@farsi_restaurant_dubai is one of the better all-round Iranian restaurants in Dubai. This new branch in Al Ghurair is their third, the others being in JLT and Business Bay. Dining is split between a still usable outdoor area (next door to @dintaifungae) and an expansive, tastefully decorated indoor area complete with a decent sized private dining room. True to the original in JLT, a row of shiny new stainless-steel chaffing dishes promise buffet when Covid regulations allow. I was at Farsi with an all-Iranian group of foodies bar one, an Emirati of Iranian lineage.
Wanting to sample as much variety as possible, we ordered a mixed grill which included Koobideh, Tikka Maasti (meat) and Jujeh Kabab. To this we added Kabab-e Torsh (=sour), an exotic lamb kabab which gets its tart and tanginess from the pomegranate-walnut paste its marinated in. Originally from the Caspian provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, kabab-e torsh is one of the kababs which Farsi does particularly well. The last of the kababs we ordered was a fancy-pansy (and quite excellent, I might add) Fillet-Roll (self-explanatory). Wanting to sample their khoresh (= stew) we ordered two of their daily dishes, Ghalieh Mahi (a spicy tamarind, fish and herb stew) and Khoresh Bademjan, a lamb stew with aubergines and tomatoes. And of course, some Doogh, the Iranian version of Ayran or Lassi, to wash it all down with.
All the kababs were good. As expected, the kabab-e torsh exceptionally so (although the chef was a little heavy handed with the golpar – Persian hog-weed). I was pleasantly surprised by the boneless jujeh which was cotton tender and juicy… very similar to my favourite at @sofreh.dubai. I find most Iranian restaurants in Dubai struggle to get jujeh right; they mostly overcook and serve their kabab dry – not at Farsi; it must be the legacy of the great Ali Reza Bigdeli who left them to start Sofreh in Cluster X, JLT. The koobideh was decent if not in the same league as @khooryspecialkebab or even @toranjdubai. I enjoyed the khoresh bademjan (a lot) but not the ghalieh mahi, which our entire group felt was not spicy or tamarind-tangy enough. And this is surprising because, Bijan, the restaurant manager at Farsi, is from Shiraz and should have spotted its lack of oomph.
I put these niggling issues down to the fact that Farsi Al Ghurair is only ten days old. The brand has pedigree, and I am certain they will address these things (as well as the shockingly inconsistent service) as this new branch finds its feet. The important thing is that they’re finally open and should now fill the gap left by Shayan at the Swissotel (on the other side of the mall). But it will by no means have the segment to itself. Unless you are at the mall, there are other two mega stars to consider when deciding on which Iranian restaurant to go to in Deira, one new and one old. Namely, the venerable @shabestan.dubai (old) and @candorestaurantdubai (new). I have made no secret of which is my favourite…
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Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) 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 his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on email@example.com.