"Cuban drinks and Persian food in a converted fire station"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
It’s a curious venture to say the least. This former fire station houses a Cuban-themed bar on the ground floor and a Persian restaurant upstairs. On Brentford High Street, of all places.
Décor has been kept discreet in the bar, the only sign advertising its Latin influence being the Che Guevara mural on the wall. On closer inspection, there seem to be a couple of tucked away spaces ideal for private tete-a-tetes; there is a staircase leading to a raised area with just enough space for a sofa for two and a table, and another leading down to a slighter larger couch. There is also a garden, and along with the lychee cocktails and happy hours on offer this bar seems like a bit of an oasis on an otherwise sleepy street.
Up the spiral staircase – which must have once been the firemens’ pole – is the minimalist-looking restaurant, all white walls and furniture with Iranian music playing softly in the background. The menu has plenty of classic Persian dishes: the aubergine and walnut dip kashke bademjan, the chicken in walnut and pomegranate sauce dish known as fessenjan, and a selection of chicken and lamb kebabs.
We begin with a platter of starters; thick garlicky yogurt is delicious smeared on hot naan bread, the salad olivieh, or chicken and potato salad with mayonnaise and gherkin is rich and creamy, the aubergine and tomato dip is just a little smoky and delicious, while yogurt and cucumber cleanses the palate. For the mains, the fessenjaan is sweet and nutty with generous chunks of tender chicken and heaps of saffron rice; the makhsoos grilled kebab consists of one lamb fillet and one minced lamb kebab, both succulent and tasty.
For dessert we choose the cooling faloodeh, a curious concoction of frozen noodles with very sweet rose water, and the Persian ice cream – this is not ice cream as we know it in the West, rather it is incredibly creamy to the point of gooiness, made with rose water and chopped pistachios. We are utterly full by the end, on the verge of rolling our way back down the high street. A meal for two is roughly £60.
Leila reviewed The Old Fire Station on Tue 05 Jul 2011