You know who the best types of friends are? The ones who, despite not seeing them in forever, will make you feel as if you just saw them yesterday. She’ll come fully equipped with ice-cream, cupcakes, and just about anything comforting when you need a shoulder to cry on.
One of those friends for me is SP. I’ve mentioned her a few times on HGAT before, and we’ve been the bestest of friends since my geeky glasses phase of year 9 (mind you she was one of the cool, popular girls!). She’s always been just a phone call away, and completely understands that a meal with me means her dinner will be cold before she can tuck in. Ah, now that’s a true friend indeed!
Well, there’s no better way than to catch up over some juicy koobideh, so I booked dinner at Apadana, a classic Persian establishment that I have not visited in over 10 years!
Large house bread that been baked with sesame seeds in the tandoor.
Ordinary hummus with a dusting of chilli powder to give it a little pizzaz.
Thick and creamy yoghurt infused with tangy shallots, that had been finely ground so you couldn’t feel it.
Chargrilled aubergines that had been pureed and mixed in with garlic, yoghurt, and crispy fried onions. Sadly, Apadana’s version of Kashk Bademjan was a little too heavy on the oil and became quite claggy.
Before we were even half way through our starters, the mains arrived to the table!
Humongous boneless pieces of baby chicken that had been marinated in a saffron, lemon, and yoghurt sauce before being placed on the grill to cook. Although the chicken was deliciously juicy and succulent, I felt that the aromatic saffron and lemony zing had not infused well enough into the meat, which is a shame considering how well it had been cooked. The accompanying house salad was a little sad, and paled in comparison to some of the better Persian’s out there (*cough* Alounak *cough*).
The lamb koobideh had been cooked extremely well; melt-in-the-mouth and tender. However, it fell short of that familiar buttery, aromatic flavour that koobideh usually has, and needed some seasoning.
We finished our meal off with a pot of mint tea, which I proceeded to drop all over the table just to get a shot on boomerang – ugh! The total bill amounted to approximately £50 for two, including drinks and (average) service, so £25 each. A little pricey for a casual dinner, but is expected as Apadana is located in the prime area of Kensington. While I enjoyed my dinner and would probably drag BW along with me the next time we are in the area, I would rank Apadana somewhere in the middle if I had to compare it to all the other Persian restaurants out there in London.