Situated on Hagley Road, Shiraz has a heck of a lot going for it. Good Persian/Iranian food, at keen prices, with a neighbourhood clientele supplemented by folk like me, staying in one of the several hotels which are on the road. Even though I had booked, it was packed early evening and I had to wait some ten minutes for a table to come free. It remained packed throughout the time I was there.
I went with the “mixed starter”, assuming correctly this would be a decent mezze for one. Well, it was a decent mezze for a very greedy one and would easily have fed two. There was a good houmous. And a mashed aubergine dish – similar in texture to the Lebanese moutabel but without the smoky flavour you get there. There was also yoghurt, lightly flavoured with shallot. These were pretty much generic middle eastern dips – none the worse for that, though. Yoghurt also appeared mixed with wilted spinach in the Persian dish of borani. The final dish was also specifically Persian – salad oliveh is a mix of potato, mayo, egg, gherkin and peas. It’s quite a solid affair which contrasted well with the dippy things. I ate this with the recommended nan – a large thin crispy bread, similar to a tandoori roti. And an order of torsi – mixed pickles, very vinegary with a chilli kick – the vegetables a little too soft for my taste.
The menu had a range of stews but, while I was waiting, I could see most tables were getting stuck into kebabs of one form or another. So, I thought, that’ll do for me. Two very generously sized koobideh lamb kebabs – the minced meat had been shaped round a skewer prior to grilling. Meat was well flavoured and still very moist. I liked this a lot. Alongside, a grilled tomato and some perfectly steamed rice, very lightly flavoured with saffron – more for colour than flavour I suspect.
It’s not an issue for me, but those who drink alcohol should note that Shiraz does not sell nor does it permit “bring your own”.
Really enjoyed this solo dinner.