Lavash, NW11 0AL
- 020 8905 5353
- 8-10 Monkville Parade, Finchley Road, NW11 0AL
A Persian restaurant located at the north end of Finchley Road, in the Temple Fortune area.
This is a large space, with muted lighting, dark wooden furniture, plants to break up the space, and painted in rich, warm colours. There are plenty of little corners with small tables, so when it's not too busy, one can feel cut off from the rest of the restaurant, though larger groups can be accommodated on large tables in the centre of the restaurant.
Ewan and Kerry visited on a Wednesday evening in March 2010. When we arrived at 6pm the place was quiet, but had filled with some larger groups by 7pm, though there were still tables to be had when we left.
Service was friendly, if bustling and active, with olives and a dip provided right away, along with some excellent and very tasty flatbread photo. They were happy to provide large glasses of tap water, and the rioja (£17/bottle) was also good quality.
The food menu (which can be found on the website) was presented along with a printed page of "Chef's Specialities" (some of which didn't sound particularly Persian), but covered a good range of both meat-based (primarily lamb) and vegetarian dishes. A starter of halloumi (£4.20) photo was pan-fried, but not overly oily, and served with some tomato (likewise pan-fried) and a fresh green salad.
For the mains, Ewan tried a khoresh-e bademjoon (aubergine and lamb stew in a tomato sauce, £9.10) photo, which came served in a bowl alongside a large plate of rice photo]. Flavouring came from cardamom and other spices, which gave it a nice, if not overpowering, flavour. A lovely, and well-presented dish. My friend's barg (tenderised fillet of lamb, £11.35) was a much simpler dish, served with rice and some salad, certainly very tender and nicely cooked, if somewhat lacking in the spice and flavour of the stew.
A dessert of halva cake (£5) photo was wonderful, moist and rich (and not at all like the dried halva one is used to), while the bastani (Persian ice cream, £5) was also very good, two scoops, one flavoured with rosewater, and a fine end to a filling meal.
Ewan's verdict: This is a comfortable and atmospheric restaurant with good food executed well and I'd happily return to try more from their menu.