Exciting new Persian restaurant arrives in Enfield Town

Neil Littman goes for dinner at one of the borough’s newest restaurants

Chelo kabab bakhtiair
Chelo kabab bakhtiair

Following my comments last month about closures in the hospitality industry, I am pleased to report some new openings (and reopenings) in Enfield which I hope to try soon.

The new venues include two Italian restaurants in Cockfosters, L’Arte and Pepos, plus Genesis in Palmers Green, which recently reopened after closing during the pandemic and is, as far as I know, the only vegan restaurant in the borough. Reopenings include an enlarged Cannons Fish Restaurant in Southgate Green, which moved to the site of the former Café Rouge, while the long-established Buckle and Vaughan in Winchmore Hill has now reopened under the new name Carlos at B&V.

Added to these is the brand new Iranian restaurant Anahita, in Enfield Town, which I discovered thanks to a post on social media and decided to visit in January with one of my regular dining companions.

Located in London Road, we visited one very cold Wednesday evening and so were hardly surprised to be the only diners in the restaurant. The stylish dining area is modern and bright with on-trend banquettes along one side.

I have eaten Iranian or Persian food before, but not locally. We were just given food menus and told they were still waiting for an alcohol licence, so we ordered a large carafe of doogh, the quintessential accompaniment to Persian meals which is made with yoghurt, herbs and water.

To start, we ordered mirza ghasemi, a vegetarian dip served warm, made from aubergine and tomato, accompanied by homemade bread which they called naan on the menu but was probably sangak (thanks to Google) which is baked on a grill and is thin, crisp and covered in seeds. I also ordered vegetable samosas.

Our mains were chelo kabab bakhtiair, which is grilled whole baby chicken marinated in saffron and lemon juice; and chelo kabab torsh, which is charcoal-grilled lamb fillet marinaded in sour pomegranate sauce with saffron and lemon. Both were served with a huge pile of layered rice with saffron and a salad with a fried rice cake on the side – a generous but unnecessary addition given that the portions were so large!

However, the samosas had not arrived when the mains arrived, so I asked for them again hoping I could take them away if I didn’t finish them. My friend said he thought they might not want to go to the trouble of making them on such a quiet evening and I think he was correct, as finally two portions arrived including a free one to takeaway. But they were made from scratch and tasted of fresh herbs – the star dish of the meal!

My ‘whole baby chicken’ arrived deconstructed as separate pieces, including at least four wings. I didn’t say anything at the time as the chicken tasted very good, but it was not what I was expecting. Aside from that, the food was well cooked and presented, especially the flavours of the chicken and lamb, and we were too full to order desserts.

The service was friendly and welcoming while the menu offers a good selection of vegetarian dishes. Our bill came to £57 including drinks and 12% service charge. A second visit is on the cards!

Anahita Persian Restaurant can be found at 26 London Road, Enfield EN2 6ED. It’s open every day from 12pm until 11.30pm. To book:
Call 07947 620 067
Visit anahitapersiangrill.co.uk

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