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Long stretches of Harrow Road are fairly unprepossessing, making Behesht a delightful – if slightly bonkers – surprise. The interior is a no-holds-barred hymn to the (real or imagined) aesthetic traditions of Persia. You’re greeted in the lobby by walls festooned with wooden instruments and hung with tapestries, by dashingly aloof waiters with slicked-back hair, and by an amorous pair of green parrots in a large cage. Through to the dining room, and the decor is yet more flamboyant – fountains trickle and songbirds chirrup among pots, paintings and sculptures. The food doesn’t let the side down; portions are enormous, and there’s real complexity of flavour. Kashk-e bademjan – a warm paste of aubergine, walnuts and fried onions scooped up with handfuls of gargantuan flatbread – was a star of the meze-style starters, as was mirza ghasemi, a smoky hot dip of grilled aubergine, eggs and tomatoes. Mains include rafts of tempting grilled meats, but we chose stews slathered in dark, rich sauces – ghorm-e sabzi with lamb, kidney beans, dried limes and herbs (sharp and moreish); and fesenjan chicken that managed the tricky balance of being sweet and savoury without becoming sickly. There’s no alcohol, so the final bill is gratifyingly low: extraordinary value.
1082-1084 Harrow Road
|Transport:||Tube: Kensal Green tube/rail|
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