Food

Food Review: Al Shayan Restaurant

Trying a new cuisine for the first time can be pretty interesting and tricky at the same time. The reason for this being that one is not sure what to expect but there is a sense of excitement as well. I was going through the same emotions when I tried food at Shayan Restaurant at Al Ghurair Rayhaan and Arjaan by Rotana. I had heard a lot of Persian cuisine and was excited to try it.

Interiors of the Restaurant
As I walked into the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the ambience and the interiors. The furniture, the lighting and the setup was excellent. It was class with a hint of elegance. There is plenty of seating available and it won’t be difficult finding a seating that suits your taste and preference.

Private seating area

I was shortly joined by other foodies before we started tasting the dishes. As we settled down at a table for four, we were welcomed with a traditional Persian drink called Doogh. Doogh is a yoghurt based salted drink which is a regular with Persian food. The drink provided a perfect start to the dinner that was to follow.

Salad Shirazi

Within a few minutes, Salad Shirazi was placed at our table along with Kashk E Bademjan. Salad Shirazi is a traditional salad mixed with cucumbers, red onions, virgin olive oil and lime juice. The salad was simple and there is isn’t much to say about it. Kashk E Bademjan is a special aged cheese curd mixed with grilled eggplant and seasoned with traditional spices.

Esfenaj Nargesi

After dealing with the salad, it was time to try a few dishes. First on was Esfenaj Nargesi (Seasoned spinach topped with sauteed onions and fried egg). I have never tried spinach and egg together and was not sure how the dish would taste however I must say that I was impressed. The spinach and egg went perfectly with each other and the dish tasted amazing. If you are one of those who don’t eat meat but are okay with eggs should try this dish.

Gheymeh Bademjan

The other dish served along with Esfenaj Nargesi was Gheymeh Bademjan (lamb stew prepared with lentils, tomatoes and fried eggplant). The good part about the dish was the balance in flavours. I did like the dish but if I were to pick between the 2 dishes served, I would choose the Spinach dish over Lamb.

The main course

We had stuffed ourselves with the delicious dishes served to us as the huge main course tray arrived. It was quite a task to get through so much food but the entire main course was so good that we did not have to worry about any leftovers. The main course consisted of Joojeh Kabab Ba Ostokhan (Skewers of marinated chicken on the bone), Kubideh Ye Joojeh (Skewers of minced chicken breast, onion and saffron), Tikke Masti (Cuts of beef tenderloin marinated with yoghurt, saffron and Persian spices) and Kabab Shishlik (lamb chops, marinated in onion, black pepper, saffron and olive oil).

My plate with a mix of everything

The main course was served with 2 types of rice: plain saffron rice and yellow coloured rice with herbs. Every item on the main course was excellent. It was difficult to choose which item was better than the other. Aside from the rice, garlic and condiments were served with the main course. The garlic has a unique flavour to it and I loved it.

Makhloot

Finally dessert arrived at the table. Makhloot is similar to Faloudeh. The taste of Faloudeh is similar to Falooda. Makhloot (Persian iced noodles and Bastani Ice cream) is the perfect ending to any dinner. Due to the addition of Bastani Ice cream, the dessert is a delight for ones with a sweet tooth. However if you are not too fond of desserts that are a bit high on the sweetness scale, you can try something else.

Sharabet Albaloo

Something that impressed me as much as the food itself was Sharabet Albaloo. Sharabet Albaloo is a sour cherry cordial drink. The cold cheery flavoured drink was refreshing and knocked out any signs of tiredness of me.

Overall my experience was a good one. The decision to try Persian food ended up not to be a good but a great one. I would surely be visiting Shayan soon to try a few more dishes, what about you?

Disclosure:

I was invited to try the food at Al Shayan Restaurant, therefore I have not provided any ratings for the restaurant. All opinions expressed are solely based on my experience and are not influenced by the restaurant or its management in any way.

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