Kabab Al Bustan is a locally-owned Iranian restaurant in the metro link food court of Ibn Battuta Mall. I am told Al Bustan refers to the owner’s farm which one day will provide the produce for his eateries. For now, however, Al Bustan is limited to a counter and display where a number of starters, rice and Khoresh (stews) are visible. On the recommendation of the non-Iranian supervisor I ordered their mixed grill which comprises of a Koobideh, Joojeh, Tikka Masti Chicken and Tikka Masti Meat – four skewered kababs, Mast-o Khiyar (cucumber raita) and fresh bread (you can choose from fries or rice too) for under AED50 is not a bad deal.
I did not like the Koobideh or the Khoresh Bamiyeh at all, the latter served to me in a small sampler bowl. The Joojeh was OK if a little dry but the Tikka Masti Chicken was good; not Ostadi, Al Fareej or even Caspian good, but good nonetheless. What really made me sit up and take notice, however, was the Tikka Masti Meat which, without particularly being the juiciest or the softest I have had, was well marinated and had that distinct black pepper and dried lime (limoo amani) taste associated with what in the South of Iran is known as Kabab-e Lari or in some circles, Bahraini Kabab. It was spot on the money.
Kabab Al Bustan brings to four the number of Iranian restaurants at Ibn Battuta Mall, the others being Hatam on the cinema side, Noon-O-Kabab (the franchise at which the Indian chef at Al Bustan previously worked) on the Carrefour side and my personal favourite, Zaferan, in the courtyard on garden cross road. So, what does Kabab Al Bustan offer to lure you away from the established others? Zip. Nada. Diddly (thought I was going for zilch, hey?). If you want authentic Persian-Iranian food, head straight down to Zaferan without giving a second thought to anything else. Kabab Al Bustan, good as its Tikka Masti Meat may be, is still a very distant alternative.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue.
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