Thursday, 16 April 2009


As the ladies fell in love with the Shakespeares, the Allan Poes, the Wildes, I’ve fallen in love with the restaurant named after a Persian poet. Not that I’m familiar with his literary works in any way shape or form. I’m more interested in the food that’s crafted in Joseph Abboud’s kitchen that tantalises the tongue in a culinary way.

Enter the moodily lit pascal green room of bare wooden table, minus the obligatory kitche “closing down” sale rugs and patterns that drape the walls of some Middle Eastern eateries. What is welcomed is the use of homely candleholders, glasses and crockery from the region for the authentic experience.

The food, designed to share, as authentic as the surrounds, is superb. Cauliflower for me up to that point was only ever eaten baked or steamed. Fried with onions, pinenuts for nutty crunch and currants for a deep fruity sweetness takes the humble yet extremely nutritious veggie to another level. There’s the creamy eggplant, smokey yet sharp with barberries and pistachios. Persian meatballs in tomato and saffron topped with labne in one word: divine. Sigara Boregi, big and cheesy cigars of pastry filled with oozing haloumi, feta and kasseri. Lamb Koresht, a Persian casserole of darkly coloured tender meat cooked with herbs and dried limes, garnished with caramelised onion.

Only one word of caution. Those with OCD avoid embarrassment, there is a standard privacy knob on the door so tame those itchy hands and do not lock it. As this writer did. Subconsciously though, I was blocking the stampede of people, who would share the food I was going to fall in love with that night. That’s my excuse anyway.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 132 Lygon St, Brunswick East, VIC
What? Small dishes $10, large dishes $18

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