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Iranian Cuisine


Sam Salmon
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If you go to Ambleside Park tonight you can join in the Persian New Year festivities including bonfire jumping.  I understand there will be lots of traditional food too. Click here for link

Barolo

Thanks for the heads up - my brother and I checked it out and it was alot of fun. People were jumping over little bonfires that had been built on ambleside park. Ate alot of shiskebabs - very good in a festive fair kind of way.

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  • 1 month later...
There's also Arian in West Van that just made the news because of the new "anti-restaurant smell" bylaw: CBC on West Van Bylaw

Went to Arian for a late night snack. My brother had beef stew with tomatoes and eggplant and I had a stewed lamb shank. Both orders came with really fragrant Basmati rice (mine green) and the portions for the stews were huge (portions for kebobs seemed more reasonable). All this for about $17, tax and two pops included.

T'was very good and it was a really inexpensive way to introduce myself to Iranian food. An Iranian woman customer seemed surprised to see two nice Chinese fellows in the place and asked if we like the Iranian food - and well - we did.

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There's also Arian in West Van that just made the news because of the new "anti-restaurant smell" bylaw: CBC on West Van Bylaw

Went to Arian for a late night snack. My brother had beef stew with tomatoes and eggplant and I had a stewed lamb shank. Both orders came with really fragrant Basmati rice (mine green) and the portions for the stews were huge (portions for kebobs seemed more reasonable). All this for about $17, tax and two pops included.

T'was very good and it was a really inexpensive way to introduce myself to Iranian food. An Iranian woman customer seemed surprised to see two nice Chinese fellows in the place and asked if we like the Iranian food - and well - we did.

Been to Arian's with my wife and baby boy.

Got a couple of stares from both the ladies behind the counter and

a few customers. (we are both chinese) :cool:

The portions are indeed huge (more rice than shanks) and it was

food court style self serve. Will go again. :biggrin:

Edited by owzer (log)
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Here on the North Shore there is all sorts of Persian food. For a quick, very cheap introduction to Persian cuisine you might want to try the Kebab place in West Vancouver on Marine near 14th. This is the place that generated the anti-smell by-law that's been in the news lately. It's cheap, it's fast, and the number of Persians who frequent it (many taking home big containers of food) suggests it's authentic. But fancy it ain't.

I have it on authority from some Persian neighbors that the best Persian food in the city is to be had at the (wait for it) Pink Elephant. This place is just west of Lonsdale on, I think, 3rd. I haven't been.

In general I find Persian food a bit bland, but my neighbors brought a rice dish to our annual block Christmas party last year that was very good. And in the fall my wife opened our door to find a Persian woman who was excited by the quince tree we have on our front yard. She wondered if she could pick one. My wife said pick them all, which she did, then invited us to her place to try the jams and jellies she made from the fruit. Pretty durn good.

Paul B

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My wife is Persian so I get LOTS of good Persian chow. My fav Persian place is Kash Cool in North Van. I've also heard that the Pink Elephant is very good but haven't been yet. There's also a great take out place on Lonsdale called Yaas Bazaar. It's pretty cheap and damn tasty!

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  • 1 month later...

I recently tried the Yaas Bazaar Deli on Lonsdale. It is a persian market that has a small counter serving hot meals with perhaps 10 or 15 tables. The lamb was grilled to perfection, and accompanied by a grilled tomato, persian rice, and as much bread as you would like (served in little plastic bags that you just grab a handfull of at the cashier). The place was packed, and appears quite popular among the persian community of North Van. Definitely worth checking out.

The accompanying market had a nice selection of dried dates, nuts, etc. as well as persian grocery items.

Cheers!

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In general I find Persian food a bit bland, but my neighbors brought a rice dish to our annual block Christmas party last year that was very good.  And in the fall my wife opened our door to find a Persian woman who was excited by the quince tree we have on our front yard.  She wondered if she could pick one.  My wife said pick them all, which she did, then invited us to her place to try the jams and jellies she made from the fruit.  Pretty durn good.

Funny, that quince tree. My mom's got one that produces a crap-load of quince every summer. To eat the fruit (pear-like) is brutal, but she makes a damn good marmalade from it that feeds the family for months on end. Apparently a popular tradition in northern Portugal where my folks are from....

MMmMMmm.... maaaaarmalade.....

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In general I find Persian food a bit bland, but my neighbors brought a rice dish to our annual block Christmas party last year that was very good.  And in the fall my wife opened our door to find a Persian woman who was excited by the quince tree we have on our front yard.  She wondered if she could pick one.  My wife said pick them all, which she did, then invited us to her place to try the jams and jellies she made from the fruit.  Pretty durn good.

