Meet my new Monday-itis cure.
J knows all too well that when I have a bad day, there are only a few things in life that can perk up my spirits. One of those things is food. It could have been homemade mac and cheese (my standard low-mood lifter), or even what my friend J’s daughter calls ‘Devil’s food’ (McDonalds). Instead, J suggested that we try a new Persian restaurant, Saffron, which had opened in Morley – not far from us.
We arrived at Saffron and were immediately greeted by friendly staff. A good sign. Check. They seated us promptly, gave us menus and gave us cold water for the table. I was taken aback at the level of service, to be honest, not expecting things to run so smoothly early on (when we visited, it was day 12 since opening).
We decided to start with some bread, which was a puffy, light and pleasingly chewy naan-style flat bread, sprinkled generously with sesame and nigella seeds, which were deliciously fragrant from baking. To go with the bread, we were also given a side dish of fresh mint leaves, brine-soaked walnuts and almonds, and a small rectangle of feta cheese (or something that resembled it!).
We both loved munching on the fresh and warm bread, and the mint and nut accompaniments were perfect partners with the briny and sharp cheese. Had I not already ordered a main, I would have happily gorged on a bread only meal…
J selected a beef stew, cooked with yellow split peas, tomato, eggplant and dried lime – Google tells me it is called Khoresht-e Bademjan. He loved every last drop – from the tender beef, to the cumin rich sauce – this was right up J’s alley, and is now definitely on his list of ‘favourite things’. It seemed like the perfect cold weather comfort food – the sort of rich stew you would hope to come home to on a cold night. I thought the dried lime added a really interesting acidic note to the flavour – something really unique to this particular style of cuisine.
I chose the Zereshk Polow - a special dish I remembered eating as a kid at a Persian wedding. The chicken served here was so incredibly tender – just look at the pic above!
I loved how the chicken skin had also been rubbed with a chile paste – it really added an awesome punch which I really enjoyed. Just the thing to kick me out of my bad mood.
The rice, studded generously with dried barberries, slivered almonds and bright green pistachios was incredibly well flavoured. The tender rice grains were also a sight to behold – I was amazed at how long the individual basmati grains were!
And of course, we couldn’t leave without sampling a traditional drink.
Not attacted by the carbonated yoghurt drink on offer, we both went with a sour cherry cordial instead – an excellent choice to go with our rich meals.
One sip and we were hooked! I must keep an eye out for this stuff.
The restaurant was bustling on Monday night – no mean feat in suburban Perth. I’ll be keen to see how things are going in a few months time. The local Iranian community (I have heard) have been really enthusiastic about this place – even recently celebrating new year at the restaurant.
I’m very pleased that this restaurant is brightening up our local area – the food is great, affordable, and the service is friendly. Definitely a good thing to have only ten minutes away!