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Sheherzade Persian Grill and Dizi

Anyone been to Pomegranate's sister restaurant? It's right beside it at 422 College St.

They offer the kabob side of Persian food as well as dizi which is something I've been craving for years.

The menu is viewable here : http://www.pomegranaterestaurant.ca/m...

I haven't been but will be sure to check it out this week.

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  1. Has anyone been to Sheherzade yet?

    2 Replies
    1. re: phoenikia

      I was going to go back when I posted this but I told my Persian friend she could get dizi in Toronto now and she's forbade me from going until she's done her exams on May 30th. Apparently were going June 1st, I'll report back then.

      1. re: radiopolitic

        Is Sheherzade open for lunch? Unfortunately Pomegranate isn't.

    2. I finally made it out with my Persian friend to Sheherzade and it was definitely worth the wait.

      Arrived for our reservations at 7pm and were quickly seated. The interior is small but very cozy and full of little Persian ornaments/decorations similar to their sister restaurant next door, albeit maybe a bit simpler.

      We'd both come for the dizi since it had been about 5 years since I was last in Shiraz that I'd had it at Hammam-e-Vakil (which has unfortunately closed since). My friend had it relatively recently but she had been left dissatisfied. The only thing to really decide was what we would get as far as appetizers go.

      We opted for Polour and Kal Kabob to start as well as a pitcher of doogh.

      I should note that there were two servers at the restaurant and they were both attending to us. The first was a female who was really nice but it was the guy who really hit the ball out of the park. My friend is Persian and I'm a Middle Eastern mutt, our server was Portuguese but able to converse and crack jokes with us in both Persian and Turkish. When he found out my friend was Persian he immediately made the doogh saltier than the North American palate would be accustomed to.

      Our appetizers were brought out and we dug in pretty fast as we were both famished. The kal kabob was pretty tasty, I'd never had it before but I'd compare it to a mirza ghasemi minus the egg with a very rich, fresh flavour. The polour was a very light appetizer, which while good was just a tad on the bland side. The bread is your standard nan-e barbari which came warm in a little basket. I haven't been to Banu in a bit but if memory serves me correctly the bread at Banu is a bit better than Sheherzade.

      To the abgusht(dizi) - simply delicious. More bread is brought to our table, an explanation is proffered should you have no idea how to eat it and it is also strained if you would like them to. If you've never had abgusht before basically what comes is a small clay pot of sorts, a bowl, a pestle, some mast(yogurt), some torshi(minced pickled veggies) and bread. One takes the lid off the clay pot and strains the liquid in the pot into the bowl keeping the goodies in the pot. One then takes their bread and breaks it up into small pieces and puts it into the broth in the bowl. At this point it turns subjective as some like to put so much bread in that it absorbs all the broth while others like to leave some broth around. Some may also enjoy to dribble some of the juices from the torshi over the bowl of broth to add some extra flavour but this is totally optional. One then consumes the bread soaked in broth, then takes their pestle and grinds the hell out of the contents of your pot. Once it has all turned into mush you load some of it onto/into some bread adding an occasional dab of mast and some torshi here and there.

      It was fabulous, the flavours of the broth infused in a heavenly manner into the bread, I felt like I was eating lamb bread - it was probably the best broth or 'ab'(ab means water in Persian) of abgusht I've had outside of Iran.

      The 'gust' (meat in Persian) portion of the abgusht was also pretty darn good - lacked a smidgen of spicing but really not too noticeable in the grand scheme of things. Nice and hearty and full of flavour. I loaded it onto bread, slathered yogurt onto it and devoured it till it was done. It is a really filling meal on its own and when you add two appetizers before it my friend couldn't finish hers (she's about 5'1'').

      We digested for a bit and then split an order of faludeh between the two of us. Very generous portion scattered with some pomegranate seeds. My friend found it a bit heavy on the rose water, I thought it didn't have enough but we both added a generous helping of lemon juice and then proceeded to make it disappear in record time. We finished off the evening with some Persian chai's which were a nice little nightcap.

      Total came to $70 before tip which we both thought was a great price for how full we felt and how delicious the food was. The male server came over for a last bit of conversation in English, Persian and Turkish and a few more jokes were cracked which had us leaving in a rather jolly mood. Both of us will definitely be returning quite soon.

      11 Replies
      1. re: radiopolitic

        Totally agree on the dizi. The first time we had it, it was so good we went back the next day and had it again!

        1. re: radiopolitic

          Great review - sounds like a must-try. Interesting about the doogh, I've ordered it before (I think at Pomegranate, not sure though, possibly at Parsi) and found it lacked salt but figured maybe that's how it's supposed to be. Next time I'll know to ask for persian salt levels!

