Thursday, 13 September 2012

Dinner With Work

You've Got To Try It All
Where: Zeytoon, Cricklewood
When: August 2012

It's rare that I have a good or interesting dinner with my work colleagues, but on those occasions we have flexibility to spend our own money rather than vouchers we have always had a decent night out.  Zeytoon is a Persian/Afghan restaurant in Cricklewood.  We arrived around 8 PM and were quickly shown to our table.  The restaurant was around a third full. One of our party had been doing some additional fasts after Ramadan so he was pretty hungry and we let his enthusiasm for food get the better of us.  There was a wide choice of well-priced food on the menu and unable to decide we let greed get the better of us.

To start, we went with bread and mixed starters.  Strangely enough the items I was least looking forward to tasted the best and the normally safe hummus was pretty awful.  The Salad-e-Olvieh with chicken, egg and potato was good but my favourite were the two warm aubergine starters and I'm really not a big aubergine fan, Kashk-e-Bademjan which is a mashed aubergine dish and my unexpected favourite Burani Bademjan which was marinated grilled aubergine.

For our mains we started with a mixed grill with one skewer each of four kinds of Kebab, this was a great bargain as it worked out at around £11 each with loads of well marinated meat and lovely saffron rice.  In all honesty we didn't need the other dishes but I was more than glad I tried them.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

To finish our gluttony we had two of the Afghan dishes and these were really nice and both something I'd not tried before.  The first, pictured below was Mantu, which is a little like an Italian ravioli with tomato sauce, but topped with yoghurt.  This was really tasty and reminds me once again how cuisine travels around the world.  The second which escaped my camera was Qabli Polow Lamb Shank which was a delicious lamb shank that had been cooked in fruity brown rice.  Wow, this was good and despite being full to bursting from the mixed grill I managed to eat my portion of the lamb.  We finished our meal £25 lighter of the pocket but most likely 25lbs heavier than when we came in.

Zeytoon 94-96 Cricklewood Broadway, London, NW2 3EL

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