I suppose it was fitting for Bahar, which means spring in Persian, to re-launch itself at Nowruz, the Persian New Year and beginning of the Spring Equinox. The new location is on the extreme opposite end of Jumeirah Road, just past the giant flag, in the Wasl Port Views complex. Its interior, while not nearly as oh là là as the original in Marina, is handsomely decorated (in a modest way) and split between indoor and shaded outdoor dining areas. Like before, pride of place is given to the bread tandoor (yes, Iranians also call it a tandoor). Due to the New Year, there’s a pretty Haft-Seen table (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haft-sin) set up at the entrance. I was there with fellow food adventurer and South Iranian food guru, Sheikh @mansoormadani.
Bahar is an unashamedly South Iranian restaurant. Only its famous Pistachio Soup, one or two kababs and stews are common throughout the country. The rest of their dishes are either indigenous to the South or have a Southern twist to them, like the Bamiyeh which has a hint of spice and a definite “hello there!” presence of chilli. I am told their soon to launch herb and fish stew, Ghalieh Mahi is to die for. It’s something I will be going back to try for sure. No review of an Iranian restaurant would be complete without mention of their kababs. Bahar’s Masti and Limooi were both amazing – soft, juicy and tangy. Their lamb chops and Koobideh were good too, but I found their Jujeh slightly on the dry side. And this is more because of the mangal the kababs are served on than them being overcooked. Ask for your kababs to be served with bread rather than on the mangal.
Other than Faloodeh, I can’t think of any other authentic Iranian dessert being served at an Iranian restaurant. Bahar bucks this trend by serving the best Ranginak I have had since my dear Shirazi grandmother passed away. Ranginak is a traditional dessert made from roasted flour, dates and walnuts, and it’s as delicious as it is an energy bomb! Do not leave Bahar without trying it; of course, with some chai. The majority of the staff at Bahar are Iranians. This includes Sohrab, the restaurant manager and the supervisor, Shiva who was at the original restaurant. And this makes a big difference because they understand the food and can guide non-Iranian guests through the menu. I found the service to be excellent – friendly, attentive and fast. It’s great to have Bahar back. Worth a try? Most definitely.
Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) – Food Adventurer Extraordinaire – Shamelessly Exploring the Boundaries of Gluttony
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 him on his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on email@example.com.