Friday, 18 September 2009

iranian at behesht

getting to behesht was a bit of a trek. the tube had severe delays and eventually the bakerloo line delivered us to kensal green station into a less than savoury neighbourhood. but for the promise of authentic iranian cuisine by s, o and i would have been unlikely to venture to kensal green. but true to s’ word, it was well worth it!
we started on shallow bowls of a hearty iranian stew called ashe reshteh made of vegetables, beans and noodles topped with slightly soured goats milk yoghurt and texture in the form of fried and crispy onions. along with this were stainless steel dishes of thick creamy yoghurt, spinach and a hint of garlic served with fresh bread from the oven.

it takes us a while to choose our entrees, given there are so many things to choose from. i forgo my oft chosen chello dishes for zereshk pollo ba murgh – essentially rice with chicken and barberries. i love these little red jewel like berries that look akin to pomegranate but are slightly more tart. they are served moistened in butter on top of perfectly boiled fluffed rice – some of which is saffron infused. the chicken, which is hidden in the rice is juicy and so tender that it falls from the bone at the slight nudge of the fork. 

i wasn’t particularly interested in what the boys were having given they had lamb and i’m not a fan of lamb. we spent considerable time post dinner drinking very sweet iranian tea that continued to gain strength from the warm candle base that it was served on. around us are iranian families tucking into oversized entrée’s or enjoying sweet meats with tea. the place itself looks like a cave of treasures. there are lanterns, elaborate carpets and rug cushions, silver pots, arabic calligraphic inscriptions and pictures of the shah of iran. the mesh of colours and objects can be a tab bit overwhelming but should you want a truly authentic and delicious iranian meal i would really recommend behesht. thank you s!