NJ Dining: Babylon (UPDATED)

Babylon Mediterranean Restaurant
606 Kinderkamack Road
River Edge, NJ

In August of 2006, Babylon, one of our favorite Turkish/Middle Eastern restaurants was forced to close when its lease was not renewed along with several other stores in the ill-fated Huffman-Koos shopping center in River Edge. Needless to say, I was totally bummed out by this development — not only was Babylon a great dining value but it also made some of the best Turkish and Middle-Eastern food that you could find in Bergen County. To get anything comparable, you had to go to Patterson or Union City. While we still had Kervan in Cliffside Park (a restaurant that has seen better days, its hardcore Turkish crowd long gone) and Samdan in Cresskill (admittedly solid Turkish place, but just didn’t have the precise atmosphere or taste I was looking for) they just weren’t the same — Babylon’s doner and other kebabs were made fresh from scratch daily, and had a definitively home made flavor that couldn’t easily be duplicated.

However, all was not lost. In Late March of 2007, Babylon re-opened only about a mile away from its original location, on Kinderkamack Road on the site of Shanghai Restaurant, which had closed six months before. The owners completely renovated the interior, and now Babylon, menu unchanged, with prices more or less the same, is back and better than ever.

Babylon storefront on Kinderkamack Road in River Edge

Babylon returns! Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

The space, previously a beat up Chinese restaurant, has been completely renovated to be a charming white tablecloth Middle Eastern casual dining restaurant.

Babylon Restaurant, River Edge NJ by you.

Cold Eggplant/Tomato Appetizer, served with toasted Turkish bread. A great starter on a balmy evening.

Babylon, River Edge NJ by you.

Acili Ezeme, a spicy dip made with red peppers.

Babylon Restaurant, River Edge NJ by you.

Coban Salatsi, the Turkish Version of a Meditteranean/Greek Salad. This can also be ordered with sharp crumbled Feta cheese.

Babylon Restaurant, River Edge NJ by you.

A spicy Lentil Soup, which is seasoned with dried mint.

Babylon Restaurant, River Edge NJ by you.

This is a Kibbe appetizer which are fried balls of bulghur wheat and meat seasoned with an Arabic seven spice powder and pomegranate. Although not specifically Turkish, it was very tasty and one of the better versions I’ve had.

Babylon Restaurant, River Edge NJ by you.

A generous plate of stuffed cabbage leaves with rice and ground meat inside.

Babylon Restaurant, River Edge NJ by you.

Iskender Kebab, a popular Turkish dish of Doner Kebab (Gyro) with tomato sauce over fried bread covered with yogurt.

Chicken Adana Kebab, served with Rice and Bulghur Wheat Pilafs and salad.

A side of grilled vegetables

Doner Kebab (Gyro) and Kofta Kebab (spiced ground beef patties) combo. Like all of Babylon’s kebabs, The Doner is made from scratch daily using Kosher Lamb and Veal. I’d easily rank it as good as Beyti Kebab in Union City, which is my current Turkish benchmark.

11 Responses to NJ Dining: Babylon (UPDATED)

  1. […] local area, including Kervan (and its short-lived sibling, Sapphire in Tenafly), Samdan, Babylon (recently re-opened in River Edge) and a whole bunch who’s names elude me. Beyti is a good half an hour to forty minute drive […]

  2. autumnmist says:

    I’m afraid for Babylon. We are semi frequent customers at their new location and they just don’t appear to be getting nearly as much business at they did before… we were there 6-7:30 on Friday night and there were only 5 tables. :(

  3. Lori says:

    Have not tried babylon since it reopened.
    Has anyone tried the Turkish Kitchen that opened near Babylon?
    They will be fighting each other for their customers.
    I think babylon is dELICIOUS. The new one is Not bad,
    But now there are two Turkish restaurants two blocks apart in a not very Turkish neighborhood.

    Kervan etc has Turks living nearby. River edge is not a Very Turkish neighborhood so ethnic food will only find their way into the hearts of spmeone who wants to try sonething other than Chinese, Japanese or Indian one night. I hope these guys can both stay in business just two blocks apart

  4. […] cuisine, and I’ve eaten at a number of very good Lebanese (1) (2) and Turkish restaurants in Bergen and Hudson County and have prepared a number of authentic dishes at home. But Paterson always […]

  5. Jill says:

    Turkish Kitchen is excellent. Just tried it this evening. Wonderful bread, excellent hummus, and the kebabs are great. All this and a pretty interior too. I like it better than Babylon, which tends to be insufficiently assertive in terms of their seasoning and spices.

  6. I think spicing preference is highly dependent on the individual. I think that some Turkish restaurants use way too much salt on their meat, and that may be a factor of whether or not the meat is Halal. The Halal stuff tends to be saltier, much like Kosher meat is saltier due to the butchering process. Also some people are really sensitive to salt, like my wife. There are Turkish places I’ve been to which I think are excellent like Beyti which she feels is too salty. Also people who smoke have less sensitivity to salt because smoking deadens the receptors in your tongue that yeilds salt taste. Considering that a LOT of Middle Eastern people are heavy smokers its no wonder a lot of representative Turkish and Lebanese food is salty.

  7. tom says:

    the food looks good, but since i’m located closer to paterson i usually just head there for my Turkish fix, I was wondering if you have any suggestion for a good afghan restaurant in new jersey. I have a couple favorites in NY but haven’t found any in north jersey.

    thanks and love your site and other reviews you have posted on internet.

  8. SPM says:

    Babylon is obscenely overpriced and doesn’t seem to do much business.

  9. Zyjan Muntu says:

    Hello – tell me please, what is the difference between gyros and kebab? Is kebab “hallal”, of got rid blood meat?

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