Sadaf is a well-established Iranian restaurant franchise with a strong local bias. It is most famous for its value for money, all you can eat buffets. This restaurant on Hessa Road is the newest of its four branches in Dubai. Surprisingly, it brings to three the number of Iranian restaurants along Hessa – Layali Kish and soon to open, Toranj being the other two. I remember complaining not long ago that there were no Iranian restaurants near us at the Ranches…and now there are three. I have already been to Layali Kish, so it was only fitting that I tried Sadaf. We ordered in for our family Friday lunch.
Until the phone was eventually handed to restaurant manager, Tony, I was struggling to communicate. Thankfully Tony speaks fluent English. Ask for him if you don’t speak Arabic; it’ll save you time and aggro. After patiently reviewing the menu with me, we finally agreed that it would be best if we ordered 2 X four-person mixed grills (the one with lamb chops) as there were six of us at home; one mixed grill would be too little so it was better to order a little more – food hardly ever goes to waste in our house of foodies.
Sadaf’s mixed grill for four consists of a skewer each of Lamb Chops, surprisingly good Koobideh, bone-in Joojeh Kabab, Masti Chicken, Masti Meat, and a partridge in a pear tree. It includes lentil soup, salad, Mast-o-Khiyar, bread, rice and two different Khoresh – Bamiyeh and Gheymeh Bademjan – talk about value for money. My sister, Pari, wanted some Fattoush so I ordered Tabbouleh – it was the only extra on our bill.
The food arrived on the dot of the promised 45 minutes, professionally packed in ready to serve plastic serving dishes. I tried a little of everything. Stand outs for me were the Koobideh which, while better than many other restaurants in Dubai, was still not in the same league as Feri Classic. The Bamiyeh was really good too. I will go back for the Bamiyeh for sure. If fact, everyone but my wife (a diehard Rivas fan) really enjoyed the food. And this surprised me because Sadaf is not high up on my list of go to Iranian restaurants; I find it too localized and mainstream. But a combination of excellent service from Tony and his team and some very decent Kababs and Khoresh have paved the way for a second order…or maybe a visit.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.