top view on traditional asian pilauThe covered nature of Orkideh’s dark wood terrace means you can eat alfresco at any time of year. It might face the Finchley Road, but admiring the abundant plant-life and wall-mounted patterned crockery that surrounds you will soon transport you somewhere altogether more exotic. Inside, traditional Persian rugs and a large samovar on the bar provide more classic cultural references.

Ash-e-reshteh is a starter for those who come hungry and crave hearty fare; a steaming bowl of yogurt-and-mint noodle soup packed with beans and vegetables. A comprehensive range of hot and cold items are equally tempting, but the huge piles of herbs, walnuts and fresh cheese that the panir sabzi comprises are hard to resist.

Orkideh’s main course menu is split into grills and stews – with everything accompanied by the obligatory saffron rice. From the former, makhsoos offers you the chance to sample boneless chicken and minced lamb kebabs on a single platter. Stews include the fruit-and-nut sauced chicken fesenjan and the vegetarian ghormeh sabzi – a mix of herbs, kidney beans and dried lime.

Saffron-scented ice cream makes a fine finish, as do a few sinful, sticky squares of Persian baklava – especially when washed down with a pot of Persian tea.

746 Finchley Road, London NW11 7TH | 020 8731 9921 | orkideh.co.uk | T: OrkidehLondon | FB: orkidehpersianrestaurant

For more of the UK’s hottest Persian restaurants, check out: UK’s best Persian restaurants

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