If you’ve been following me for a while now, you might know that I often frequent Al Salam Pita Bakery! It’s one of my favourite places to grab food and it’s easily one of my top picks for Mediterranean eats in Edmonton (especially South Edmonton where there’s limited options). Their chicken shawarma platter is THE best and I could literally eat their garlic sauce by itself. Being that Al Salam Pita is one of my go-tos, I’m excited to share that the same owners have opened a new space. With hopes to relocate the dining room at Al Salam Pita, they’ve opened a new dining room right next door: Al Salam Restaurant, where the menu offers international cuisine with a Mediterranean twist! Compared to the bakery side, Al Salam Restaurant has a bit of a different feel. The space itself is more grand and upscale, but they still have really great food. On the menu, you’ll find a variety of vegan/vegetarian options and notably, they’re the first in Edmonton to offer certain dishes such as halal pasta too.
If I’m being honest, when I saw that they were offering pasta dishes alongside their usual platters, I was kind of surprised. I know Al Salam is well known for their pitas and shawarma platters so I was curious to see how their new menu would taste. However, their pasta and the whole meal overall was really good. I was actually quite impressed! I thoroughly enjoyed my meal here and would definitely come back to their new restaurant again. The best part is that you can still satisfy your cravings for their platters and whatnot at their new restaurant. Because the two spaces share a kitchen, you can order from their new and original bakery menu so you don’t need to give up one spot for the other. The intention is to eventually relocate the casual dining space (at the bakery) and have just one main dining area at the restaurant. Al Salam invited me to come check out their new space so I thought I’d share a blog post to preview some of the options off of their new menu!
Disclaimer: My meal at Al Salam Restaurant was compensated. Despite this, all thoughts and opinions are my own and I have always returned to Al Salam as a paying customer.
With three brothers behind the business, you’ll get a peek at each of their interests in each side of the restaurant. Adorned on the walls, you’ll see some Islamic art, some sports, and some comic art. While it my all be a little different, I thought the decor was very unique, adding a bit of culture and fun to the large space. The restaurant is much bigger than their original bakery and allows for parties or large group reservations.
There’re a few choices for appetizers at Al Salam Restaurant. If you’re not sure where to start, I’d definitely recommend any of their cold appetizers which are all currently dips. Each one comes with Al Salam’s famous pita, which are always made fresh and come out nice and big! Pictured here is their Hummus, Mtubbal, and Hummus Chamandar.
It’s hard to tell you which dip is better than the other because they were all so delicious in their own way. If I had to list out my favourites though, my top choice of the three that I tried was definitely the Hummus Chamandar ($10), a beet root hummus. The pink color comes from the beet roots and is enhanced with a bit of food coloring. The beets add a sweet and earthy hint to each bite.
The Mtubbal ($9) is Babaghanoush with Tahnini and would be a close runner up. There’s a really smoky eggplant flavour that comes out in this dip and it’s a great alternative to hummus if you want to switch it up. At the end of the day though, you can’t go wrong with their original Hummus ($9) if you’re not feeling adventurous. You can also try to order a sample platter of all three dips if you want to try a bit of each.
Kibby ($9) is a bulgar mixture that is normally stuffed with ground beef or chicken and cheese. Bulgar is a type of grain and it gives each kibby a crisp outer crust. On the day of my visit, they ran out of the cheese kibby so mine was just ground beef. Without the cheese, the kibby did feel a bit dry but the flavours were all there.
I normally don’t opt for falafel but thought I’d give it a try this time… Al Salam’s Falafel ($7.95) is served with tahini sauce and was very tasty!
If you’ve had Al Salam’s shawarma platters before, you’ll likely be familiar with their Fattoush Salad ($11.95). Somehow the salad tastes new and improved at the restaurant. Perhaps because it is tossed to order and it comes out extra crisp and fresh. It’s also dressed a bit lighter so I found this salad to be more enjoyable as it was not as acidic as it normally is. The crisps on top were also a great addition.
The Rose Penne ($17) was definitely my favourite dish of the whole meal. Despite it being such a simple dish, the sauce was rich and memorable. I loved how creamy it was and would highly recommend trying it. The Penne Alfredo ($17) was also great but I didn’t think it was nearly as top notch as the rose sauce was, personally. Note that you can add mushrooms, chicken, or tomatoes to your pasta dishes. Turns out the chef at Al Salam has some experience in Italian kitchens and it’s clear that he knows a thing or two about making some delicious pasta.
Al Salam Restaurant also has a selection of mocktail drinks to choose from. I tried their Pomegranate Sensation ($7) and found it to be sweet and refreshing. A great complement to the meal, overall.
With their soft opening, the menu is still evolving and they currently offer a select number of quality dishes. Keep an eye out for more additions in the future! Overall, I’m excited to see what else Al Salam Restaurant serves up and will definitely be returning again, for both their old and new menu. A big congrats on your new space, Al Salam!
Al Salam Restaurant
10149 34 Ave, Edmonton