Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Experiences: Persian Cuisine at North (Shomal)

With their large patio decorated with colourful string lights, North always looks like they're holding a party in the summertime. My friends and I had never had Persian food, so this review is coming from a person who came in completely fresh. No expectations and no past experiences with Persian food to compare it with.

One thing that I didn't expect when going in was how big the place was inside. Very nicely decorated with large tables, sections, and cozy booths along the sides. Definitely a good space for big parties or families.

They gave us complimentary side dishes of naan bread along with some herbs, raw radish, raw onion and butter. I wasn't really sure how to eat this...I slathered some butter onto the naan and wrapped a little of the vegetables onto it, which I'm pretty sure is how you eat it after further research. But I found the taste a little too organic for me, so I just used the rest of the naan for our appetizer.

They have a lot of yogurt-based appetizers, so this place may not be the greatest for lactose-intolerant friends. For our appetizer, we had the Kashke Bademjan (8.99), a mix of fried eggplant, topped with yogurt, fried garlic, onion, mint and whey that is eaten as a dip. The closest thing I can compare it to, is hummus or Baba Ghanouj in terms of texture. Overall, it's a smooth dip with occasional crispy bits from the fried onion. I think this was my favourite part of the meal.

For our mains, we ordered the Kebab Torsh ($18.99) and the Shomal Chicken ($16.99). They both came with grilled tomatoes and plain rice which was similar to Basmati rice. The Kebab Torsh is a long skewer of char-broiled sirloin, marinated with a mixture of pomegranate paste, walnuts and other spices that is common to Persian cooking. I was curious about this mix of pomegranate and walnuts but I was a little surprised to find the flavours were very simple and didn't marinate into the meat. I think the char of the meat overpowered the marinade too. The dishes were good but they weren't memorable for me. Out of the two dishes, I would recommend the Kebab Torsh.

What is good about North though is that they give you a lot of food. When they set down the dinner plates - half the plate was meat and half was rice and these were definitely not small dishes. It was a good place to try, but I probably won't come back - at least not for their main dishes. Maybe for their eggplant dip.

North Shomal on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to add that the servers always try to upsell you even though you've told them no many times "NO" and that they count the cash in front of you when they come to collect the billfold... LOL


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