Having heard a lot about Persian cuisine, I gathered twelve other like-minded food enthusiasts and we made a reservation for dinner at Bustan. The restaurant opened May 2015 and it is well-frequented by the local Persian community.
Our 16-dish Bustan Menu
We started our meal with an appetizer platter consisting 4 different types of vegetarian starters – “Kaschke Bademjan” (aubergine dip with Persian yogurt), “Mirza Ghasemi” (soft-roasted aubergine in a tomato sauce), “Falafel” (deep-fried patties of ground chickpeas and beans), “Dolmeh” (grape leaves wrap), accompanied by “Naan” (bread) with a special herb dip.
Since kebabs are taken very seriously in Iran, our menu included Bustan’s mixed “Grillteller” consisting 4 different preparations of grilled lamb and chicken.
We also got to try 2 different types of “Polo” – Bustan’s popular “Zereshk Polo” (barberry rice with chicken) and off-the-menu “Shirin Polo” (rice with pistachios, almond slivers and candied orange peel).
A Persian dining experience would not be complete without stews – comfort food served with basmati-saffron rice. Our menu includes the iconic “Khoresht Fessendjan” (pomegranate walnut stew with chicken) and “Ghormeh Sabzi” (tender lamb stewed in a green herb sauce). We also tasted “Mahitsche” – specially-braised lamb shanks.
The making of Persian rice is a complex process, and one can taste the fragrance in each and every fluffy grain. However, there is another rice dish which is rarely served in restaurants due to the amount of prep work involved – the much-coveted “Tahdig” (crunchy fried rice). “Tahdig” is the soul food of Persian cooking, and Bustan’s chef kindly agreed to prepare it for us.
After this generous menu, a few of us still managed to make space in our tummies for dessert – the saffron ice-cream “Bastani Akhbar Mashti” was sweet but surprisingly refreshing, and went very well with the the glass noodle ice-cream “Falude Shiraz” and chocolate cake.
From “Kebabs” to “Khoresht”, it was an incredible culinary journey through Iran!
Bustan, Seckenheimer Straße 4-6, 68165 Mannheim
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