We came to know of this place when we read the sad news in the paper of the owner’s demise. Since we are relatively new in Dubai, this was the first we heard of these legendary Iranian Kebabs, but as soon as M read the word “Kebab”, it’s pretty much all that he’s been thinking about.
I won’t elaborate on the brilliance of the late founder of the restaurant, as the below link articulates it perfectly.
As luck would have it, we met up with my adventurous friend Kiran and her husband on Friday, and on a whim, scuttered off find the iconic Iranian Special Ostadi Restaurant.
First off, be warned: parking is NOT an easy feat there. I would actually recommend taking the train to Fahaidi station and walking a few meters.
We were welcomed by an extremely colorful no-frills restaurant with walls decorated by pictures of celebrities who have paid homage to these Kebabs. The tables were also made colorful by the plethora of international currencies displayed under the glass tops.
“Our father had only half a table-top of currencies, from his personal collection’, we were told by Abbas; one of the owners/brothers. “Overtime, visitors from all over the world started leaving behind tips in their currencies and the collection grew to cover all the tables, and it was his most prized possession”.
It was he who suggested we try a mix since it’s our first time, so that we can just order more of what we like the most.
- Yogurt Chicken and Lamb: This had a sour undertone to it that we actually quite loved
- Lamb and Chicken Shish Kebab: A simple shish kebab done just right
- Joujou Kebab: I can’t fully explain what this was but it was juicy, saucy and really good
- Bahraini Chicken and Lamb Kebab: These were generously seasoned with black pepper and these were my favorite ones
- Soup: a hearty soup of oats, dill, and mild spices; M loved this but I found it to be a bit bland and too filling.
- Hommus: Too dry and lacked the creamy smoothness that I like in Hommus.
M is really big on grills and extremely hard to please, and on a scale of 1 to Snow Angels, this was Snow Angels for him.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal in this unpretentious environment and were numerously made to laugh by the jovial owners/brothers; who were all taking orders, interacting with customers, and ringing them up.
M and I find it very endearing when we see storeowners personally involved to this extent in any business. You know you’re being fed an honest to God meal and you can taste the love on your plate when an owner is knee-deep in the operations himself.
We concluded our meal with Minty black teas and it was easily one of my most enjoyable and memorable meals ever. No wonder this place has gone down in history, not just for me, but for the hundreds of people who’s smiling pictures color the walls of this bustling restaurant in which you can literally taste the love and positive energy of the Iranian family who owns it.