The success of Taste Food Tours can be marked not just in my enthusiasm at the time of the tour, but also in the fact that a year later, it inspired me to return to Fairfield again. Parking and navigating the streets like a local, I made a beeline for the Iranian dishes at Shandeez.
Stepping inside the highly decorated, texturally rich space we took a chance on two different imported Persian soft drinks from the drinks fridge, then ordered up a storm from the easy-to-understand picture menu.
For an easy win, the Shishlik Special ($25) offers up five slightly blackened lamb cutlets with the bones covered in foil for ease of eating. They’re marinated in yoghurt with lemon, garlic, onions and saffron, and cooked to a nice pink medium within.
While dried lime is a slightly more unusual flavouring for the Australian palate, it does make for a fresh and interesting slow-cooked lamb stew in Ghormeh Sabzi ($11). This hearty yet inexpensive bowl of diced lamb, green herbs and kidney beans is served with both saffron rice and plain rice. Persians generally prefer rice rather than bread as a staple, and they cook it very well, with beautifully separated, starch-free, long grains.
We do get some bread to go with Kashk E Bademjan ($5) – the eggplant dip I fell in love with on my first visit. I suspect the hidden hand of microwave heating because this dip flavoured with turmeric, garlic and onions, was a bit dried out and disappointing this time.
Brightly coloured Pickles ($4) were a bit soggy and over-done. Interestingly, the same Persian, yellow-stained pickled vegetables we scooped up from giant plastic tubs at Al Jamil Market around the corner were much fresher and more vibrant.
Luckily, thanks to Taste Food Tours familiarising me with Fairfield, I knew just where to find the good stuff.
NOTE: You can find my first visit to this restaurant back HERE.
40 Ware Street, Fairfield
Ph: (02) 9755 5247