Anar

Anar’s waterside location next to the (albeit faux) canal, is instantly appealing with outside tables providing a fantastic view of the Burj al Arab. With abras taxiing hotel guests to and thro and the constant stream of tourists wandering by, this is the perfect people-watching spot. The Persian-costume clad staff are obviosuly aware that they are being gawped at and appear a trifle embarrassed by their traditional get-ups. They are also a bit miffed that they have to wait on tables. Be prepared for a long wait for drinks orders to be taken and an unapologetic response should your choice of wine be out of stock. The rather over-enthusiastic hostess is on hand to pick out/ bully you into more expensive alternatives. The borani-e-esfenaj starter, a combination of sautéed spinach with crispy fried onion and saffron has a texture resembling that of pond slime and a taste not far off. Opt instead for the lamb and pistachio meatballs with a sweet and sour pomegranate sauce. Anar is named after Iran’s native fruit so you should expect to find these crunchy pomegranate seeds liberally pepperd throughout the menu. A promising main course, the mahi marinated in pomegranate sadly seems to be competing for a for a spot in a Captain Birdseye box, but is too dry and flavourless to even make it into a fish finger. Chicken dishes are also dull and do not deliver what’s promised on the packet. The setting is pleasing, but the food and service do little to raise the Persian restaurants profile.

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