Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Meykadeh

It was Saturday and I needed to find somewhere for dinner. After our trip to Melbourne, and the amazing variety of restaurants down there, I was feeling a bit disillusioned with the usual restaurant suspects. After ruling out the standard Thai/Chinese/Indian/Italian/Vietnamese etc places, I spent an hour or so Googling some new places to go.

To be honest I was hoping to find something completely new, like a Caribbean or Congolese place, but no such luck. Then I came across Meykadeh at Jindalee. I was expecting it to serve giant plates of meat, but was pleasantly surprised after reading through the menu on its website. So we booked and jumped into the car, off to Jindalee.

It's not the easiest place to find - Meykadeh is tucked in a bit of an odd spot in the Jindalee Home Maker Centre. We tracked it down eventually, but once we walked in the door we were made very welcome. A man who appeared to be the owner greeted us, and showed us to the table. The restaurant is all one room, with a bistro feel - white windows and mismatched wooden tables, without tablecloths.

The young waitress quickly brought us a bottle of water and the menus. The menu at Meykadeh is a prime example of why restauranteurs really should put a bit of thought into what they hand out to their diners. This is how the menu begins:

"A meykadeh is a meeting place. A place to relax, talk, eat well and drink.

Welcome. Please take as much time as you wish. There is no minimum spend, nor will you be rushed while you enjoy your coffee or Poor Man's soup."


I don't know about you, but that's exactly what I want to hear when I walk into a restaurant. Sure the restaurant wasn't full on the night we were there, but the staff were incredibly friendly, and there was no hurry throughout our meal.

After looking through the menu, the mazeh/starters really caught my eye. Here are a few of them:

KuKu-yeh Sabzi ($9) - a mixture of eggs, sauteed coriander, dill, spring onion, parsley, lettuce, crushed walnut and barberries, served with homemade garlic yoghurt.

Falafele-Aadas ($9) - lentils mixed with onion and fresh coriander, served with tahini sauce.

Nano-Paniro-Sabzi ($9) - Persian feta with mixed fresh herbs and walnuts;

Morgo badam ($9) - chicken and almond with homemade mayonnaise;

Masto-bademjam ($9) - smokey, slow-barbequed eggplant mashed and combined with homemade yoghurt, finished with caramelised onion, garlic and mint.

Although it was a tough choice, we ordered the falafele-aadas, nano-paniro-sabzi and morgho badam. All of the mazeh were served with barbari naan, a delicious bread (similar to Turkish bread) that was served warm in a small covered basket.

It didn't take long for the mazeh to arrive at our table, and they were all well presented. I'd have to say the best of the three was the falafele - they were fantastic. Many falafel I've had over the years taste only of garlic, but these had a more delicate flavour, and had been perfectly cooked.

The other two mazeh weren't far behind the falafele. The nano-paniro-sabzi was simply plated up - about 6 or 7 large cubes of Persian feta, some fresh walnuts, sliced radish, basil leaves and some parsley. Drizzled over the feta was a herbed dressing. These were all simple ingredients on the plate, but the combination was a winner. By the end I was scraping the last little specks of feta and dressing off the plate.

The final mazeh was the morgho badam. This was a mound of chicken pieces covered in a creamy mayonnaise, that had almond pieces mixed through it. I enjoyed it as a contrast to the other dishes, although it didn't have the same wow factor.

After enjoying the mazeh I was looking forward to the mains. Although most of the mazeh were vegetarian, when it came to the mains, they were mainly meat (with only one vegetarian option). Here's an idea of what was on offer:

Kabab-e Barg-e Bakhteeyari ($28) - char-grilled lamb backstrap with onion, bell peppers and grilled tomato, served with saffron rice & sumac;

Maheeche va Ghorme Sabzi ($28) - lamb shank & aromatic herbs with red beans and dried lime braise on steamed saffron rice;

Fesenjan-e Tahere ($22) - pomegranate and walnut stew with meatballs served with saffron rice;

Kabab-e Shandiez ($34) - marinated lamb rib chops, char-grilled and served with Barbari naan and fresh herbs.

Although the grills sounded good, after having a massive mixed grill plate at Achelya in Melbourne the week before, I was looking for something different, and ordered the Fesenjan-e Tahere (I was fairly sure I'd never had a pomegranate & walnut stew before).

The fesenjan-e tahere was brought out in a boat shaped silver dish - on one side was the stew itself, and the other contained the saffron rice. There was also a small salad on the end of the "boat" which seemed fairly unnecessary to me (but may well be very traditional). The stew was a dark colour, and contained plenty of small meatballs. Although it had a very rich flavour, the tanginess of the pomegranate helped to cut through the richness & lift the overall flavour of the stew. The rice itself was fantastic - a very long grained rice that was extremely fluffy, and didn't cling together. I was wondering how they had managed to cook the rice in order to keep the individual strands from joining together. Overall I enjoyed the fesenjan-e tahere, but would have probably enjoyed a few more dishes with it, to contrast the rich flavour of the stew.

We also ordered the fesenjan-e Bademjan "Khadijeh" ($22) - a stew of pomegranate and walnuts with fried eggplant, served with saffron rice. As we expected, this was basically the same as the dish which I had, but served with eggplant instead of the meatballs. It was the only vegetarian main course, so we didn't have a lot of other options when it came to ordering.

The menu also contains a number of salads, a few of which sounded delicious. Overall, I really enjoyed our dinner at Meykadeh. It certainly ticked the box of something new for dinner, with the added bonus of friendly, welcoming service and a good looking dining room.

If you do go to Meykadeh, I strongly recommend going with a bunch of friends, and ordering a good selection of dishes both from the mazeh and the mains, to share around the table. That's probably the best way of enjoying the food on offer at Meykadeh.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Great
Value for Money - Good
Ambience - Relaxed, wood table-bistro feel
Vegetarian - Ok
Wine - Limited selection, but appeared to allow BYO

Meykadeh
Shop 22 Jindalee Home Maker Centre
34 Goggs Road
Jindalee  4074
P - 07 3715 7776
W- http://www.meykadeh.com.au/

Meykadeh Persian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

Keira McIntosh said...

Well done in finding what sounds like an interesting and tasty spot. I remember the space from when I did some work on the homemaker centre there. Aside from its carpark side location, I can imagine it would make a smart dining room. Curious to check it out.

Gastronomy Gal said...

Nice one Richard. That opening paragraph - stay as long as you wish etc is just lovely!

I so hungry, Ann! said...

i have went by that restaurant but never really went in there.

i too don't like to be rushed and feel pressured into ordering lots of food! seems like a nice place?

wheres the photos? :)