Where would you take your friends to show off your culture’s cuisine? That’s what spurred us to go to AliQapu in Doncaster – our friend after our various outings to Malaysian and Vietnamese eateries, was keen to show us the best of Persian food. I must say I liked the whole experience because she did all the ordering (save us mulling over such things) and explained each dish and how best to enjoy them. We even had live music!
I had actually been to AliQapu before but this experience was much richer because of the running commentary on the food! That and good company of course.
We started off with the Persian dips ($15) – I’m glad their website is actually quite informative. The three accompanying dips included Mast-O-Khiar which is yoghurt with cucumber, Salad Oliveh (chicken, egg, gherkin, potato – we all liked this one a lot) and Mirza Ghasemi (grilled eggplant – another winner).
If you like the eggplant in the dips – try the Kashk-e Bademjan – eggplant again but this time served with sauce and topped with chopped walnuts. A winning combination.
One thing I’ll say is that my memory wanes after these two dishes probably because they’re so filling! Keep this in mind when ordering here.
Our mains included the lamb shank (again served with rice) – cooked until the meat is flaking off the bone, just the way I like it at home too (this dish was a bit on the dry side for me – I like my shanks drenched in sauce instead of served separately).
We also tried their Khoresht-e gheymeh – their description states it is colourful and oh boy do they mean it. Bright red with split peas, diced lamb and topped with… fries! Colourful in many ways so it seems and went well with rice.
(Can you see why us four girls were quite full after all this?)
The mixed kebab platter is a good choice and comes with these lovely gooey centered grilled tomatoes.
If you want a satisfying finish to your meal, Persian tea is the way to go. We tried these sweets to go with the tea but I’d give it a miss – they were like fried balls of sugar.
So AliQapu is my friend’s pick for Persian food – and mine too for that matter. After stuffing ourselves so full I think next time we better show some inkling of restraint. I also need to think about which restaurant would best represent Chinese food in the suburbs (it’s tough isn’t it…)