Canada's Coast to Coast Source for All Things Local Food

Voyages: Pars

Voyages: Pars

Upon walking into Pars Restaurant, I realize that I’m not exactly well-versed in the tastes of Persian cuisine. If you’re not familiar with Persian food, it originates from Iran – yet pulls from many other styles of cooking. You can taste the influences from Turkey, Italy, Greece, and other familiar traditions. These bold and warm flavours are unique, but give you the same feeling that a big bowl of spaghetti or your mom’s Sunday roast gives you.

Walking into the restaurant, I notice that the warm, soft lighting is incredibly inviting, especially with the -5 degree Halifax weather in January. As I take my seat, I’m immediately greeted by Afshin Sadeghi, son of the restaurant’s chef and owners. After bringing a glass of Doogh (a minty Iranian yogurt-based drink), Afshin helps me navigate the extensive menu. I want to try what’s popular, but more importantly dishes that are the chef’s favourite – hopefully giving me the best possible first taste of Iran.

The meal starts with a round of deliciously spicy hummus, and Mirza Ghassemi – a mouth-watering smoky roasted eggplant dip with garlic, tomato and egg. The dips remind me of their Turkish and Lebanese cousins, but are distinctly (and pleasingly) different.

IMG_2194-min

After the dips disappear in what seems like 2 seconds, an amazing procession of dishes is brought out. First is Aash Reshteh – an Iranian soup packed with fresh herbs, sautéed onions and garlic; next is Shirazi Salad – a fresh salad of tomato, cucumber, and mint; and finally the Veggie Platter – an assorted plate of savoury oven-baked frittatas.

IMG_2186-min

IMG_2220 (1)-min

IMG_2210-min

Barely managing to save enough space for the main courses, I’m then presented with the night’s stars. Fessen-Jaan – succulent chicken braised in a tart pomegranate and walnut sauce is incredibly tasty; Torsh Kebab – a beef kebab marinated in the same tart pomegranate and walnut sauce; and the Pars Special – an assortment of chicken, beef, and lamb kebabs. All are served with traditional barberries, which are both sweet and tart at the same time, and saffron rice – a subtle, yet appreciated addition.

IMG_2234-min

IMG_2249-min

IMG_2240-min

I manage to try everything that’s put in front of me, and I think I’ve done pretty well. After I thank the chef and my hosts for the terrific meal, I walk out of Pars feeling very happy, full, and extremely relaxed. I feel as if I’m just leaving dinner at a cherished relatives house, and that’s not easy to come by at just any restaurant. I recommend that you ask your hosts for some help with the menu, as they’re able to help customize your meal exactly to your tastes.

For everyone that hasn’t tried Persian food before, you must! Tonight I experienced Middle Eastern comfort food at it’s finest. It is familiar but exotic, warm and comforting, and above all, supremely interesting. Pars Restaurant is a must for when you’re looking for a pick-me-up in Halifax – it will surely deliver.

Comments

comments



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *