Restaurants & Bars 23

Mohsen, Kensington/Chelsea, London

limster | Mar 17, 200802:57 PM

There's already been much said about Mohsen's delicious abgoosht, a Persian soup/stew of lamb, beans and other good things; it's their Sunday special (they have a special for each day of the week).

The best part of this dish is the soup -- after long cooking, the ingredients are separated from the liquid, which is served as soup, and in it, the essences of meat and vegetables are rich, oily and immensely deep.

With abgoosht, after the meat and beans etc. are taken out of the soup, the meat is deboned, and then typically mashed with the beans to form a paste, thus allowing the mushy softness to contrast the slightly firmer threads of tender meat. (Think of it as falooda in a savoury way.) Mohsen's approach is different in this regard. The supple meat is deboned and set aside, and the beans and other ingredients are mashed. The meat is excellent, great flavour, tender, but I found the mashed beans to be only good not great. Will have to order this with herbs and torshi (pickles) next time.

The thin sesame pita that they serve is outstanding - crisp, aromatic.

Their doogh is one of the most rich, tangy yogurty versions I've come across. There wasn't much of the carbonated water beneath that and no trace of dried mint or other herbs. This version is good, but bears a stronger semblance to a basic lassi.

Falooda is ok, good threads of vermicelli in this rose flavoured granita. I love the fresh squeeze of lemon, but the rose flavour could have been more pronounced.

Heartwarming Persian tea, flavoured with cardamom; best taken sweet. I like to have mine with a cube of sugar under the tongue, allowing the tea to dissolve the sugar as I drink it.

From the next table, the aroma of dill from the lamb with rice flavoured with dill and beans was intoxicating. Given the Persian devotion to rice, will have to try that soon, as well as their "regular" rice. Perhaps in time I will qualify for some tah-dig (crispy rice from the bottom of the pot, typically reserved for honoured guests).

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