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Mahdi (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Iranian Finchley Road

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Mahdi has now closed. Time Out Food editors.

The Middle Eastern theme is glaringly obvious at this theatrically decked out restaurant. The interior is stuffed with decorative carpets, colourful cushions, gaudy chandeliers, taxidermy peacocks and faux Arab arches. It’s a somewhat dated decor, but we suspect Mahdi’s loyal, London-wide fans are more interested in the traditional, well-executed menu, amenable prices and huge portions. Sharing your food – standard practice in Iran – is made fun and simple here. A mixed grill platter is presented on a raised stand at the centre of the table. Glistening lamb and chicken kebabs are served alongside a colossal pile of white and saffron rice, plus light, crispy bread that’s baked to order in the tanoor by the door. Some dishes – such as a dolmeh felfel (stuffed pepper) starter – seem to value quantity over quality, but stick to the barbecued meats and it’s hard to go wrong. Service can be a little uneven; the gang of well-meaning and obliging waiters can be laid-back to the point of frustrating. You’ll be treated well, just don’t expect a quick turnaround. Then again, this is a place where families linger over mountains of food, spend time digesting with pots of aromatic tea and then waddle home with doggy bags.




Address: 2 Canfield Gardens
Transport: Tube: Finchley Road tube
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