Friday, February 10, 2017
Shabestan, Robertson Quay
Shabestan (#01-13 The Pier, 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, tel : +65 6836 1270) is an upmarket Persian/Iranian restaurant located down the riverside where Brasserie Wolf used to be. We've been eyeing the place for quite a while as we've passed by the location multiple times, seen their menu and thought they looked interesting. Yes, it's another one of those places.
We were recommended the muhamara to start - a paste of pepper, walnuts, olive oil and pomegranate served with lavash . The muhamara was sweet, nutty and had some citrus in the flavours. Delicious.
We ordered a duo of their rice; or polo/polow which incidentally sounds like pulau. One was a Zereshk polo which is sometimes known as the Persian jewelled rice - rice made with saffron, dried barberries and pomegranate. The other was a Baghala polo, cooked with lima beans and dill. Both were delicious. The square on top is cut off from the rice crust in their cooking vessel. Something like a socarrat.
Did anyone think that we have forgotten lamb? We did not. Here's a soltani which featured a koobideh and grilled filet. Meat was marinated, but not to death.
We ordered a stewed duck with walnut sauce with pomegranate. This was the first duck dish we've ever had in any Middle Eastern restaurant. The sauce was rich, sweet, tangy and nutty. Not so different from the muhamara. There was a whole duck thigh in the dish and the meat was fall off the bone tender.
Dessert was a saffron ice cream with pistachio. With more pomegranate. That ice cream was rich and creamy with saffron flavours. Good stuff.
Shabestan has a fancy looking dough/doogh. The drink is similar to ayran - basically a salted yoghurt drink with mint and sometimes with club soda. This one has masala spices and dried rose petals too.