I’d heard a lot of good things about Souk Kitchen since it opened last year and, last night, I finally got around to sampling their exciting Culinary Tour of Iran menu. Souk kitchen is run by Ella and Darren Lovell (formerly of Rucola in Clifton), inspired by their experiences of Middle Eastern market food, their passion and flair really comes through.
Once a month they host special events featuring national dishes from a different country each time. I’d had no experience of Iranian/Persian food so it was good to have a bit of a crash course. I love trying new things so I was up for the challenge and went along with an open mind. The menu, below, was explained to us and we chose to try one of everything.
23rd February 2011 Culinary Tour – Iran
Sabzi Khordan, Paneer, Naan A lovely fresh and vibrant herb salad with feta, gherkins, radishes and naan bread, a traditional Persian dish to precede or accompany the meal.
Joojeh quail, blood orange, fennel and walnuts The quail was marinated, spatchcocked and grilled. I’m not entirely sure what was in the marinade (saffron, yoghurt and lemon among other spices probably) but it was very tasty, and the quail was nice and moist. The accompanying blood orange, fennel and walnut salad was lovely, refreshing, sweet and crunchy.
Kookoo-ye badenjan, chicory + herb salad This was similar to a frittata, but with aubergine, and was also very tasty.
Khoresht-e ghormeh sabzi, saffron chelow rice This was a hearty lamb stew with beans, spinach, fenugreek and lime; delicately spiced. It was gorgeous, real comfort food and perfect for a drizzly Bristol evening. The rice was aromatic and light, topped with a delicious sticky, crunchy bit (from the bottom of the pan, we were told).
Pan-fried sea bream, golden spices, sheveed polow, beetroot boorani The sea bream was beautifully cooked and served with an aromatic rice with dill, and a refreshing beetroot and yoghurt sauce on the side.
Both served with a cucumber, mint and pomegranate salad.
Persian rice pudding Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for this.
Pomegranate jelly, rose cream This was delicious, tart and refreshing. The jelly was topped with a delicately rose-flavoured cream, chopped pistachios, almonds and mint. Lovely.
£24 per person
Next stop on the culinary tour: Turkey 30th March, and then Lebanon on 26th April.
I would definitely recommend the Culinary Tour tasting evenings, I’d certainly be interested in trying another one, and also to go back to try the main menu.
Souk Kitchen, 277 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1JP
0117 966 6880