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Friday, December 7, 2012

Naab - Iranian Cuisine

There are days when the conventional Asian and Western meals can get a tad boring. A culinary adventure is the solution to spice life up...literally or figuratively speaking. Both are equally right in its own right. Took a culinary adventure with Christine, Kelly and Emily. I have had my fair share of Middle Eastern fare especially Lebanese. Iranian was something new to me...and the folks at Naab showed us true Iranian fare reminiscent of ancient Persian.

The interior is all cozy and warm. Lots of vivid warm colours livens up the space downstairs. A walk upstairs will reveal equally warm decors for its private function rooms available for meetings and dinners. 
This picture is a hand woven carpet. Amazing details hat makes it look almost like a photograph.
Warm and cozy with vibrant colours.
Service is relatively fast and certainly it was no hassle trying to figure out the menu. The staff at hand were able to explain to us the dishes in relatively fluent English.
Signature welcome drink for all guest. Refreshing lemonade with a sprig of mint for that extra zing!
Dough RM9.90 is a traditional Iranian drink made of yogurt and water with a sprinkle of spice on the top. Similar to your regular salty lassi.
Sekamjebin RM9.90 was popular with the girlfriends. A light drink of apple cider, shredded and mint syrup. A tad too sweet for my personal liking though..
The appetizer menu is quite huge and seriously, I think I could make a full meal just by picking from this list.
I love my salads and this simple Shirazi Salad RM9.90 of diced tomatoes, cucumber, onions and herbs does work out an appetite when you squeeze in the lemon. On its own, this is still a very appetizing and healthy salad.

This sunny and bright plate of Mirza Ghasemi RM13.90 is a traditional appetizer made fro smoked eggplant, tomatoes and garlic. If you love eggs, then break the egg and mix it well. Its a very decadent dish and goes well with the Arabic breads. Makes a good alternative to the usual hummus.
More eggplant goodness comes in the form of Kashk O Bademjan. Available in 2 sizes (Large RM15.90 and Small RM12.90), this has a slightly stronger taste than the Mirza Ghasemi. Nevertheless its a lovely combination of sauteed eggplants topped with Kashk (age dried yogurt), fried garlic, onions and mint. 
Fluffy hot bread RM3.50 is addictively good that one can go on eating it on its own.
I love yogurt and certainly I welcome with wide open arms the Plain Yogurt with dried mint leafs RM8.90. Mix it all together and I believe this makes a healthy snack.Of course the Iranian eat this with their hot breads.
The variety of food in Naab is quite extensive per se. And if you're a carnivore like me, then this is definitely a must visit.
I am not a rice person per se. But this plate of long grain rice is too good to resist. When it arrives, open up the slab of butter and mix it well with the rice. The yellow bits that you see is naturally flavoured and coloured with very precious saffron.
When the Ghormeh Sabzi Stew arrived, the first thing to hit my mind was the similarity of this dish to our Chinese "Mui Choy" (a preserved vegetable normally cooked in a large pot to be eaten over a fe days. This Ghormeh Sabzi Stew is a concoction of lamb, 7 seasonal herbs and kidney beans. Yummy when eaten with both bread or rice.
Sultani Kebab RM44.90 is one of my fave for the afternoon. A combination platter of beef and lamb skewers marinated with a gorgeous blend of spices that the folks didn't want to reveal...The lamb Koobideh Kebab is tender and certainly not gamey. Tasted really good when eaten with the gherkins and basil.
Naab Spinach Chicken Roll RM44.90 was such a pretty dish. Unfortunately since it was chicken breast meat, it didn't quite tickle my fancy because I've always found breast meat almost like sandpaper as a general rule. That aside, the flavours and taste were amazing though making it an easy task for me to eat up quite a few pieces of the chicken. This is highly recommended even for the folks who do not eat spinach. 
I can't offer much thoughts into the Naab Special BBQ Fish RM28.90 because I am not into dory fish. That being said, Emily and Christine actually finished this up...so it must be good. 
You will see grilled tomatoes with your meat dishes. Ripe succulent tomatoes grilled to perfection. The way to eat it is actually to peel off the skin and sprinkle some salt to enhance the flavours. Apparently the Iranians remove the skin as it is believed to be poisonous. 

The highlight of the day's meal is of course the Naab Goosht RM36.90. This is actually a meal on its own complete with all the nutrients that you will need for a day of hard labour. It is also quite a fun meal too.
A complete meal for one. Does taste like a very rice minestrone.  The mug of yogurt drink compliments this whole meal so well.
This little hot pot is a hearty lamb stew with tender lamb, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and spices. Drain the gravy out. The folks at Naab can do it for you if you wish.
Mash it all up.
Break the hot bread and let it soak up the goodness of the beef stew gravy before you eat it.
You can eat the the mashed up stew with the breads.

Food coma is bound to arise when you have 4 girls eating all of the above:D The solution is simple. Stay on and chat over a cup of tea or coffee!
The traditional Iranian tea RM9.90. Goes well with some sugar. Personally I fet the sugar cubes were too big for the lil cup. Fret not, you can simply dip in the sugar and take it out after a few seconds. Sugar does enhance the taste of this tea so I actually made it an exception to the rule of adding sugar to my tea.
Coffee after a meal is a brilliant idea.

Psss...if you're heading in soon, then head over to www.moola.my to download your Moola app for Apple, Blackberry and Android. Sign up to be a Moola Frenz then download your RM10 voucher to dine at Naab. Of course the benefits of being a Moola Frenz is that you get back 10% cash back of your purchases at Moola partners. Quite a good deal right?

Naab Restaurant, Bukit Bintang (Main Branch)
130, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
T: +6032143 3949


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More pics in the album: My Iranian Adventure @ Naab