Sunday, 5 October 2008

03.10.08: Out to Fanoos

We meant to go back sooner since our first trip to Fanoos was so homey and pleasant, but maybe we were just waiting for the cold weather to come back so we could bask in the toastiness of the shopfront tiled clay oven that bakes the incomparable sesame flatbread.

We could hardly wait for the Kashk o Bademjan, or aubergine puree with yoghurt, to arrive before tearing in (She's guilty of tearing at corners), but when it did we slathered it up right.

And we couldn't resist ordering the garlic butter variety, too.

Mixed grill for two: skewers of chicken, lamb fillet, and minced lamb plus whole grilled tomatoes, lettuce, red onion slices and lemon. (We did go swimming before dinner and had worked up an appetite!)

Accompaniments: saffron rice, plain rice, little pats of butter for the rice, cosy sand-coloured walls sporting brick arches and tile mosaics, candlelight atmosphere, and an accidental gift of baba ganoush. (We thought it must come with the platter, and She stuck a fork in it just as the manager came to shift it to another table - 'Ah, well, on the house, on the house!')

HE SAYS: Glad we came back , I thoroughly enjoyed this festival of grilled meats. All were tender and juicy with no added sauces or marinades needed apart from a squirt of lemon to bring out the flavour. The Kashk o Bademjan with a very deep smoky taste was fantastic with the bread. The garlic bread was thin, crispy and tasty but perhaps not needed as we had not yet seen the size of the main dish before ordering. It was nice to accidentally receive an order of baba ganoush and although I've tasted better, I slathered it on my bread thickly and it succeeded in hitting the spot. Overall, a cozy, intimate Friday night dining experience.

SHE SAYS: Thoroughly enjoyable on all counts, and it was mildly thrilling to do something a little different on a Friday nite. The sesame bread put me in mind of a thin, perfectly crafted NY pizza base, only with divine sesame flavour instead of sauce and cheese. I didn't think it was possible, but the creamy, subtle sweet-tang of the kashk made it even more delectable. If I lived around here I'd be big as a house b/c I'd come in all the time to sneak this hot bread 'n' Persian spread. The garlic version was fab, too, but only took the flavour factor up a small notch.

The grilled meats were mostly tender and charcoaly, though the lamb fillet was a little dry. No matter: adding some lettuce bits and roasted tomato to those bites made them more than passable. The mince was seasoned like your average hamburger, not hugely impressive, but perfectly fine. Our serendipitous baba ganoush hit the wrong note for me, way too smokey. I'd have the chicken kebab next time, with two servings of plain sesame bread (to share, of course; what kind of piggy do you think I am?) - and mebbe even two servings of kashk.

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