Faanoos is the first stop on our odyssey around the UK’s Persian restaurants, and is located in London’s East Sheen. Walking in, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d walked through a wormhole into a Middle Eastern eatery during the 1800s. Not that it looks old and outdated, far from it, but the space has an air of authenticity, right down to the wattle and daub style walls (a touch that must have been hard to achieve using modern materials). Taking pride of place is the tandoor oven, into which a chef places hand-rolled naan breads prepared and served in the dining room itself (the oven being just inside the front door). This gives the restaurant a sense of the theatrical, as disc after disc of piping hot bread is taken and served from the scorching hot depths. Mezze is served both hot and cold, and of note here is the hummus and the mast o moosir (yoghurt with wild garlic), mopped up with the aforementioned bread. Koobideh (minced lamb skewers) and boneless chicken (joojeh) kebabs are the mainstays of Faanoos, and offered with either bread or saffron rice. A number of side dishes are also available to accompany main dishes, such as traditional Persian pickles (torshi), pickled cucumbers, and marinated olives.
For more of the UK’s hottest Persian restaurants, check out: UK’s best Persian restaurants