Iran Zamin is one of Dubai’s better Persian-Iranian restaurants. There are two branches, the recently renovated original in Dubai Marina, and this one in Downtown Dubai…which is the one you want to come to as it is, without doubt, the better of the two. Located on the ground floor of Boulevard Central Building 2 on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Iran Zamin is split into two sections, one (on the left as you enter) a dedicated shisha café and the other (on the right) the actual restaurant. Kudos to them for keeping the two apart; the alternative being a nightmare like Golestan in Garhoud where the dining buffet is located in the shisha lounge.
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with a tall ceiling giving it a sense of space and occasion. There’s small buffet at the entrance, opposite which there is a see-through display of their lavash flat-bread oven. And on the extreme end, a small live entertainment stage which promises and teases but doesn’t deliver. Live music is reserved for their Marina branch only for now.
Iran Zamin’s menu is extensive and covers something for everyone. Mind you, it’s the only Iranian menu I have come across with specifically has a vegetarian section, comically labelled “vegetables” rather than vegetarian. But hey, at least they tried. Like many Middle Eastern restaurants, Iran Zamin also offers a dish-of-the-day, which alternates throughout the week. On this visit, their dish-of-the-day was one of my favourites, Loobyâ Polow, a rice cooked with green beans, and diced lamb. It gets its beautiful autumn colours from the tomato puree and advieh (spices) which are stirred in just as it is set to simmer. A very popular dish in Iran, Loobyâ Polow is best enjoyed with a little yoghurt or Shirazi salad on the side. In addition to several awesome rice dishes, Iran Zamin also has a decent selection of khoresh (stews) in their daily section.
Like all self-respecting Iranian restaurants, the heart and soul of Iran Zamin is reflected in their kababs. And here Iran Zamin really excels, offering a range of kababs matched by few others in Dubai. For a flavour of the South try their Lari and/or Masti kababs, both of which are marinated in soured yoghurt. Their lamb chops, known as Kabab-e Barreh, are excellent and easily on par with Shishlik masters, Shandiz. Their Koobideh is good but not as good as my favourite, Feri Kasif (now called Feri Classic). I recently tried, and thoroughly enjoyed their perfectly charcoal-grilled, fleshy King Fish kabab…with nothing more than a dash of lime.
But what my friends, family and I keep going back to Iran Zamin for is their Dizi or Ābgoosht, an ancient Persian mutton soup which is still slow-cooked in traditional stone crocks. Although Iran Zamin’s Dizi lacks one very important ingredient, Limoo Amani (dried lime) it’s still better than everyone except Abshar’s (which remains my favourite). Iran Zamin has two versions of Dizi, try the Dizi ba Mahiche (Dizi with lamb shank).
Service at Iran Zamin is very good, the staff well-trained, knowledgeable and respectful. So, if you’re looking for an authentic Iranian meal (including breakfast, which is served every day including on Fridays), or simply for something in-between (shisha lounging), Iran Zamin is one of the better propositions in Dubai and well worth a visit.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.