This was our first time eating Persian food. Since the time the new Isfahani outlet opened at the “Khaau Gali” – American Alley (Juffair), it was pretty clear that this exotic looking restaurant had to be tried. It is difficult to miss Isfanani with it’s trademark indigo and white tiled exterior.
Since the situation in Bahrain wasn’t the most ideal, we decided to try Isfahani because it was right behind our home. At 5 minute walking distance, this is a place I have to go back again and agian. It is very light on the wallet and a cordial staff makes this a ‘go-to’ place for a quick bite or even an extended dinner.
I am very proud to annouce that Isfahani has been “Sliced” !!!
The first thing that came to our notice was that the menu was very sparse but looked intriguing, nevertheless. There was not a soul in sight except the ones in server uniforms. It was obvious that the recent disturbance had taken it’s toll on these restaurants. But it ensured we got all the attention and were given V.V.V.I.P treatment.
So when we were given the menu cards, I got more interested in the trivia about Persian food, therein. Persian food, according to Isfahani, follows three basic rules:
1) Do not concentrate on just one particular flavour. Food should balance all the flavours of sweet, savoury, sour and spicy ( 4S’s)
2) Dried fruits, nuts and raisins should not be just reserved for the dessert, it should be a big part of the other courses as well
3) Everything that is edible should be eaten. Example, Not only are grapes/raisins used in the food but Persian food makes extensive use of their leaves too.
That was a good sneak preview into what was in store for us. As soon as we ordered the main course, we were presented with complimentary lamb soup with herbs and lemon. Aah! What a delight. Fresh and full of flavour it stayed on the taste buds long after each spoonfull. The herbs provided the seasoning that was balanced by the tangy twist of the lemon.
Soon after the salad arrived and it was a beautiful sight. It had generous helpings of diced tomatoes, olives, black grapes, golden raisins, iceberg lettuce, cucumber and shredded Iranian cheese ( Tabrizi). This stunning salad was delish particularly because of the golden raisins and the cheese. It was quite filling too.
Then came the grilled delight with very soft roti-like ‘nan’ bread. We had ordered a grilled chicken marinated with local herbs and seasonings. They called it the Jujeb Kofta. Absolutely delectable. I could vouch for it being the best grilled chicken I have had the opportunity to sample in a long long time ( have I said this before?). Well, the fact is, it was simply to-die-for kind of a chicken grill and the portion was too huge for both ( Amit & I) to finish. It was wise to not order a second main course.
In between, I was tempted to down a glass of mint buttermilk which was called Dugh.
Even though we were full to the point of popping out a button, we dared to ask for the dessert menu. They offered the regular set of custards, fruits, brownie with ice cream but my eyes stopped at the mention of Iranian Icecream or Bastani. It was a milk dessert served like a pudding ( thicker than a pudding but softer than an ice cream) flavoured with saffron and pistachio. Gorgeous! In my opinion, when you have a sweet tooth, you automatically make room for desserts.
Gosh! after this, I will have to go through a week of detox.
A double thumbs up for Isfahani! As a first timer, I was blown away by the explosion of the subtle taste, flavour and presentation. Also, the staff was excellent as they helped us find out way through the menu. They even took care of Mimi while we digged in. The good news it’s right behind where I live. I couldn’t ask for more!!
A meal for two came for 7 BD. More than reasonable, if you ask me.
Verdict:- Food – 4.5/5 ( I am tempted to give a 5. Really)
Ambience – 4/5
Who said, 13 was unlucky? My 13th restaurant has been reviewd… rather SLICED!!!
Majority of the people voted in the favour of using “XYZ has been Sliced” quote. Thank you all for voting!