Sofreh is a newly opened Iranian restaurant in Cluster X, JLT. I’m not sure what the logic of opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic of biblical proportions is, but the promise of succulent Iranians kababs meant we had to give it a try – of course, home delivery only. First things first, if you live in Arabian Ranches and try to order with Zomato, it’ll say they don’t deliver to your location – poppycock. Call the restaurant directly – they deliver just about everywhere.
Our litmus test for Iranian kababs are Koobideh and Jūjeh – we ordered both. We also ordered Mirza-Ghasemi and Kashk-e-Bademjan, both eggplant based sides which I always recommend to vegetarians to have as a main. Last but not least, we ordered Āsh-e Reshteh, a thick herb and noodle soup which is hugely popular throughout Iran. It is also suitable to vegetarians. Our took our order an hour and a half to get to us, double the time the restaurant said it would – just saying.
I’ll start with what was good. The Mirza-Ghasemi and Kashk-e-Bademjan were brilliant, especially the Mirza-Ghasemi which had that smoky taste so many restaurants struggle to get right. The boneless, white meat Jūjeh was excellent too and one of the first I have had in Dubai which was properly cooked and still juicy. Savoy Grill was the only other restaurant which did Jūjeh right….till now. The Koobideh was good, not great – certainly not in the same league as our favourite, Feri Classic. Also noteworthy was the quality of their rice. And that leaves the Āsh, the less said, the better – ugh. I wouldn’t order it again.
Sofreh is a welcome addition to the Iranian culinary scene in Dubai. Timing aside, it’s up against some well-established competition in the area, not least a totally rejuvenated Farsi in Cluster R, Bahar and Feri Classic across SZR in Marina and Zaferan in Ibn Battuta Mall. And then, if it’s home delivery you’re looking for (not like we have much of a choice there), there’s my wife’s favourite – Rivas. Is Sofreh better than any of these? It’s Jūjeh and Mirza-Ghasemi were, yes. But unless that’s all you’re having, I would give the others careful consideration before ordering. I give Sofreh a Ravenous Rating of 3.5/5.0 – worth a try.
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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.