Iran Restaurant is one of those eateries that are strangely quiet and deserted, surrounded by bustling, busy neighouring restaurants on Edgware Road.
A far cry from the 80s & 90s when the only Middle-Eastern restaurant of note on Edgware Road was Maroush and its sister eatery, Ranoush Juice Bar, the neighbourhood today is chockful of Arabic dining choices, many with al fresco seating on the pavements filled with shisha smokers.
The Iranians’ unique cuisine was good alternative from the Arabic, mainly Lebanese (and more recently, Syrian) fare in this neighbourhood. But we were here because, watching Nigel Slater’s Middle East food series’ episode on Iran, made us hanker for something close to what he’d experienced.
Halim Bademjon - mashed roasted aubergines with yoghurt, mint, onion and olive oil.
Khoresht e Ghormeh Sabzi - Lamb stew with fresh herbs, dried lime, onions and red kidney beans.
The salted lime - way too salty on its own, but imparts a crucial flavour to a stew, similar to preserved lemons used in Moroccan cooking.
Khoresht e Fesenjan - chicken stew in walnut and pomegranate sauce. The chicken were fall-off-the-bone-tender, with a sweet-sour flavour that must have come from the pomegranate. The walnuts were crushed till fine, so there weren’t any textural crunchI was hoping for. Neither were there fresh pomegranate sprinkled over the top of the dish, like I often see in photos of the dish elsewhere.
We had some steamed white rice with saffron to go with the dishes.
Not the most photogenic of dishes here - I get the feeling that most of the ingredients were pre-cooked and refrigerated, and re-heated upon order. No fresh sprigs of herbs or fresh cuts of vegetables or fruits in sight. Flavours are pretty hearty, though, and doesn’t explain the empty tables throughout the evening.
59 Edgware Road
London W2 2HZ, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 20 7723 1344
Opening hours: 4pm to midnight daily