Sofia Goes to…Tabriz Persian Cookhouse

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I’m part of the Jojoinstameet community, along with some of Toronto’s biggest foodie influencers. I was very excited to be invited to a media tasting event at Tabriz; my husband is Iranian and I’m a big fan of Persian cuisine. DSC01529Before attending I checked out their menu and was surprised to see that there was no Fesenjān, a pomegranate walnut stew made with chicken. It’s a staple at most Persian restaurants and one of my favourite dishes. DSC01647 When speaking with Tabriz owner, Pegah Ziaei, I learned that “Anar Bij” (slow-cooked pomegranite molases and ground walnut stew with herbed meatballs) has a similar flavour profile and is a common dish in the region of Iran Pegah and her family are from, Tabriz. After trying it, I wasn’t missing the Fesenjān.

The space is modern, cozy, and bright. With the elevated cuisine and beautiful ambiance, I would recommend it for a date night. In the summer they also have a pretty patio space.

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They had set up a haft-seen for Norooz (Persian New Year). The items on the spread are each symbolic.

If you’re interested in learning more about their significance keep an eye out for a future post I’ll be writing all about Norooz. Tabriz is featuring a traditional salmon dish for Norooz this year not currently on their main menu.

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Let’s start with the appetizers because there are many stands outs to discuss in this category! Starting with one of the most delicious appetizers I’ve ever had in the city of Toronto… the “Zeytoon Parvardeh”.

It’s a fresh tapenade of green olives marinated in pomegranate walnut paste. Every bite was a pleasure.

It was bursting with flavour and had just the right amount of zest-such a crisp and memorable appetizer.

The “Kashkeh Bademjoon” (a dip of charred eggplant, whey paste, garlic, walnut and crispy onion) is another must-try.

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The “Bademjoon Kabab” (sautéed baby eggplant stuffed with pomegranate and walnut)  is as tasty as it is picturesque.

In their descriptions, many of the dishes may sound like they have a very similar flavour profile. However due to their dominate ingredients and methods of preparation being different they are all quite unique and it doesn’t feel redundant having them all in the same meal.

On to the mains! A house favourite the “Koofteh Tabrizi” (meat-loaf infused with fresh herbs, barberries, dried plumbs and chopped walnuts) packs a flavourful punch while still tasting lean.

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The braised lamb-shanks were fall-of-the-bone, juicy, delights. The cuts had been well-prepared and I appreciated the lack of connective tissue that can sometimes result in a toughness to this dish.

The “Zereshk Polo” (saffron chicken topped with barberries, pistachio and almond bits) was a nice healthy option.

For dessert, the “Rolette” (soft cream filled cake rolls drizzled with pistachio) were light and fluffy.

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The “Faloodeh” (iced thin vermicelli noodles served with lime, rose water or pomegranate juice and saffron ice-cream) was the show-stopper!

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I was drinking the “Pomeroni” (Vodka, 7 Up, rose water, lime, and pomegranate juice) as a mocktail and it was very very good-not too sweet, fresh and tangy.

Why would I recommend Tabriz?

Everything I tried was on par or far better than any other Persian restaurant I’ve been to in Toronto.

The servers were attentive. The ambiance was nice and like I said earlier the appetizers were out of this world delicious!

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