In a dingy strip mall in Don Mills, there's an amazing restaurant that serves what just might be the best rice in Toronto. Darband Restaurant, located at 879 York Mills Road at Don Mills, is a 24 hour bar and restaurant that serves Iranian food. In fact, the ten-year-old restaurant is often busiest at 4 a.m., as it serves as a gathering place after concerts and other events in the Persian community.
|Darband is a surprising find in an otherwise dire Don Mils strip mall.|
|Maust 'khiar with pita.|
I started out with the maust 'khiar, a yogurt and chopped cucumber spread with mint that was similar to tzatziki. Then I had the chenjeh kebab, made of marinated spring lamb tenderloin ($10.99). The lamb is succulent, tasty and perfectly spiced. And the rice...! It's incredibly fluffy and buttery, with some of the long basmati grains tinted yellow from saffron.
This style of Persian rice is made by partially cooking it by boiling it; then the water is drained and it's steamed to completion, resulting in a fluffy rice where each grain is separated. It's cooked with some oil, salt and saffron, which adds some colour to the plate.
|The lamb kebab with saffron rice.|
|Grab some pistachios or candy from this vending machine for $2.|
Darband Restaurant, 879 York Mills Road. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Tel: 416 445 1777
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