Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shiraz Authentic Persian Cuisine


At long last...after much anticipation, Singapore's third Persian restaurant (I think that's, two, three, right?) has finally opened (Clarke Quay 3A #01-06, 6334-2282). The place is just about a week old now, and it had a surprisingly good-sized crowd tonight, even when we arrived as late as 9:45 PM. And just like at Shamshiri in West LA, they had the grill sitting behind the window for all to see.

Se MastNow, being at Clarke Quay (across from Marrakech and the Tent), these guys were decidedly trying to be more upscale, complete with table linens and chichi square plates. Yet the staff was clearly still undergoing growing pains, as seen not only in the fact that they neglected one of the napkins at our table, but also in that they failed to tell us ahead of time that the kitchen had already run out of bread, and then unapologetically told us afterwards to eat just our se mast yogurt dips straight without it. At least the dips were rather tasty.

Grillin AwayAnd fortunately, that good food trend continued throughout the meal. The lamb kubideh, while not grilled as long as I would prefer it, was nonetheless still very tender and juicy. The dough drink was also a bit richer than the watery type I'm accustomed to, but in a good way. Interestingly, the menu didn't even call it dough, but rather simply "The Traditional Persian Drink." When we asked the waitress if that were dough, she seemed surprised that we knew what we were talking about, and asked, "Wow - did you guys just come back from Iran or something?" (The proprietor displayed a similar degree of astonishment when we asked for raw onions to go with the kubideh, as he mentioned how that was a very Persian thing to do.)

Well, despite the unnecessary chichi-ness and spotty service, I liked the food here just a tad better than at Banoo thanks to a slight edge in richness across everything we ordered. And upon seeing the crowd here tonight, I do worry a bit about Banoo's future. There's still a number of reasons to go back to Banoo though: the food there is still good, and bottles of somagh are already on the table there waiting for you, unlike here. The service is cozier at Banoo, and they are open later too (last order here is 10:30 PM). The prices are also about a third cheaper over at Banoo: Shiraz charged S$28 (US$16.50) for kubideh here (which is not surprising considering the undoubtedly high rent all those chichi table linen and porcelain expenses they've gotta cover!), versus S$18 (US$10.60) for the "big" koobideh at Banoo). But yeah, the food at Shiraz was something that I'll come back for. Here's to hoping that they both stay in business (Persepolis is now eliminated from the running due to how inconsistent it had gotten).


D said...

Yo Bryan, this post is not related to Persian food at all but do you know where to find good aburi sushi in Singapore?

Anonymous said...

Hi! Have you tried BBQ Chicken Wings at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre? Tong Kee, stall 56. The stalls are housed in a temporary location just behind the original hawker centre.

The chilli is great and chix juicy & tender. Perfect mix!


Alvin said...

there's only ONE persian restuarant in Beijing (I'm based there). luv their saffron rice and grilled kebabs.

Anonymous said...

I had lunch at Shiraz today. They didn't have anything to go with the Se Mast "dips", after 5 minutes I asked a waiter for something to dip in the dips. He asked me if I wanted a spoon! Sure they tasted good, but come on, so does Ranch dressing, doesn't mean I want spoonfuls of it. A bit pricy for lunch (there is no price difference between dinner and lunch menus) at $50. That's only drinking water as well. I kept having a reoccuring thought during my meal; "I'll never eat here again, I'll never eat here again...."

bma said...

For aburi sushi, try Sushi Kikuzawa. I technically didn't have any aburi sushi there, but he did use a blowtorch to heat up the unagi. Presumably he could use the blowtorch to sear anything he wanted.

D said...

Thanks for the tip. There's something about blowtorches and food which I appreciate so much haha.

Anonymous said...

My family runs the Shiraz in singapore . and i agree with teh service in the first couple of weeks but now all of that has been taken care of and the bar is amazing. you should visit again and try out our new rejuvinated menu. so come again to shiraz.

Anonymous said...

yo man, this is an unrelated post...
what would you recommend to eat in clarke quay/boat quay after midnight?
i was just there the other night, but didn't know where to eat so i just ate at coffee club next to MOS.

bma said...

Are you the same person who posted the same comment here the other day? I left a few notes for you there.

Anonymous said...

ah, yes.
i forgot where i posted that comment before, lol.
thanks for the tip!

Muneeb said...

Dear Bryan,

May you live long & healthy for allowing me to taste the Best Kebabs in Singapore at Banoo.

Since I arrived in Singapore, this January, I never got the real Kebabs till today. Although I have tried every place that I could afford, in the town.

I got Banoo's address from your 6th September post, and off we went.

We ordered lamb kebabs, Koubdeh as you call it.
Now a kebab is made from fresh lamb meat, period. Use of any other meat is an experimentation. This is also one reason why we do not get very good kebabs in Singapore. Another reason is lack of fat in the minced meat.

A very charming persian lady helped us order and on her advise we added "Lamb Shank Stew".
Boy were we lucky to do this?

The kebabs were exactly as these should be - Juicy but well done, with the minced meat fused together because of slow grilling & the fat. And you are right, raw onion is what goes best with it. (Although I missed the Pakistani sauce of yogurt, green chillies & coriander)

The Lamb Shank Stew was brilliant.
With the meat perfectly formed on the bone, but extremely tender. Although, I would have preferred it to come with more gravy.

The service was very prompt & courteous. The Persian lady was genuinely pleased to gladden us.

Eating at Banoo was the best dinning experience in Singapore and I am thankful to you for this.


Anonymous said...

the yummiest food in teh world.Persian food is the most delicious food on earth.Healthy and mouth-watering. I adore it.I am based in London,but I try it once in London every week.

Anonymous said...

we dined at Shiraz last Saturday, 'lamb shank stew' included, left an umbrella and brought back a tummy bug that i have not yet recovered from. and I am brown

Anonymous said...

there is a new persian restaurant in 43 arab street and i tasted their food it is very good and tasty with cheap price almost 10 $ for a set kebab as kubideh.

alex said...

As an Iranian who has tried both Banoo and Shiraz, I can definitely recommend Shiraz ten times over Banoo. The quality of the kubideh beats even the ones you could find back in Iran.

Atmosphere and presentation is also much better than in Banoo, sure it's more expensive but you definitely get your money's worth. By far and away the best Persian restaurant in Singapore, and possibly in the region (although it hardly has much competition).

As for Ferdosi in Arab St, have never tasted worse kebab in my life. The meat looked like it came off some bad lamb cuts as well.

Anonymous said...

Shiraz is the best, though I don't like the Arabic dance there.

Persians are not Arab, and Arabic dance is the dirty legacy of Arab sultans and doesn't have anything to do with Persian Impire.

Having said all that, Persian food is the best and healthiest in the world. The managemnet of Shiraz is so kind and nice. I hit Shiraz sometimes!

la bellina mammina said...

What great timing! I'm thinking of going with 5 girlfriends to Shiraz tonight - so this review helped!