"Tasty Iranian food at excellent value in North London"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Unassuming and unpretentious, Nimkat – which means bench in Farsi; the restaurant is kitted out with them - is an Iranian restaurant specialising in kebabs. However think seasoned quality meat grilled on skewers rather than donners. Situated opposite Bounds Green tube station it is out of the way for many Londoners however it is a welcome find amongst the narrow strip of fast food joints and corner shops.
A couple of dishes were not available (starters: salad olivieh - the potato salad with mayo, egg and chicken, and chickpea meatballs), however the dolmeh and ‘kashke bademjan’ ordered instead did not disappoint. The latter is a dish of fried aubergine with onions, garlic, and ‘kashke’ or dried yoghurt. The dolmeh had been cooked with slices of lemon, adding to the zest of the vine leaves.
Our kebabs consisted of skewers of minced lamb or chicken pieces with bones which had been marinated in lemon, saffron and garlic, cooked till tender and served with saffron rice or naan bread. Portions were generous and each dish ranged between £7 and £8.50, incredibly good value, and all very tasty.
Deserts were equally good; Iranian ice cream - which has a different consistency to what we are made to believe is ice cream over here – was infused with saffron and rose water, and served in a generous glass. The traditional ‘zolbiya bamieh’ is a very sweet, glutinous desert covered in syrup. Often served with tea, it is slightly too sweet as a large helping although my plate was piled high.
Wine is not on the menu however is available if asked for. I have noticed this at various Iranian restaurants in London, most curiously at one where alcohol was featured on the English speaking menu but not on the Farsi one so as not to offend more serious Muslims.
The staff were jovial and friendly, and so was the atmosphere. A group booking arrived - presumably for a birthday party - and within minutes proceeded to get up and dance right in the middle of the restaurant, even asking if we wanted to join in, prompting my mother (of Iranian descent) to remark “I feel like I’m back in Tehran”.
A three course meal with wine came to £75 for three people, extremely good value and worthwhile if you ever find yourself wondering through Bounds Green with an empty stomach.
Leila reviewed Nimkat on Thu 08 Jan 2009