REVIEWS

The Old Fire Station has been substantially refurbished and re-opened its doors a few months ago with a Cuban Street Bar on the ground floor with a wide selection of cocktails, live Cuban music with bar snacks available. Cocktails are not cheap, but given that each one is made by hand individually from fresh ingredients they are fairly priced.


Upstairs however is a completely different affair, with a quiet Persian Restaurant, unique in Brentford, selling quality food, with Iranian music quietly playing in the background and several of the knowledgeable and pleasant staff hailing from Iran.


I started with Jumbo Prawns and Scallops Skewers served with a tangy lemon sauce. The prawns were slightly crunchy and the scallops just cooked being soft rather than rubbery as can happen. Both were perfectly cooked with a very tangy lemon sauce which could not be described otherwise. A sweet chilli sauce also accompanied it which was nice but nothing out of the ordinary.


My companion had Mirza Ghazemi which is grilled aubergine, tomatoes, eggs and garlic served with bread. This was light and devoid of grease. The individual flavours were distinguishable, including the fact that the aubergine had been grilled, and the accompanying flat bread was beautifully crispy and a genuine treat all by itself. It was possibly too large a portion without some salad to provide an alternative taste.


He followed on with Gheimeh: lamb stew with split yellow peas, dried limes cooked in a cinnamon and tomato sauce, topped with matchstick chips served with saffron rice. The chips, swimming on top were still crunchy on delivery; the lamb was very tender and the slow-cooked stew tasted strongly of tomatoes with a slight hint of spice .Rice was topped with saffron with a sprinkling of mint. The portion of stew could have been a bit bigger.


I had Barg, a tender kebab of marinated lamb fillet served with saffron rice and green salad. The lamb was indeed very tender and moist tasting beautifully of, well of lamb. The accompanying grilled half tomato was done to perfection: chargrilled on the outside and soft and gooey on the outside. I could have done with the other half of it. Neither of us managed to eat all the rice; the portions of which were somewhat large.


My guest was persuaded by the waitress to try Faloodeh, persian sorbet threaded with rice noodles, flavoured with lemon juice. This was slightly crunchy noodles that tasted very faintly of rosewater and lemon juice. This was a palette cleanser all by itself but it really did not have much taste, more a mixture of textures with a hint of sweetness.


I made the better choice of home made pancake stuffed with vanilla ice cream, topped with almonds and orange syrup. The orange syrup was very light, with a delicate flavouring of orange that made it a perfectly balanced pudding that rounded off the meal.


We finished off with coffee that we could smell as it was freshly ground. It was a good flavoursome Arabica coffee that came from  HYPERLINK "http://www.caffebristot.com/" http://www.caffebristot.com


I had a nice glass of Shiraz for £4.50. There is a small wine list, most of which is reasonably priced at £14.00 a bottle with the only draught beer being Estrella at £3.80 a pint. Starters are around £3-5 each with main courses between £7-12 producing a reasonably priced meal.


The only fault that the Persian Restaurant has is that no-one knows it's there as it sits very quietly above the Cuban bar with limited physical advertising outside the building. If you would like a good meal in a relaxed setting then do pay them a visit.


Kath Richardson, Editor TW8 forum


July 19, 2011 http://www.brentfordtw8.com/default.asp?

section=leisure&page=reviewfirestation.htm




BY LEILA@ALLINLONDON FOR ALL-IN-LONDON.CO.UK

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.

 

 

 

