[Gatley, Greater Manchester] Naan Grill

When I first moved to the area, back in the early 1960s, this building was the village fishmongers. It’s been through many guises over the decades, including this recentish opening as an Iranian restaurant. We went for lunch – and were the only customers, so no problem for the guy doing the cheffing to also do the serving.

It’s a short menu which covers many well known Iranian dishes, together with some of those from the wider Middle East. One of the latter was falafel – good flavour, with a background heat from chilli, if a little dense and dry. Mirza ghasemi is the Iranian take on chopped aubergines long cooked with tomato and garlic. It becomes more dip than stew, much like Lebanese makmour or Turkish patlican salatsi. And like both of those, this is absolutely delicious. Both starters come with flatbread, freshly baked in the tandoor.

Koobideh is the well known kebab of the region – a take on a kofta, using minced meat. It comes with rice and a little salad leaf. Ghormeh sabzi is another classic. Usually a lamb, bean and herb stew, here they offer a vegetarian version as well, with seiten replacing the meat. The swap works, It also comes with rice and salad.

My only adverse comment is that this is quite a small room, with an open kitchen, which did mean it got a bit smoky. A worthwhile lunch spot, near to home.