My last day in Quebec on this trip was Monday and I promised a cousin on my dad’s side of the family that I would meet up with her for lunch. I told her I was in the mood for sushi or Lebanese food. She countered by proposing an Iranian restaurant she loves. I’d never had Persian food before, so I was game. The restaurant is called Tehran and it is on de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, right at the edge of Westmount.
We were greeted warmly by our server. Since it was lunch on a Monday, the place was quiet, with only a large Iranian family eating there besides us (a good sign!).
The meals come with soup or salad and my cousin encouraged me to try the traditional ash soup. That alone would have been two meals for me! It is a very thick soup made with lentils, chick peas, herbs (including mint), fried onions, noodles, and goat yoghurt. I had a few bites and had to leave the rest. I wasn’t crazy about it (not a fan of goat milk so I kind of ate around the yoghurt), but it’s something I would be thrilled to sit in front of on a cold winter day.
My cousin opted for the green salad. I neglected to ask her what the creamy dressing consisted of. 🙁
The soup came with pita. That’s such a rare thing out west that I indulged in what probably amounted to a quarter of a round. I really am trying to cut my bread intake and my family’s meals are very carb heavy, so the last thing I needed was to inhale an entire plate of pita. But when’s the next time I’ll get to eat fresh pita that I haven’t had to spend all day making myself?!
I wish I’d made note of the dish I ordered or at least the ingredients in it. It was some sort of very tender chicken kebab that was bright orange, oily, and super, super flavourful! My cousin and I think it might have been cooked in tomato and/or saffron. It was served with a whole roasted tomato and plain jasmine rice topped with a little saffron rice (what looks like shredded carrot in the pic!). I would have had enough for two meals! My cousin took almost half of my chicken home for her lunch the next day!
As for my cousin, she had the steak and gave me a generous sample of it. Wow! It had a lot of flavour from the seasonings and it melted in my mouth. I would actually consider having the steak if I were to go back to Tehran one day!
Our meal ended with cardamon tea. My cousin had it the traditional way, with sugar cubes, but I had mine plain. It was the perfect palate cleanser!
My cousin considers the prices at Tehran to be extremely reasonable. I have no idea. Sales tax in QC is so high that it skews the numbers a little. My plate was at the lower end of the price scale, around $12 and my cousin’s at the higher end, around $22. After taxes and the tip, our meal came to $52. It was my treat, paying forward a tiny bit of all the meals my wonderful blog readers have treated me to!
Even though I know that I barely scratched the surface of an ancient cuisine, I’d consider my tiny foray into Persian culture a success!