Hello, everyone. I’ve decided to add a new section to my blog that will supplement the regular Saturday postings. For some time now, I’ve wanted to start reviewing the many food establishments that I visit here and there, and now I’m finally going to do it. These reviews may well be few and far between, and will not follow any sort of schedule. Before I begin, I must offer a disclaimer: I am in no way a culinary expert, these reviews will be solely based on my knowledge of food gained from eating it and experiencing it — not from any sort of formal training. All that said, I hope you enjoy these reviews.
Where: Superbaba Middle Eastern Food. 1325 Blanshard St., Victoria, BC.
Ate: Chicken Shawarma.
When: December 4, 2018.
Rating: Strong 8.5/10
When I first moved to Victoria in September of 2017, I moved into a building that was on the very edge of downtown, along Blanshard St. Also along Blanshard St., but closer to the downtown core, lived two great friends of mine, that I’d often visit — and still do visit — with my route being straight along Blanshard, taking me past Superbaba.
When I first saw the restaurant, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. Its blue neon sign and glass exterior almost appeared to me as a bar or cafe of some kind, though I noticed it was often open later than most cafes would normally be. I was immediately intrigued, but never found the time to inquire into what exactly Superbaba was.
Some time later, I found out that the mystery place was middle eastern food, and that they served shawarma/gyros/doner/whatever-you-want-to-call-them, which I love. That said, since returning to Canada from Greece in 2012, I haven’t found one that I’ve liked all too much. Thus, Superbaba once again faded into obscurity as I had no intention of being let down by shawarma again. That is, until, Nov. 17, 2018, when a family member who lives in Vancouver asked me if I’d tried Superbaba. It turns out that in addition to the restaurant here in Victoria, they also run a food truck in Vancouver that is supposed to be amazing. The previously mentioned individual is someone whose opinion I greatly respect, and I now had a new desire to try Superbaba, while still chasing the gyro dragon for six years.
And so, three weeks after being informed of Superbaba’s reputation, I finally stopped in one Tuesday at 12:33 to see what the fuss was about. Having had only a small bowl of granola for breakfast, I was hungry come lunch time, and entered Superbaba’s modern space with high expectations. I got in the queue of about three others, and once reaching the till, ordered the Chicken Shawarma for a total cost of $11.50 plus tip. I then sat down at one of the free seats and waited for my order.
The interior of Superbaba resembles more of a modern cafeteria than a sit-down restaurant, with its open space, large windows, neon signs, and globe-shaped, white lamps hanging from the ceiling. The space is overall modern, bright, and welcoming. There’s tables/seats for about thirty, and when I visited, almost all of them were occupied. While I waited for my wrap, there was consistently three to four people waiting to order.
After about seven minutes or so, my name was called, and I grabbed my Chicken Shawarma from the counter, returned to my seat and opened up the foil. My initial impression was just how fresh, fluffy, and soft the pita was, with the perfect amount of chewiness. A gyro/shawarma/doner is not complete without the addition of french fries within the wrap, and I was happy to see these included. The spiced chicken thigh was tender and moist, with the sumac mayo creating a fantastic sauciness, without saturating the pita. Pickled turnip and cabbage rounded out the wrap with a refreshing crunch.
I went into Superbaba hungry, but was happy to find the wrap satisfied my hunger, with no need to order a side or dessert, though these did tempt me; the Sumac Mayo Fries and Apple Pie Baklava, in particular. Though apprehensive to try Superbaba in fears of once again being let down in Canada by the Mediterranean staple, I was happily surprised by the fairly priced and quite tasty chicken shawarma. Seeing that the restaurant is open until 23:00 and features beer/cocktails on the menu, I can safely assure that I will be back to Superbaba in the future, most likely next time with friends.