So, Alounak. This is an old time favourite.
Alounak serves quite simple but good quality Iranian food. For its easy location, reasonable-ish price and quality this is definitely worth a try.
There are a couple of branches but the Westbourne Grove (Bayswater) location is the best. It gets quite busy and you may have to wait a while during busy hours but it’s worth it.
For starters, especially if you are in a group, select the assorted starters, with fresh bread this is a nice way to start off your dinner. A selection of aubergine appetisers (Kaskhe Bademjan), minty yoghurt (Mast-O-Khiyar), potato salad(Salad Olivieh), hoummus etc.
Standard, the Chelo-Kabab Koobedeh is great. The chicken is always so tender and never over cooked. Chelo-Kabab Makhsoos is basically like a kofte kebab and Chelo-Kabab Barg is a marinated lamb variation. These are classics that you really can’t go wrong with.
The rice is pretty standard, but a tip for you all whichever Iranian/Persian restaurant you go to, grab a bit of butter and melt some in the rice. Some also like to sprinkle the red/pink stuff (summak) over the rice too.
Other dishes here such as the Chelo Khoresh Bamieh (Okra/Lady fingers) is quite good too, the meat is of high quality with little fat on it.
As usual, do order some tea after your meal. The tea will complete your meal.
If you want to pop here for a brunch, I’d recommend the Panner Sabzi (basically salad, cheese and nuts) with a pot of tea and fresh bread. Bon apetite!
Sheikhy on the other hand cuts straight to the meat, as shown in the mixed grill below. I liked the selection of fresh fruit juices which were reasonably priced. Overall a good mixed grill, I wouldn’t have expected less with all the hype this place has received. Though there was nothing wrong with it, the lamb fillet and chicken from Tandis is the gold standard.
Review by Salt&Sheikhy