Baran (which means rain in Persian) is a Persian-Iranian restaurant, café and shisha lounge in the Park Inn By Radisson on Al Maktoum Road, Baniyas. Having eaten there twice now I am surprised that it is the shisha lounge which Baran is famous for, not the food, because the food is excellent and easily among the best of its kind in Dubai. Open till 04:00 I can understand why Baran is THE Iranian hang-out in Deira, in addition to good shisha it also attracts a colourful assortment of…um, ladies of the night.
Baran’s menu is cluttered with confusing non-Iranian items like buffalo wings and calamari. Forget them. If you are new to Iranian cuisine look for Naseem or one of the other English-speaking supervisors who will help you order. Otherwise, to start I recommend you try their Mirza Ghasemi, a smoky-garlicky tasting tomato and eggplant dish which is both rustic and unique. It’s also one of a number of dishes which is 100% vegetarian.
Don’t be boring and order kabab; you can get that anywhere. Instead, try some of Baran’s amazing Khoresh (stews). Their Khoresh Gheimeh is exceptional, Gheimeh Bâdenjân more so; the eggplant fried perfectly. I’ve also tried their Sabzi Polo Mahi, which uses King Fish rather than Hamour (the original uses the Caspian Kutum or Caspian white fish, a delicious but bony nightmare, indigenous to the Caspian Sea).
If you haven’t yet had Iranian Koofteh you can try Baran’s jumbo Koofteh Tabrizi, also known as Tabriz Köftesi – basically a giant meatball, it’s usually stuffed with dried plums, walnuts and even sometimes a boiled egg. For the brave and adventurous there’s Kaleh Pacheh or (literally translated) “head and hoof soup”, the Persian version of Paya, Patcha or Trotters. Baran serves theirs till the early hours of the morning. Believe me, there are few things which’ll balance you after a night of heavy drinking like a bowl of Kaleh Pacheh.
Service at Baran is friendly and accommodating whatever time you visit. And now for the part which will probably get me into trouble with the owners of the restaurant: although the food at Baran is among the very best Iranian food served in Dubai, I would not be prepared to take my family there for a meal – the ambience is too shady. That said, I am more than happy to visit Baran with my male friends; for breakfast, lunch or even as part of our monthly boys night out.
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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. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.