Eating out with baby – Persian Delight, Stanhope Street, Newcastle

Persian Delight, 280 Stanhope Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5JT

eating-out-with-babyPersian Delight was originally set up seven years ago. Food is served fresh, quickly and most importantly – prices are very affordable for mums on maternity leave (like me).

It’s somewhere you can just drop by with the kids, there’s no need to book and staff will go out of their way to offer you the best in Persian hospitality. This is a family establishment so children are welcome any time and I was helped through the door with our buggy on arrival – a nice touch.

The owner genuinely adores kids, and more often than not, you’ll find that the clientele here does as well. What’s lacking in child-friendly amenities is made up for in warmth and service. The restaurant’s decor ties together ancient Persian artwork with a more cosmopolitan feel well. Wherever you look, there’s something to catch your eye and talk to the kids about as you wait for your food to arrive.

My personal favourite piece of art is of the Faravahar with the words ‘good deeds, good thoughts, good words’ on it. A little reminder that we should all strive to live a better life (not a bad thing to teach the kids).

In terms of a children’s menu, there isn’t one because it’s not one of those chicken nugget and chips establishments. There are a number of options on the main menu that may please a little one’s palate, but picky eaters or parents with unrealistic expectations might be best to avoid the place. A menu suggestion might be to add a children’s section, although I’m sure Ali would serve up smaller portions on request.

For starters, my better half and I shared a freshly baked nan and kashk-e bademjan. It’s made up of fried aubergine with onion, garlic, mint, a little tomato puree and kashk, which is thick whey usually found in Middle Eastern supermarkets. The sweetness of the onion, freshness of the mint and velvety texture of the aubergine puree combined wonderfully with the creamy hit of the whey. It’s fair to say I could have eaten more if master C had not needed his bottle of milk. Luckily he glugged this down fairly quickly and just in time as my main was about to be served.

I’d ordered jujeh kebab with rice. This is chicken marinated in a saffron sauce which consists of minced onion, lemon juice and saffron before it is grilled. Rice is a main staple in the Persian diet and is delicious with melted butter drizzled over it. The pieces of boneless chicken breast were served skewer-less with wedges of lime and a grilled tomato. It was juicy, flavoursome, tender and above all, filling.

There is something special about watching flatbread being stretched out and baked in front of you and the kids will love watching this too. It’s worth noting that flatbreads are a hit with the kids, and a half-portion of jujeh kebab is more than enough for them. Add in a side salad and you’ve got a grand meal for junior.

Hubby opted for Soltani (Sultan’s feast) is a combination of one skewer of minced lamb called kebab-e koobideh and one of lamb fillet, kebab-e barg, served with rice and a side salad. The koobideh is ground lamb mixed with parsley, onion and other Persian spices, while the barg is lamb fillet. They were tender and delicious.

For drinks, my husband and I ordered traditional fragrant cardamom-infused tea. We always rounded off our meal with tea though I was tempted by the shirini (cakes) too. Sadly Master C had other plans and became restless so we gave it a miss.

QUICK TIP: The restaurant does have toilet and washbasin facilities, although it’s worth noting that there is no baby changing area and the bathrooms are tight. Make sure you’re prepared for this and do your best to take care of nappy situations before and/or after your meal. I didn’t spot any high chairs, but that’s not to say the restaurant doesn’t have any in the back.

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