For Siamak Masoumi, head chef at the new Noon Eatery at 3190 Yonge St., offering something different to Torontonians was key. He began dreaming up his own restaurant after immigrating to Toronto from Iran just a few short years ago.
While in his hometown, Masoumi worked in advertising, providing design and brand ideas for start-up restaurants, and one thing was clear to him: most had a habit of recycling well-worn menus and tastes.
“I love to invent and bring new ideas to life,” says Masoumi. “So I started my own journey in learning and exploring the ancient and traditional dishes of Iran from the time of Safavieh and Qajar Dynasties in Persia, while taking baking and cooking training courses in Iran and Turkey.”
He soon crafted his own recipes and styles of cooking, and settled on one particular menu item for Noon Eatery: Persian-style pizza, but with his own spin. While Persian pizza typically follows Chicago-style deep dish, Masoumi’s is constructed with a light, fluffy and chewy crust and exudes a traditional Iranian flavour. Noon’s stand-outs include a meat lover’s, chicken shawarma, supreme beef mix and sausage mix. The menu also features a few Western-influenced options, including a standard pepperoni, steak and mushroom, chicken pesto and veggie pizzas.
All dough is prepared fresh and on the daily using premium Italian and Canadian flours and organic, natural ingredients, and is fermented for over 24 hours. Noon’s tomato sauce is also made in-house and includes traditional Persian spices and herbs, giving the pizzas their unique taste. All vegetables are sourced fresh, while meat is 100% halal and sourced from local Iranian suppliers.
“Considering how diverse and multi-cultural Toronto is, we hope to meet the needs, preferences and tastes of our community,” says Masoumi.
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This passion was essential, too, in pushing through and opening a restaurant during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many of our friends were advising us against opening up a restaurant at such restrictive times when many others have shut down or gone out of business,” says Masoumi. “But we believed that life goes on and, although not easy, with hard work and dedication and believing in our business, we will succeed.”
That means Noon isn’t just stopping at pizza. The kitchen has already added sandwiches to its menu and, once dine-in restrictions loosen, will be adding more traditional Iranian dishes. This includes modernized (and incredibly delicious) rice cake dishes, a cultural staple that’s baked in single pots at high heat and then inverted onto a platter, resulting in a crispy golden brown top layer called “tahdig,” which is garnished with meat, fish, stew or vegetables.
“Although many people consider kebobs and rice as the main foods of Iran, our traditional dishes go way beyond that,” says Masoumi.
With a unique menu and an already dedicated customer base, Noon has been quick to make an impression. “The feedback and encouragement we have received from our customers so far has been tremendous and very motivating in trying our best to become better day by day,” says Masoumi.
“Baking, cooking and bringing new ideas and recipes to life is my passion and, I hope through Noon Eatery, I will be able to bring a piece of Persia’s ancient history to Canada.”
For details on Noon Eatery and its menu, click here.