Funny, that quince tree. My mom's got one that produces a crap-load of quince every summer. To eat the fruit (pear-like) is brutal, but she makes a damn good marmalade from it that feeds the family for months on end. Apparently a popular tradition in northern Portugal where my folks are from....

MMmMMmm.... maaaaarmalade.....

A bit off topic from Persian food, but yes, quince is pretty much impossible to eat raw, but can be made into a good marmalade or jelly. When we lived in Ireland you could get it in certain shops but it was so solid that the store keepers cut it with a cheese slicer. Odd, but tasty. My wife's own attempts to make quince jam have not been, uh, overwhelmingly successful so now we're happy to let our Persian friends pick the fruit.

Paul B

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  • 9 months later...

So I'm out in Coquitlam last Wednesday (a common occurrence as I'm usually on my way to see my kids in Pitt Meadows) and I happened upon a new(ish) Persian place called "Arian Persian Cuisine". Yup ... Arian. :blink:

Anywhoo ... not feeling like visiting the Pho Hoa next door, I ventured in for a late lunch. Pretty much a cafeteria style joint with long rows of chafing dishes filled with allsorts of Persian delights with very un-Persian names: "Eggplant Stew", "Lentils & Rice", "Chicken Kebabs" ... you get the idea. A very helpful staff member walked me through each of the dishes. She seemed quite proud of what they were offering ... usually a good sign.

Here's what I had for lunch:

gallery_16561_287_31760.jpgEggplant, Tomoto & Beef Stew

gallery_16561_287_47212.jpgCrunchy Basmati Rice

gallery_16561_287_28695.jpgFizzy Yoghurt Drink

WARNING: If someone offers you a bottle of this stuff, RUN! OMG! I consider myself to have a pretty tolerant palate. This stuff tasted less of yoghurt, and more of that fluoride crap you have to rince in your mouth for a minute or so at the dentist! I did manage to trade a bit of this for a spoonful of saffron ice cream with pistacios from the neighbouring table. Best thing I ate that meal.

Lunch came to $8.50. Not bad, but not anything I'd rush back for.

Well, maybe the ice cream.

A.

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WARNING:  If someone offers you a bottle of this stuff, RUN!  OMG!  I consider myself to have a pretty tolerant palate.  This stuff tasted less of yoghurt, and more of that fluoride crap you have to rince in your mouth for a minute or so at the dentist!

we ate at a similar place on West 4th...i think it had the same name too. probably a chain. anyways, we tried this "yoghurt" drink but we were expecting sweet yoghurt, not SALTY yoghurt! ugggghhh, we could only drink 1/4 of the bottle. bleaaach! on the other hand, the food was quite nice. we had the ground meat kabobs. we liked how they cooked the kabobs to order. the saffron rice was a nice touch too, although i think most of it is food colouring with a hint of saffron :wink:

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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anyways, we tried this "yoghurt" drink but we were expecting sweet yoghurt, not SALTY yoghurt! ugggghhh, we could only drink 1/4 of the bottle. bleaaach! :

i have no interest in defending this restaurant at all. but again, just because you expect sweet when you think 'yoghurt drink' says more about you and your expectations, and relative lack of exposure to a region's cuisine than the relative merits or quality of the product or the establishment.

it is kinda like people who don't like raisins in rice because it is 'weird' to them.

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

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i have no interest in defending this restaurant at all. but again, just because you expect sweet when you think 'yoghurt drink' says more about you and your expectations, and relative lack of exposure to a region's cuisine than the relative merits or quality of the product or the establishment. 

touché! i don't disagree with you in the least :raz:

it is kinda like people who don't like raisins in rice because it is 'weird' to them.

i'm open to anything, and i don't reject trying anything based on concept alone. but if i taste something and don't like it...it's certainly fair to say so, right? but as always, ymmv

the drink was carbonated AND salty...plus watery in consistency. furthest thing from mango lassi and YOP that i can think of. the product is actually produced locally, which i thought was strange because the girl at the counter said that it's from Persia. i really tried to enjoy it with my meal...but it was way beyond "palate cleansing".

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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I also visited the Arian restaurant on west 4th with a friend of mine who is Iranian. The people behind the counter were very nice and happy to introduce me to their cuisine (though I have been a big fan of Persian food for years - particularly chicken with barberries). We happened to be at the restaurant the day the Persian new year celebrations were occuring and while the Arian restaurant on the north shore was lined up out the door, we were one of only a handful of tables occupied.

