Gilak at Holloway Rd (near Archway tube station) prides itself at serving Gilaki cuisine from the northern Gilan province of Iran. We started off with crisp papery flatbread, used to wrap walnuts, smoked fish and some rather raw-tasting broadbeans. Interesting amuse geule.
From there, we proceeded immediately to the mains:
- Chellow Kabab Torsh, which were some very tender lamb fillets, marinated in a walnut, sour pomegranate sauce & grilled. It's quite strong-tasting & salty, but went well with the steamed rice & grilled tomatoes;
- Koresht Fesenjan, chicken stewed in a walnut/onion/sour pomegranate sauce till the chicken was fall-off-bone tender and the sauce dark;
- Zereshk Polow Ba Morgh - recommended by the owner/restaurant manager - fragrant steamed buttery saffron rice, topped with chopped pistachios and almonds, accompanied by a piece of tender braised saffron-tinted quarter of a chicken & a small bowl of tomato-based sauce. Very tasty;
- Mahi Polow - marinated fried seabass, served with rice, and a wedge of lime on the side.
I quite liked the strong vinegary Sir Torshi (pickled garlic), which served to undercut the richness of the meaty meal. Portions were also quite generous, so the 4 of us shared 2 desserts at the end;
- Bastani, a saffron ice-cream topped with chopped pistacios; and
- Reshte Khoshkar, a crisp, deep-fried spring roll-like pastry with sugared walnut & cinnamon filling.
663 Holloway Rd, Islington, England N19 5SE, United Kingdom