Being authentic. Sabrina’s Persian Kitchen

I lost my wallet on Wednesday. Then my travel card on Thursday; and my mobile phone on Saturday. What did this mean? My religious friends might say it is bad karma. The spiritual ones will suggest it is a test for positivity in the face of adversity. Or it could just mean that I was careless, and lost some stuff. My Indian upbringing and the comfort of allowing things to mean what suited my current purpose has led to a lot of storytelling.  I have become so good at this that even I can barely tell the difference between me and my story.

A side dish to this unappetising meal is also that I lost track of why I was doing the things I did. For instance, this blog. I wrote the very first blog post on a cocktail napkin while feeling very sorry for myself. To be honest, the first post didn’t really have a purpose. But with each meal I found strength and joy; and the purpose of my blog became self-discovery.

Two years on I am embarrassed and angry to realise that this blog is threatening to dilute into something else. That I am disappearing behind a new story. A story that started to care about blog stats, followers and number of hits. I became more interested in how many pictures I could take of a dish even as my food went cold… Somewhere in the last two years I began to get less authentic.

And then I lost my phone. I was on my way to a supper club and started to panic at the thought of not being able to update the world on the minutiae of my meal. What would I do?

I did what I used to do before I let the story take over. I enjoyed a meal without the pressure of out-Tweeting everyone else on the table. I gave the food the respect it deserved and after a long time, I gave into the food.

Supper Clubs can be hit or miss. Even when you know the food will be amazing you can be stuck on a table with a miserable bunch. Or you could find yourself amongst people who will feel like old friends. Like I did, when I dined at Sabrina’s Persian Kitchen. At £40 for ten dishes and a cocktail, Sabrina’s food cannot be matched for quality or value for money by any restaurant that I know. The meal was elaborate and these were the highlights for me:

  • Mirza Ghasemi – a smoked aubergine starter that gave birth to Indian baingan bharta.
  • Kotlet – beef and potato patties that took me back to when I used to swap shaami kababs from my friend Sharmeen Qadri’s lunchbox for chhole in mine.
  • Slow cooked lamb infused with rose petals, cumin, sumac and cinnamon – this dish inspired a moment’s silence on our table. A perfectly cooked lamb shoulder found its place as our centrepiece, and was just awesome.
  • Joojeh Kabab – saffron and lemon marinated poussin.
  • Morrassah Polow – rice with pistachios, almonds, barberries and orange peel. The Persians take rice to heights few others can reach. I wanted to kiss Sabrina’s hands after my first taste of this magnificent dish. I’ve had Brittania’s chicken berry pulao a hundred time over; but that isn’t a patch on the magic in my rice bowl.
  • Dessert was an almond, carrot, coconut and pistachio cake. I don’t usually like desserts so am definitely not the best person to comment on cake. However… it was served with a mesmerising rosewater cream. Light as air and soft as snow, I ate more cream than cake.

I’m forever saying “I love food”. That night, Sabrina’s heartfelt and generous cooking gave me a chance to actually try and figure out what that means.


Read more about Persian Supper on Edible Experiences

1 Comment

Filed under London, Persian, Supper Club

One response to “Being authentic. Sabrina’s Persian Kitchen

  1. May

    Sabrina cooks like magic and her food is probably one of the most original ones. You should come try my supperclub too, to compare.

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