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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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"Shank you very much!" Well, lamb shank, anyway!

By Ronvent1122 on 11/26/2013

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

Had a marvelous birthday dinner treat at Kabob Cafe, 25-12 Steinway Street, in Astoria. MUCH more than kabobs, definitely NOT a cafe, a one-of-a-kind eatery. Maybe seats 12 people, it's an Egyptian Restaurant where host, chef, waiter, entertainer and absolutely wonderful guy, "Ali," will serve up INCREDIBLY delicious food which he prepares in a 10 foot long kitchen counter, right before your eyes! (It has only a two man staff. Yes, only two, and believe me, it's all they need!) I was there with a few of my favorite people. Let Ali recommend, don't bother with a menu, pay what he asks; You can't lose. Go there, even if it ISN'T your birthday!

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22 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

unique

By chloe5 on 3/31/2012

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

This is a special and rare place. It is more than just the great food , it is about the whole experience . The chef has a great personality, he invites you in his little world , the kitchen so tiny that you can observe him concocting these dishes out of love just for you , you feel as if you are his guest in his home . I love everything and I highly recommend this unique hole in the wall. Sincerely.

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38 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

Delicious and Delightfully Interactive Dining

By matthiashess on 2/5/2011

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

I tried out Kabab Cafe with a group of friends. To put it plainly, we had a blast. The place is tiny, but we managed to all squeeze into a corner. The decor is whimsical and homey. Chef Ali asked us what we felt like eating and made some recommendations. We began with the appetizer platter of hummous, falafel, and baba ganouj with a touch of Egyptian hocus-pocus, followed by roasted cauliflower in a pomegranate reduction and lamb "cheeks" with an egg stirred in. We also shared a melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank (shank you very much) with vegetables as well as a broiled fish with citrus. The flavors were complex without being pretentious. Portions are large; we ended up spending about $25/person and left feeling stuffed and happy.<br> This is a unique restaurant--while Astoria is known for excellent and cheap international food, Kabab Cafe is a bit pricey for everyday meals, but an excellent value for a special occasion. It doesn't do takeout, has endless possibilities but no menu, and you can BYOB. The staff consists only of Ali and his helper, and he cooks right in the middle of the room so you can watch everything while engaging in lively banter. He'll talk to you about food, Egypt, politics, whatever, and corny jokes are par for the course. He plays an unconventional assortment of music from the Soggy Bottom Boys to Natacha Atlas. The bottom line: If you're looking for an unforgettable dining experience, head over to Kabab Cafe right now!

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76 out of 148 people found this review helpful.

Incredible

By kitchencreature on 1/9/2011

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

Simple setting and 2 questions: drinks (wine/tea/coffee) and your choice between vegetarian, meat or fish. The rest is up to Ali, though the dialogue continues throughout the meal. The dishes and the pace are from another part of the world. There is no menu, snotty waiters or fancy wine list. This place is a homage to compositions of flavors all cooked to order. It's about the food and the food is unforgettable.

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68 out of 138 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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143 out of 274 people found this review helpful.

I like this place.

By Nchssmaria on 10/17/2009

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

Next time, I want to have the desert sampler and mint tea. We ordered 5 appetizers but of fish, goat brains, kidney, and falafel.

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114 out of 242 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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137 out of 281 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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145 out of 256 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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122 out of 240 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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114 out of 222 people found this review helpful.

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