and halal meals, 6 days a week. Although it’s a bit strange to venture into a pizzaria for a delicious Iranian meal, the move has allowed owners to introduce a new type of ethnic food and grow a following without risking their shirts. Save for the salad, I would definitely recommend everything I ordered at KIF.