“I never thought of opening a fast food restaurant. Never. Never,” says Amine Laabi. However, when his childhood friend Karim Mahmoud contacted him with an original idea, the former contestant of the show Les Chefs! could not resist this new challenge.

Result ? Last June, the duo launched Loumi, a fast-food outlet whose menu centers around one food: halloumi cheese. “We really wanted to create a different concept from what you see elsewhere,” says Amine Laabi, indicating that the vast majority of products are made on site.

For six months, the two friends developed recipes inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. “We did more than 100 tests for the fattouche salad,” says the chef, who adds that he has tried all the halloumi cheeses available in Canada.

The efforts of the duo will have paid off since they have succeeded in their challenge of offering unique, surprising and very tasty dishes. At the top of the popular dishes is the Loumi burger, “a veggie burger that doesn’t taste like a veggie burger,” laughs Amine Laabi. Spicy fried potato croquettes, halloumi cheese sticks, poutine and a bowl with eggplant meatballs feature on the mostly vegetarian menu at the restaurant, which could eventually turn into a chain, according to its owners.

And to quench your thirst, there are iced teas as well as lemonades with amazing flavors, including one with raspberry and rose water and another with peach and hibiscus flower. In short, Loumi is a different snack all down the line.