It’s always funny how people affiliate themselves with a certain part of the world without ever having visited that country themselves. Like my friend for example, keeps insisting she’s Turkish royalty because her ancestors from 7 generations ago we’re from Izmir.. probably not the best example. But point being, I’ve always had a strong connection to Iran. My mum speaks the most broken Farsi you’ll ever hear, but it’s Farsi nonetheless 🙂 so when Belgrave Restaurant, a Persian restaurant invited me down I had to snap up the opportunity.
Belgrave Restaurant is based in one of my favourite parts of London – St Johns Wood. The swanky suburbs of this little town have so much oomph it’s hard not to fall in love with it. I always felt that if I ever wanted to live in central-ish London this would be it. What I loved most about Belgrave was the owners, Amin’s passion for the Iran, the food and the experience that he wanted to give his customers. In his own words, he wanted people to come into his restaurant as if they were coming to his house for a meal with his family. The passion in his roots really pulls through the authentic food of Persia, which I haven’t experienced anywhere before in London.
The decor is so understated but everything seems so thought out – the decor and everything in the restaurant represents Iran in its finest form. The curtains, the art, even the roof of the restaurant.
I have to say, the food was so good but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge fan of Iranian food because it all seems standard. But Belgrave have really pushed the boundaries with the level of food they’re serving.
Each one of the starters was beautifully prepared, pretty to look at yet so delicious!for starters we got Dolmeh Barge (vine leaves stuffed with rice, raisins cooked in a tangy herbal pomegranate sauce), Kashk Bademjoon (pan fried aubergines with sautéed mint, walnuts and saffron yogurt) and bread with date yogurt.
For mains we ordered a twist on lamb shank – lamb neck. The lamb was smooth, fell off the bone and was well flavoured. However, it was far too fatty for my liking. I would have preferred an actual lamb shank rather than a neck piece.
The sea bass was a phenomenal piece of art – I have no other words to describe it. The sea bass was stuffed with herbs that I haven’t ever tasted before, which are sourced from northern Iran. The fish was cooked to perfection and the herbs worked so well together. The spicy rice was such a great accompaniment with the sea bass.
Lastly, we had Mirza Ghasemi – chargrilled aubergines with poached egg. Now, I’m not a huge fan of poached egg but it actually was a great combination with the aubergines.
The show of the night was definitely the Saffron Ice Cream Wafer Sandwich. The saffron ice cream was beautiful, smooth and creamy. It was probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I could stuff my face in a tub of this saffron ice cream every day if I could.
Overall it was an amazing experience. The food was beautifully prepared, it was probably one of the most authentic Persian/Iranian restaurants I’ve visited in London. The passion that the restaurant owner holds really pulls through into the food. It’s almost as if it’s prepared with love and you can taste it. We have a hearty meal for 3 people and the bill came up to around £100 which is amazing given the quality and presentation of the food. Even though this meal was sponsored, I would have been more than happy to pay for it.
The scores are in…
Food – 7 out of 10
Service – 9 out of 10
Atmosphere – 7 out of 10
Experience – 8 out of 10
Overall, giving Belgrave Restaurant a total TLH score of 8 out of 10.
Address: 1 Belgrave Gardens, London. NW8 0QY
Halal Status: All halal – alcohol is served.