Barão de Itapuã, 145
Salvador – Bahia
We had some good kibbe (fried Middle-Eastern bulgar-and-meat meatballs) in Rio. But this tiny little counter in Salvador blew them away. You can’t miss Kiberia’s signature neon orange building, tiny as the restaurant itself may be. There are maybe only four seats in counter space in Kiberia, and the take-out trade is brisk. With three people in there it was a full house! The menu truly is limited, and all you can order are several permutations of kibbe and bottled or canned drinks. The cost for a kibbe (500 grams) is a surprisingly reasonable R$ 6. Another option is to get 6 mini-kibbe for R$ 12.
In the larger size, you can get a plain meat kibbe or one with cheese added (paradoxically this one is slightly cheaper and smaller). As kibbe purists, we went for just plain meat. The kibbe were fried up to order, and came to us piping hot, even garnished with a wedge of lime. The shape of the kibbe was not too overly-footballish, as we were accustomed to seeing in Rio. The outside was perfectly crisp and crunchy, and the bulgar and meat inside was tender and moist. We also appreciated the wide range of dressings set up on Kiberia’s counter: tahini, sriracha, malagueta pepper, tabasco, Molho Arabe and garlic sauce, among others.
We ate our kibbe so quickly, we were not able to get any pictures. Even after devouring our kibbe, we decided to go for a dessert. The only choice was a Belewa (spelled elsewhere as Beleua), for R$ 3. Beleua is a riff on baklava, but definitely not as sweet, and is composed of a spiced nut paste in layered puff pastry sheets. Like our kibbe, the beleua was delicious. We went into Kiberia expecting only a fast food fix, but we heartily recommend them for some great kibbe in Salvador.