I visited Atash, a Persian restaurant in the heart of Brentford, on a particularly cold and blustery night. It is housed in The Old Fire Station, a dark and imposing building on the high street and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I entered through a dark bar and up a winding staircase. However, once inside, the chill of the outdoors couldn’t have felt further away.
The restaurant is warm and delightfully decorated. When I visited, it was Nowruz (Persian New Year) so there were even more flowers and centrepieces than usual. The tables glowed with candlelight and the cheerful atmosphere was aided by the bright, Persian pop playing throughout. My dinner companion was running late, so I relaxed and drank it in, along with the pot of Persian tea that was continuously refilled all night.
When my companion did arrive, we immediately decided we’d have to share dishes as the choices were too vast for us to stick to one each. We started with what we were told was a compulsory dish for any Persian feast- the Panir-o Sabzi, a tasting plate of feta, walnuts and radishes. I can understand why it’s so popular- the tartness of the feta and radishes ended up balancing perfectly with the heavier mains. We also order the Kookoo Sabzi, a warm egg dish spiced up by a variety of fresh herbs.
Before we could move on to mains, we were treated to something extra special. The chef sent us a fantastic, lightly spiced aubergine dish which we were told was a New Year specialty. We devoured it with the Taftoon Naan provided and approached our mains with already slightly full stomachs.
The decision to have vegetarian starters was tactical as we knew that the main event would be very meat oriented. Persian cuisine features a lot of lamb but the variety with which it is cooked is truly extraordinary. Our Mahksoos- a lamb kebab in which the meat is basted with saffron butter- was bursting with flavour even before our additions of chilli and garlic. This is kebabs as they were meant to be eaten- worlds away from the generic taste of your 3am fast food options. We also shared a Gheimeh Badenjan, a lamb stew cooked with dried limes. I’d been skeptical about this flavour combination but the limes provided just the right level of lightness to the stew.
After giving ourselves a considerable break- there is no rushing in Atash, which was very welcome on this busy night- we ordered dessert. The Zulbiah Bamieh- fried dough concoctions- were wonderful but perhaps a little ambitious after such a rich meal. However, the Bastani, Persian ice-cream flavoured with saffron, pistachio and rosewater, was an absolute highlight. It was at once savoury and sweet and felt as light as gelato
I would recommend going to Atash in as large a group as you can manage. Though my companion and I did our best, as we left I did glance jealously at larger parties who were ordering banquet style and sharing a wide range of dishes. Based on the few I tasted, they were sure to be delicious.

Written by Brydie Lee-Kennedy @ www.everythingbrentford.co.uk

 

 

 

TWO DIFFERENT CULTURES UNDER THE SAME ROOF
By Jessica Thompson for the Hounslow Chronicle
KEEN DINERS in Brentford will be glad to know that the town has an exciting new eatery, specialising in delicious Persian cuisine.
When I walked into The Old Fire Station on the High Street, I had no idea what to expect, not being well versed in Persian food myself.
I was prepared for anything.
When I walked into the building, I was greeted with a beautifully lit and decorated bar area capturing the essence of Cuba. I then walked up a traditional set of small and winding fire station stairs, one of the characteristics of the station which has been retained, to great effect. This then opened up into the fire station's brand new Persian restaurant, a romantically lit room, in off white, with modern, minimalist furniture, with its own unique atmosphere to the one downstairs.
The venue has been split into two totally different cultural experiences for guests to enjoy.
Choosing from the menu was difficult, with so much available and not just Persian food but also traditional British dishes to serve a range of tastes.
I opted for the 'Mirza Ghazemi' starter at just £3.50, described as grilled aubergine, tomatoes, eggs and garlic served with bread. It was delicious, and moreish, the flavour was strong, but not overpowering, the perfect balance had been created by the chef.
For my main course I ordered the 'Joojeh', listed as a skewer of chicken fillet kebab marinated in saffron and lemon served with saffron rice and green salad, priced at a very reasonable £9. What appeared on the table was a fragrant and beautifully presented dish, which did not let itself down when I started eating. The meat was cooked to perfection.
My friend opted for the more traditional British lamb shank with creamy mashed potato, seasonal vegetables and rosemary-red wine sauce, £11.95, which he said was the 'best lamb shank' he had tasted.
The dessert list was not a let down either, with a host of tempting options from warm apple pie to 'bastani' which is saffron, rosewater and pistachio flavoured ice cream.
The service was as exceptional as the food, and I would recommend this dining experience to everyone.
The new restaurant has only been open for three weeks, but this did not show in my dining experience last Friday, which was seamless.
Rod Eslamieh, who runs the restaurant, said: "Persian food is so exciting and exotic, simple, delicious food using the finest cuts of meat and preparing fresh bread made to order and above all it is quite healthy as well.
"One of the biggest reasons behind the idea was after many years of talking to people who live in the area and to those new residents the feedback we got was people are crying out for something different and exciting."

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Contact Info

55 High St,

Brentford,TW8 0AH

Tel. 020 8568 5999