Going out to eat is not exactly what I’d call a regular recurrence. Most people love going out to eat every other day or every weekend or whatever, but I am most certainly not that type of person. I think just going someplace to eat is actually… a really boring thing to do. Unless there’s something fun and interesting going on. Like maybe the restaurant being a hub of a foreign culture.
That was probably one of the main reason why I was actually kind of excited to check this place out. Persian restaurant? Persian food? I was very curious about how it was going to be.
It didn’t really look that great from the outside. In fact, I was a little surprised. Instead of a restaurant, it was starting to look like a fast food restaurant, maybe an Arab gyro place, if the place was open at all. Even when walking inside, I was very dubious about it.
Cool alright, so the restaurant was in the basement. Probably the first time I’ve seen a restaurant situated in a basement.
It wasn’t exactly the brightest place to be in, but it was definitely a fairly sober place with Persian music playing and lots of character and aesthetic in the entire place. The owner of the place explained that this restaurant has been here like this for 30 years and it honestly felt like maybe we really had walked into history. The quiet music coupled with no windows to see the outside world in made the restaurant feel like it was a world of
I’ve never been to a restaurant like that before.
The walls were pretty much covered with paintings and other displays, all of them were from thirty years ago when the restaurant opened.
While we were waiting for the food, the owner of the restaurant came and explained about their concepts regarding Haft-seen.
Haft-seen is basically a table that they set in Iran during their new year. The table has several things, all of which begin with the letter ‘seen’. Every household has one and the restaurant had one too.
The Haft-seen has things like sabzi (vegetation/vegetable), senjed (a Persian fruit), sirkah (vinegar), saib (apple), seer (garlic) and two other things I didn’t really manage to catch. Basically: seven seens at the Haft-seen table. Each of these ‘seens’ symbolize something, like the saib symbolizes health (unsurprisingly… and apple a day keeps the doctor away in several cultures it seems) and the sirkah symbolizes immortality.
Okay, now on to the food. We started out with some soup which was barley soup and it tasted pretty good. Appetizers came next which was… honestly, I don’t even know, it was a lot of stuff like spinach and channay and… it was all really good.
It definitely tasted foreign and was not ‘desified’ in any sort of way, which was great because other foods, especially Chinese food, is often adapted to appeal to Pakistani taste. That was not the case here at all and it made the whole experience more interesting.
If you ever decide you want to try out something new in Islamabad, this restaurant would definitely be a great place to add on your list and visit. Thanks for reading!