Shayan, an authentic Persian food experience

  • Thursday, October 31, 2013
  • By Ion Gonzaga
  • 0 Comments


I was a little averse when it comes to food from this region. It's been 6 years in the UAE and this not-so-adventurous foodie got to experience real Persian food for the very first time.

Hospitality is the abstract specialty of the house at Shayan, in Al Ghurair Rayhaan Hotel.  We were warmly welcomed and ushered to our seat by a smiling crew. A curd-like, minty drink was served to mark the start of this Persian dinner indulgence.

Traditional olives and yogurt dip with fresh veggies and hot, crisp bread
Esfenaj Nargesi - my friend said it "looks like' Laing; I thought it's like a 'veggie sisig' because of the egg on top
Of the three starters served on us, I like Esfenaj Nargesi the most. It is a chopped spinach with a flavorful sauteed onions and a sunny-side up egg on top.
Another starter, Kashk E Bademjan, salty melted cheese curd with grilled eggplant seasoned with Iranian herbs & spices
They served us a platter of mostly saffron-marinated skewers and chops, with 2 variants of rice and a 'confusing'  rice cake for the mains.


I wouldn't remember the names of the dishes but thanks to our server who politely describe each dish he puts on the table. The platter include:

Joojeh Kabab Ba Ostokhan - skewer of marinated chicken on the bone with saffron sauce
Kubideh Ye Joojeh - skewers of minced chicken breast, onion and saffron
Chelo Kabab Kubideh - skewers of minced lamb, with Persian spices and grated onions
Tikke Masti - cuts of beef tenderloin marinated with yogurt, saffron and Persian spices

All the meat are firmly done, and very palatable to the Asian tongue, even to the less-adventurous food tourist.

That weird rice cake is called Tahchin Ghoosh Mahi - it is a pastry layered with shrimp, fish and seafood topped with sea scallops, barberries and pistachios. I thought it was sweet like "puto" in the Philippines, but it actually has a fusion of seafood flavor - although I was expecting more of the shrimps in this.  The taste reminds us of "sea gulaman."  This one is a house signature.

It was Makhloot for dessert, a Bastani ice cream topped with sweet vermicelli noodles, some nuts and a caramel chip. Again it sounds weird when I heard 'sweet vermicelli', but it's good.

Enjoying the food with a great company, Ferry, Fifi and Zeena
It was a delightful night. It exceeded whatever expectations I had. Splendid food, classical ambiance, super quality service. Too bad I had some snacks before I came to this dinner, next time I'll make bigger room for sure. Yes next time, as I will definitely come back and recommend this to my friends. Shayan is ideally a good place to bring my visiting friends who wants to experience good food in this region.

The smiles says it all

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