          1. re: radiopolitic

            Thanks for the very timely review and recommendations! Ben Reiner and I went Friday night. I've been wanting to try it for a while and just happened to read your review at the end of the day, Friday. Well, that made the decision very easy. We made reservations for around 7:00. No problem getting a table then, but about half an hour later, it was packed. (On a side note, I called the Pomegranate number first to make a reservation by mistake, and they didn't even have a table until 8:30! I'm glad to hear that both places are doing well.)

            Even though I'm not a fan of the bottled doogh, I decided to try a glass of their homemade doogh - and at only $3 a glass, it was easy to take the risk. It was delicious! Very nice fresh flavour with ground rose petals and mint on top. BR had a glass of pomegranate juice which he thought was very good.

            Between the two of us, we shared three apps and one dizi. The apps were: kal kabob (absolutely delicious!), salad shirazi (simple but fresh and tasty), and spinach borani (delicious too). Next time we would probably only have 2 apps (kal kabob and salad) because you get maast (yoghurt) with the dizi, and we were so stuffed by the end of the meal!

            The dizi was delicious and such a fun dish to share. It was our first time having it, so thanks for the advice and instructions on how best to eat it. And the bread was so fresh and tasty too - much better than what we have tried at some middle eastern supermarkets. The kabob plates coming out of the kitchen looked wonderful too (huge plate with rice, salad, and the kabobs).

            The wait staff were very professional, and helped us with the order. They explained the dishes and how best to eat it. For dessert, they recommended we try the sweet plate with some tea. The dessert plate was very nice - just a few sweet bites that went very nice with the tea. Four bite-size chickpea flour cookies that melted in your mouth, a sweet "funnel cake"-like thing, and some honey coated nuts.

            Total bill came to $52 before tip...and we were stuffed! We will definitely be back.

            1. re: radiopolitic

              Nicely detailed review, but for the benefit of those of who aren't persian, could you at least try to describe in western terms what some of these dishes are? Droogh - is that a drink, a dip, a finger food? Polour? Kal-kabob? There are a number of Persian places that have sprung up in Richmond Hill lately, but all we seem to get is variations on dry ground meat with rice. Some idea of how to explore a menu would be great.

              1. re: KevinB

                I second that request. The OP all sounds rather mysterious to me. But intriguing!

                1. re: haggisdragon

                  It would be my pleasure to respond. The doogh is a yoghurt-based drink - kind of sour, but the mint, rose petals and ice cubes made it a refreshing beverage. It's definitely an acquired taste but worth trying at this restaurant, especially since they make their own fresh in house. The kal kabob is a mashed eggplant dish with pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts, among other ingredients. The spinach borani is a yoghurt dip made with sauteed spinach. Both of those apps are eaten as dips with the Persian bread. Different flavours, but served similar to Greek or other middle eastern dips.
                  And the dizi is a lamb stew mixed with potatoes, beans, etc. The broth is first poured out into a bowl (and you eat it as a soup after dropping pieces of the toasted bread into the bowl). Then the meat and other ingredients from the stew get mashed up, and you eat that as an open-face sandwich with the bread. Then you can top the sandwich with a dollop of plain yoghurt and/or pickled veg.
                  Hope this helps clarify the dishes a bit. Don't let it intimidate you. The staff is very friendly and will help you with your order and if you have any questions on ingredients.

                  1. re: Mandy Lin

                    YUM! I must try this. Are they open at lunch?

                    1. re: Mandy Lin

                      Thanks! Have you visited any of the Persian spots in Richmond Hill? Any recommendations?

                      1. re: KevinB

                        I'd recommend Shomal(North) at Steeles and Yonge off in a plaza across the street from the north Centrepoint entrance. They have some rare (for Toronto) dishes from Gilan province in Iran, which is in northern part of the country and hence the name of the restaurant.

                        Try baghala ghatogh, torshi tareh, or morghe torsh.

                        Here's the site - http://www.shomalrestaurant.com/

                        1. re: KevinB

                          Don't know about Richmond Hill, but in North York, Alborz is really good. It's at Yonge and Finch.
                          We had the Halim Bodemjan (Seasoned eggplant with chickpeas & veal tenderloin topped with their special sauce, fried mint, garlic and walnuts) and Barg Kabob (beef).

                          http://www.alborzrestaurant.ca/

                        2. re: Mandy Lin

                          Doogh is essentially watered down yogurt with salt added. Hence, it can sound rather unappetizing to the North American palate but I would definitely recommend one tries it out.

                          Polour is a mix of white cheese, walnuts, herbs and onion. It says it is a spread on the website but it comes served as really heavy on the crumbled cheese.