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All Reader Reviews of...

Kabab Café

25-12 Steinway St., Queens, NY, 11103
nr. 25th Ave.
718-728-9858

Avg. Rating

7
Food: 7
Service: 7
Décor: 7
"Recommended"

Average Reader Rating on a Scale of 10.

63% would go back.

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Stinking Fish

By licnyc on 2/7/2009

  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Food: 3
  • Service: 2
  • Décor: 1
  • No, I would not go back!

This hole in the wall reminds you Cairo but it charges Manhattan prices. I guess this is the effect of the NYMag "critics pick". We were served the most stinking sardines I ever seen and smelled. They must have stayed outside the fridge for a couple of days. We smelled all the dishes while prepared the kitchen is practically next to you and our clothing smelled for days later. We were overcharged for the appetizers (2X). He poured me wine without asking me and then he charged me for it. Save your money and go elsewhere.

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144 out of 293 people found this review helpful.

Overpriced Dump

By nytauro on 3/25/2009

  • Overall Rating: 2
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 3
  • Décor: 4
  • No, I would not go back!

"This is not the Italian countryside. Give me a menu! Go to a staples and print some out for $3 for Gods sake, don't have me order and Triple charge me for mediocre food! Don't sap a bit of Baba ganoush and hummus on a plate and charge me $18. This was a plate that should cost $8 anywhere for anyone who has ever eaten Egyptian in NYC. Checking the menu online when I returned home I noticed we were GROSSLY overcharged, for muck. The rest of the food was simply poor. and the place filthy. What did Anthony Bourdan do to this place. Did h just have an off dayor ws it truely worth it before he got there. STAY AWAY! too bad."

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198 out of 384 people found this review helpful.

THE WORST SERVICE AND THE RUDEST OWNER

By JT2 on 9/11/2008

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 4
  • No, I would not go back!

We went to Kabab Cafe and were very disappointed. The owner was so rude to us, including making anti-American, European and Western comments and he has no clue about customer service. First when we came in, the restaurant was empty and we asked for a table in the back. We were 4 and he said that table was for 6 so we couldn't sit there because he would have to ask us to move if more people came. Well towards the end of our meal he gave it to 2 people, not 6! Then, he wouldn't serve us tap water because he said he couldn't keep on refilling the glass. This from someone with totally empty restaurant. There's only like 5 tables in the whole restaurant anyway! I would never, ever go back there or recommend anyone eat there.

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76 out of 147 people found this review helpful.

TERRIBLE

By jph on 11/20/2008

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 2
  • Service: 5
  • Décor: 5
  • No, I would not go back!

I had high hopes for this restaurant because I heard great reviews of Kabab Cafe (both word of mouth and written reviews). My friend and I went there yesterday, and we were greeted by the owner, who was very friendly and attentive. From there, it was downhill once the food was served. We ordered the meze platter, lamb cheeks, veal tongue and stir fried vegetables (all were appetizers). The food wasn't fresh and it was flavorless. And there was a nail in the veal tongue dish. And worst of all, we were ripped off when we received the bill ($100 including tip)! If you want amazing, sublime Middle Eastern cuisine, go to Tanoreen in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn - it is worth the trip. The owner may not be as friendly, but the food will transport you to a higher culinary universe.

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96 out of 191 people found this review helpful.

Horrible experience, save your money!

By billyao on 8/31/2009

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 2
  • Décor: 2
  • No, I would not go back!

Went here for lunch on Sunday. Will admit that Ali is a personable guy but this was the biggest ripoff I've had in NY in many years. First of all we were overcharged. Grossly so. They refused to give us a menu (as per other reports). There is a menu posted outside though, and when we checked afterwards we realized they charged nearly double. The mixed appetizer plate was $10 and we were charged $18. As per earlier posts, they refused to pour tap water (their excuse was that they didn't have ice). The food was average to bad. The appetizer plate was about what you'd expect, nothing special. Entrees were the red snapper and goat in pomegranate sauce. The snapper was completely tasteless and dry. We had to dip it in the pomegranate sauce in the other dish to give it flavor. The goat chops were better, but tiny. Five chops each of which wasn't even a mouthful worth of food, for $25. We left $110 poorer and still hungry. We didn't make a fuss about the bill but wish we had. This guy is a thief in a snake oil salesman's body.

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231 out of 462 people found this review helpful.

Well worth crossing the river, but check your bill

By themicah on 6/3/2005

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 9
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

After reading a write-up, a friend and I hopped the N train over to Kabab Cafe. It's a small room with four or five tables and a corner kitchen area where the owner and his assistant work their magic while keeping an eye on their guests' plates (clear yours, and he'll ask "what else?"). The owner emerges--often with fry pan in hand--to serve up beautifully presented and extraordinarily flavorful dishes along with his casual banter. He offered us a shockingly long list of specials: lamb, goat, chicken, beef, several kinds of fish--even soft-shelled crab! I have no idea where he keeps everything or how he can have so many more core ingredient than tables. We had Algerian wine, a meze platter, codfish cakes, braised goat chops, and eggah (a zatar-heavy omelet), all followed by a dessert platter. Everything was delicious. One major caveat: the owner's arithmetic is as casual as his affect. Our $80 bill somehow added up to $100. We caught it, but remain unsure whether the error was intentional. Regardless, we'll go back, because it's just too good to let bad math get in the way.

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452 out of 838 people found this review helpful.

Delicious

By FOODLOVE on 8/17/2009

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 5
  • Yes, I would go back!

This was a very special experience. The food beat my expectations and meeting the owner, Ali, is worth the trip out of the city alone. Don't go with expectations other than the desire to explore and taste out of this world food.

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253 out of 471 people found this review helpful.

Eating is traveling

By Elenaj on 10/18/2009

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

In Kabab Cafe you feel like being transported in Naguib Mahfouz or Alaa el-Aswany books. I didn't expect anything and I spent a great moment eating the plater prepared by and talking food with Ali. I just asked him what he would eat if he wasn't too hungry: An Egyptian mezze, a baklawa and a couple of mint teas. And I felt well-fed, yet light.

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228 out of 455 people found this review helpful.

One of a kind

By thebeckerman on 8/15/2004

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

One of my favorite places in the world to eat. Not like any place else. Gourmet stovetop Egyptian and Moroccan cuisine. Served by the consummate host, Ali, who loves food, loves people, and loves life. Tiny location, and not easy to get out of quickly. But if you've got time to enjoy, I think Ali's the greatest.

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369 out of 703 people found this review helpful.

Amazing food, amazing experience

By Andree on 5/21/2009

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 9
  • Yes, I would go back!

When you come here you should know you are about to eat food made with experience, love for cooking and flavorful ingredients. It is not an Applebees or a Chili's so if you are looking for a server to say my name is TJ, you just let me know if you need anything. You are not going to get that. Just ask him for his recommendations and enjoy! Best food I've had in NY in years.

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210 out of 421 people found this review helpful.

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