Gem Hunter Review: Paramount Fine Foods, Mississauga, Canada Don’t tell my mom, but I’d trade in my desi biryani and korma for a deliciously fresh Lebanese meal anytime. As much as I appreciate my Pakistani heritage and food, the spices can be heavy at times and overpowering to the fresh ingredients…well at least in my opinion. Perhaps the South Asian foods have become mundane for me and ethnic foods from other cultures still remains a novelty. Either way, more often I prefer the simplistic approach to foods – lightly seasoned allowing the natural flavours to shine on their own. After all, less is more, don’t you think? When I heard that there was a new halal Middle Eastern-Lebanese restaurant called Paramount Fine Foods launching in several locations around Toronto, I was naturally quite excited and our family made plans to visit the Mississauga location for lunch one afternoon. The inviting ambiance with beautiful chandelier lighting and an indoor waterfall in a Middle Eastern style interior, was just the right touch. You can relax and feel comfortable. It’s a classy yet family-friendly environment perfect for unwinding after a long day. The friendly and welcoming staff are always checking up on you to ensure you are satisfied and well fed! So, this particular afternoon, I was feeling rather brave. While the rest of the family ordered the typical favourites of delicious shawarmas, tabbouleh and stone oven baked pizza, I dared to take a different route. I started with the fresh and boldly flavoured Lebanese fattoush salad made with a tart Mediterranean dressing and crisp pita croutons. Then, I moved on to the eggplant stew called musakaa, deliciously blended with colourful peppers, diced tomatoes and garbanzo beans. (Oh, and did I mention, they provide freshly stone-baked pitas with every meal? They go so perfectly with the musakaa.) Finally, I concluded with a succulent fire grilled kafta dish made with fresh ground beef and fine seasoning. If you are searching for dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further. Paramount Fine Foods also offers an array of traditional Lebanese sweets all made in-house by their professional pastry chefs. You can find anything from nut filled baklava, cakes and divine buttery sandwich cookies. If you are in a hurry, you can even pack them to go. Paramount provides a huge selection of desserts so be sure to leave room after your meal to taste some. All in all, I enjoy coming to Paramount Fine Foods. They offer excellent service, a wide variety of high quality foods and an experience you can feel good about. You can also rest assured that all meats are authentically halal certified by prominent halal certifying bodies in Canada including HMA (Halal Monitoring Authority). So, the next time you are visiting Toronto, Canada, be sure to visit any of their seven locations and be prepared for a great feast. Bon appétit! About Gem Hunter Sobia Sobia Hussain is a creative entrepreneur and artisan of The Olive Tree Soap Company in Toronto, Canada. She is the Editor at Muslim Gift Guide. Sobia is also a writer for various international publications. She loves travelling, painting, photography and organized chaos.