When I asked my buddy about the difference between the Persian restaurants on the north shore and Arian on west 4th, he mentioned that the one on west 4th was more non-Persian friendly in terms of the fact that the food was displayed on a hot table so people could see something that appealed to them/were curious about and ask questions. We both thought that the food was good and was incredibly reasonable - I had my chicken with barberries, he had a beef stew dish (that I can't remember the name of) and we split an amazing eggplant spread. The Georgia Straight wrote a review a couple of months ago:

http://www.straight.com/content.cfm?id=15663

As for the salty, fizzy yogurt, if you have it enough times, you can grow to like it.

Cheers,

T

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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I really want to head over the North Shore to try Kashcool one of these days. When I was in Toronto a few months ago, a friend took me to an amazing restaurant (Shomal, or North as they call themselves in English), serving cuisine from the Northern area of Persia. The food was incredible, especially a dish called Kebab Torsh (menu is at the linky above - good reading if you want to check out some Persian dishes). Anyway, upon my return I decided I had to find a place that served something similar in town, and a Persian coworker suggested Kashcool. He said it was one of his family's favourites, and he also pointed out a bizarre trend in Persian restaurants - he said many of them were very short-lived - they'll open, be really awesome for a year or two, then go downhill. He listed off quite a few places he had loved that went downhill and eventually closed. Weird.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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Its funny... doogh is absolutely gross IMO in Vancouver... that fizzy concoction is nothing like the doogh in Iran. In Iran, it is sold alongside milk.... most people drink doogh instead of milk there. It is freshly made and NOT carbonated. Its basically just a salty (less so than this one) yogurt drink.

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interesting...

when we had it on W. 4th, the girl there said to shake up our bottle to get it all mixed up, but because it's carbonated we have to wait a few minutes for it to settle before opening, or else it would spray everywhere.

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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This topic brings up some interesting memories.

I went to Persian/Iranian restaurant in NVan quite a few years ago (7-8 years) in upper Lonsdale area. Somewhere near that Portuguese chicken place of which the name totally escapes me at the moment ... anyways, it was near there.

The food was alright, not bad. The rice was nicely buttered (is that a typical middle eastern or Iranian way of serving rice?) and i'm a sucker for butter on anything. The rest of the food wasn't as memorable but it was an interesting experience. Maybe it helped that we went with my wife's friend's boyfriend who was Iranian. Once you get talking Farsi with the owners they love you. Can't hurt.

The one thing that I did learn and won't forget is that it's not right to say "I-ran-ian" because some will take offense and ask "Where did you run to?" It's more like "Ierrrrr-ranian".

I also second the Afghan Horseman for at least one kick at the can. It's exactly like the other poster described as a big kid's Chuck E Cheese in many ways, so to speak. I remembered that I didn't like their eggplant (rancid tasting) but their potato flat-fries were delicious.

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Here are my thoughts, with the old qualifier "I don't know much about this kind of food, I just know what I like." I tried Zagros on Davie only once, (several months ago) and didn't find the food all that interesting to me. For some reason, I guessed that it didn't appeal to me because of the general flavours of the Persian cuisine, and not because of individual restaurant's abilities. On their window it says something like, "If you like Greek food, you'll love Persian." While it wasn't bad, and it was certainly interesting to try something I hadn't had before, I'd have to say I'd much rather have a standard Greek meal than what I had at Zagros (sorry, can't remember the exact dishes, but we tried several). And I'd rather have an Afghan Horsemen meal than Greek. I went my first time a few months ago, and was actually pretty impressed. Flavours seemed bright to me (I remember even the salad and salad dressing, though similar to a Greek salad, seemed noteable to me). Of course, all this means very little, as it's completely a matter of personal preference (for example, if I had to rank Asian cuisines, at the moment, I'd put Japanese and Chinese at the top, followed by Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, and at the bottom Korean).

Nancy

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I haven't had a chance to go yet but I've heard Shalizar in West Van is very good.

http://www.dinehere.ca/restaurant.asp?r=2156

I have been to KashCool and Zagros recently. KashCool was outstanding as always. Try their chicken (Joojeh) kabob. Zagros is not recommended.

Shalizar is, bizarrely, about 100 meters from my house but I still haven't been there. Some neighbors went when it first opened and said that the food was okay but the service totally disorganized. But yesterday I was out with a friend who said he ate there recently and really liked it: good food and fine service (but no wine list to speak of). He said he'd go back. I guess I really should make the trip.

Edited by Paul B (log)

Paul B

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I was so disapointed!!! ..where did all the Persian markets go??? I have not been to North Vancouver in a couple of years but there used to be several there and now they are not?

I ended up just having lunch at Yas ..sadly could not make time for a dinner at KashCool but we are going again in July

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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