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Scorcher reviews: Persian Flavours

A Moveable Feast
Article image for Scorcher reviews: Persian Flavours

Persian Flavours, 338 Springvale Road, Forest Hill.

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It was A Flock of Seagulls who in their hit song sang about the place that was once called Persia: “And Iran, Iran so far away.”

Ok, so I may have the lyrics slightly confused. But I did have the Eighties classic rolling around my head on the drive out to Forest Hill on the way to have myself a mighty Persian feast.

Persian Flavours is a humble suburban restaurant that has been serving filling plates of honest Iranian-style food to the good folk of Forest Hill and surrounds since 2007.

Curiously, half the menu is devoted to Indian ‘flavours’ and while I didn’t always pay close attention in geography class I don’t believe the Persian Empire ever stretched to encompass the subcontinent. Let’s just call it a bit of a Mughal mix.

One thing that is decidedly Iranian about Persian Flavours though is the hospitality. Speak to anyone who has been to Iran and they’ll tell you that locals embrace foreign visitors with a warmth normally reserved for family members.

Upon seeing us enter, the chef looked up from what he was doing in the kitchen and shouted: “Good evening! Welcome, welcome! So glad you’re here!”

Skewered meats – chicken masti, lamb tikka, and lamb koobideh – are the thing to go for here. Sizzled over the charcoal grill, cubes of lamb tikka – back-strap marinated in ginger, garlic and yoghurt – were like juicy little pillows, served with a big lump of fluffy rice or bread, grilled tomato and salad – simple, easy food. Ditto the chicken masti, marinated boneless chook that’s tasty and easily shareable if you’re feeling generous.

Sticking to the skewers is advisable as the other Iranian dishes were a bit of a let down. The reddish bowl of gheymeh – an Iranian-type stew with lamb, black-eyed beans, spices and, oddly, a few skinny French fries bobbing on top – was a touch on the bland side.

Persian Flavours is more night watchman than flashy opener, more half-back flanker than leading centre-half-forward. But that’s fine; when the weekend rolls around and you’re in the mood for a rough and ready feed and want to try something a little different, this place ticks some boxes.

Service is speedy and warm, and they won’t try to boot you out the door as soon as you’ve scooped up your last spoonful of rice to fit in the next sitting – a welcome change from dining in the city – so you can enjoy a leisurely natter with your mates as you loosen your belt one notch after having gorged on plates of kebab.

While I wouldn’t suggest that Persian Flavours serves the most exciting Iranian food in this city, it’s a pretty cruisy place to come if you don’t mind the conversation being the highlight of the evening.


A Moveable Feast