Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Persian restaurant "Danial" near our home

Alert : This restaurant is now closed.

We went to a newly opened Persian restaurant near our home, Danial. No, it is not Denial. It sounds like Daniel; maybe it is a name used among the Persian Christians (I am just shooting).

These are the photos of the food we ate there.

For starter we had a naan panir sabzi to share. It was exactly what it said: 1 naan, feta cheese, and raw herbs.

naan panir sabzi

The feta, however, was very diffrent from the usual Greek fata. It was more watery and REALLY salty. We asked our waiter where it came from. He said it was imported from Iran, and we could find it in Persian groceries. Regardless of its saltiness, this feta was very tasty. It just melted in the mouth leaving behind creamy milky flavour. Some people might be put off by its saltiness, but it is worth trying even just for experience sake. Naan and herbs were both fresh and generous. Very good value for £2.50.

These are the main courses.

Dim chose Kabab-e-Chenjeh (“Grilled chunks fillets of tender lamb with grilled tomatoes, served with fresh naan or saffron steamed rice”) from grill section, and I went for Zereshk polo ba morgh (“Steamed saffron rice with sour barberries, almonds and pistachio, served with cooked chicken”) from traditional dish section, £7 and £5 respectively.

Kebab meat was very lean, almost no trace of fat. It was a bit hard, as being well done. Dim always likes his meat well done (most of the Greeks I know like their meat well done) and he did like the way it was cooked, but I thought it was too cooked. If the meat had not been so lean, it would have been softer as well. Dim thought the meat was marinated in something he did not like, but I could not detect it. Otherwise the dish looked ok. One skewer of lamb was served with a mound of rice, herb salad, two pieces of grilled tomatoes, and purple sour pickles. I liked very much this pickles; they were very similar to Japanese a type of Japanese pickled called "Shibazuke".

My main was the rice served with chicken, not the chicken served with rice. In fact it came as a large mound of rice on one dinner plate, and one large chicken thigh cooked in red sauce, served in gratin dish. The rice (Zareshk Polo) was interesting. It was usual Persian white and yellow saffron rice, topped with some nuts bits (I did not see pistachio) and sweet dried berries. Well presented and tasty, if rather sweet. Chicken was cooked with slices of carrot, tomato sauce, and probably with sumac, as it tasted fruity. It would have been better, if they had used better quality chicken, but it was acceptable. I have to tell, however, it was very difficult to cut chicken thigh in a gratin dish filled with sauce.

They offer also rather interesting Persian sweets, but we were too full to try. The bill came to £15.30 for the items above plus one can of coke. Good value.