Sunday, February 26, 2006

Persepolis Restaurant, Prinsep Place


Yaaayyyyy!!!!! After so many failed attempts at trying to find good Persian food in Singapore, at long last I have found it. Persepolis is located at Prinsep Place across from Paradiz Centre (46A Prinsep Street #01-01, 6238-1151). In fact, I noticed this place when passing by Trattoria Lafiandra last time, but I didn't think it would be any good given that they had pizza on the menu (i.e., oh great, another restaurant with an identity crisis). Still, I noticed that they had koobideh, so I had to come by to give it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did.

It was outstanding. I could not believe it, but it was true. The meat was tender, tasty, and done with just the right amount of burntness. The rice was bursting with a buttery flavor, and even the lemon was sliced just right, so as to provide a generous squeeze of juice. Wow. I wolfed this thing down so quickly that I ordered one more of the exact same plate afterwards, and they were very prompt in delivering it too. (Before you call me a pig, please note that these portions were literally less than half the size the dish is supposed to be.) It wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be either: just S$15 (US$8.80), so my double-duty was only S$30 (US$17.60) in total. I would have happily paid more for this rare find.

Sure, maybe I'm getting a bit too giddy here. They certainly didn't present the whole emsemble like Shabestan in Dubai, and I even had to proactively ask them to bring me some raw onions on the side (the taste is just not the same without it). Was there anything else not to like? Yeah, the salad on the plate was pretty useless - it would be much better off with a couple extra portions of rice or even some more grilled tomatoes instead. And - ugh - I found a human hair in my rice, but I just turned a blind eye to it and kept eating, as the butter flavor still fueled my appetite.

This place is very small - just four tiny tables inside plus some extra seats on the patio, the latter of which seemed to be catering more towards selling beer to people wanting to watch soccer on the big screen TV outside. There were a few Persian rugs hanging from the ceiling inside, plus a bunch of hookahs/shishas lying around on the floor as if they hadn't been used in years. In fact, there were almost no customers at the prime 7:30-8:30 PM slot on a Sunday evening, which made me worry about how long this place would stay in business. They told me that they had been in place for four years already though, so that was a bit of a relief. They don't serve lunch, unfortunately, although that's not a totally bad thing considering that I probably don't want to be effusing a raw-onion-induced dragon breath mid-day at the office.

Anyway, I was so happy to find this that I'm still having trouble wiping this huge smile off my face. I feel like a man who had been panning for gold for years without success, only to find this by sheer luck. I'm definitely coming back. I haven't tried anything else on the menu, so I don't know if anything else was any good (they had shish kebab as well as some Persian stews, and I suspect that the pizza is only on the menu to help it appeal to a broader audience, as the waitress sounded so surprised to hear that I actually knew what Persian food was). But I already know what I'm going to ask for next time: a double-order of koobideh with a side of raw onions again. My mouth is watering just writing about this.


Docile said...

I wanna go try one day! Thanks for the recommendation~~

Bruno GILLET said...

why don't you try Ferdosi on 34 Arab street, Genuine Iranian Chef, very affordable price and tasty yummy food...

combover said...

I thought the place was underwhelming. If this place is truly authentic and that's as good as Persian food gets then count me out. I ordered shaslick, which was tender but bland, and served with the same buttery rice. Honestly, if I want grilled meats I'm going North Indian next time.

The service on both occasions (I had an average pizza and salad on the previous) was also possibly the slowest I've come across in Singapore.