Haleem at Tavoos comes in almost too large a portion.
TAVOOS 1120 College, at Dufferin, 647-352-7322, tavoos.ca Rating: NNN
Like Gautama's Tipu Chowdhury, Danielle Schrage and Ali Fashrashrafi have a lot on their plate. Not only do they own popular Pomegranate at College and Bathurst, and Sheherzade kebab bar next door, but they've also just launched Tavoos on the great undiscovered west side.
Located in a former Portuguese bakery, the 30-seat Tavoos currently operates with an abbreviated Persian breakfast/brunch/lunch card. No meal here's complete without the starter they call "vegetarian caviar," a gorgeous purée of ground walnuts, green olives and raw garlic laced with tart pomegranate paste (zeitoon parvardeh, $4.50).
Now that everybody and their unpaid intern slow-poach their eggs en sous-vide to a runny-yolk perfection, we're bound to be disappointed by the two fried sunny-side-ups that arrive alongside a few cubes of sautéed haloumi cheese, some smoked salmon and a tangle of fresh herbs (paneer boroshteh, $11.95 with chai or Turkish coffee). A shame their home fries are stone cold.
Unless you're hankering for a big ol' bowl of cream o' wheat laced with unidentified lamb parts, we'd skip the haleem ($8.95 with chai), delish as it is in smaller doses. Those of even heartier appetites will relish chef Fashrashrafi's kalleh pocheh, a richly curried soup thick with sundry sheep's head, hooves and tongue - two of 'em! - finished with pickled garlic, raw red onion and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
And though he has yet to introduce dessert, the only thing you'll need after his dizi sangi - a massive two-part stew of broth followed by mashed lamb shank and chickpeas served on toasted barberry bread dressed with yogurt, slivered scallion and pickled eggplant (both $13.95) - is a nap.