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Zeytoon

Critics' choice
Cricklewood

Great-value Afghan/Persian cooking served in a charmingly kitsch dining room.

Among the fast-food joints and grocery shops of the Broadway, Zeytoon is an Afghan/Persian stalwart with charming if kitsch decor – heavy wooden furniture and carved alcoves featuring 1970s-style murals depicting Persian myths. Tucked in the corner is the culinary star: a small tandoor where nigella seed-studded flatbread is baked fresh, crisp on the outside, cushiony soft inside. Subtle traditional music forms the aural backdrop, producing a vibe that is more Kermanshah than Cricklewood. We’ve heard moans about the service here, but on our latest visit, hungry staff waiting for Ramadan iftar (evening meal) couldn’t have been more smiley and amenable. Afghan specialities such as kalleh pacheh (lamb’s head and feet in broth), mantu (meat- and onion-stuffed dumplings with spicy sauce) and quroot (a sour cottage cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk) sit alongside familiar Persian dishes. Warm aubergine with walnuts, herbs and kashk (whey) was a touch bland in comparison to a fresh and herby, finely chopped salad olivieh (russian salad with chicken). Succulent chicken breast kebab with salad and a veritable mountain of dry saffron rice lacked pzazz, but chelow khoresht-e-qeimeh (lamb, tomato and split-pea stew), zesty and fragrant with dried lime, certainly hit the spot. A good local.

 

Venue name: Zeytoon
Contact:
Address: 94-96 Cricklewood Broadway
London
NW2 3EL
Opening hours: Meals served 5-11pm daily
Transport: Tube: Cricklewood rail
Price: Main courses £5.95-£11.95. Set meze £14.95

Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|7
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AT

Worst restaurant I have ever been to. Rude staff and poorly cooked food. Just returned from the restaurant where our order was messed up 3 times, dishes turned up half-complete and at the end when we asked for our food to be packaged, the waiter dumped 3 empty containers and a bag on our table and said "do it yourself." Safe to say I'll never eat at this place again!

Murtaza

This is my favourite restaurant in London, we live about an hour away and still consider Zeytoon when we want to eat out. The food is always delicious (my favourite is the Fasenjan stew, rice with a chicken stew with pomegranate sauce), their service is quite good, and the waiters are very friendly and their prices are quite reasonable. I have been to Zeytoon with friends and colleagues, and everyone has been very satisfied at the end of the meal.

zafar raja

The service is poor, staff need training, they get u to order things u don't need! Overcharge! Basically greedy! However good food! Poor attitude! Will not go again!

Ibrar

Absolutely disgusting service!!! They over charged me £36 because they claimed the order was for 10 people, when in actual fact there were only 8 people and never even confirmed or counted number of people on the table! Please avoid the restaurant as they are very dishonest people and have no idea about giving a good customer service. No menus were provided and no break down on the bill. Jokers just put the value and that is it. Very unprofessional and I hope nobody else visits their restaurant. They don't deserve to be in business. Disgrace to our culture as well as our religion, which says to treat people with respect. Clearly this restaurant doesn't. First and last time I will be visiting. Avoid at ALL COSTS!!!

JMG

I went here for the first time the other night - thought it was excellent. The food was superb and the service was good. It would seem that the service issues mentioned in some of the other reviews have been sorted now.

Iranian food lover

I have been there recently. No Iranian music for start. VERY slow service(when only 3 double tables occupied). After 10 minutes waiting we decided to call someone to take the order. Food was served in 15 minutes time, only because we asked for waiting time. The drinks which we ordered were not served( we had to remind them to bring it and were served when we almost finished the food). All this and quality of the salads and basic health & safety when serving the drinks definitely did not encourage me to come back. I know other restaurants where for the same prize can be delivered at least better service.

Stef Notarangelo

First off, the good points: food is excellent! The humous was delicious with a nice lemony twang, while the chicken and minced lamb kebabs were very tasty. The saffron rice was also incredibly fresh. And in terms of setting Zeytoon looks great -- nice wooden tables and a real sense of its Afghan/Iranian roots. Sadly, the one bad point ruined our meal: the service. Absolutely dreadful. No one brought us any menus or asked us for drinks when we sat down, then when we flagged up the lack of menus after 5mins they only brought us one. Took ages to order, and the waiter didn't write down anything. Normally this is fine if they're competent, but this waiter got our drinks wrong and forgot what we ordered for mains. Starter took about 15 mins to arrive, and the mains took a shocking 45 mins! And that's only after we vented our frustration to a waiter. After the meal we were so fed up we went to the till and paid there and then, as we knew they would take forever to give us our bill. As we were leaving we saw another customer moaning about the poor service, so glad it wasn't just us! Overall, a frustrating experience. The food is delightful, but until their service improves I shan't be going back.