Iranian | Mahdi

Thu 15th October 2015

My husband and I found Mahdi, the Persian restaurant in Hammersmith (London) by chance, many years ago, when my cousins came to visit us. It was a beautiful Friday summery evening so we decided to go for a stroll along the Thames. We intended to have dinner at a gastro, but on our way there we were drawn into Mahdi by the deliciously inviting smell of their Iranian bread freshly made in their tandoor-style oven. Over the years, Mahdi still remains a favourite local cheap-eats—it’s great value for money, consistently good and does not disappoint.

Mahdi is always packed with Iranians, which is a good sign. It is a unique local restaurant that is exotically styled—ceiling roses, chandeliers, embroidered fabrics, and a stuffed peacock keeps watch over a fountain in one corner. It nicely stands out from the chain restaurants within its proximity. The staff here are swift but not exactly unfriendly. The tables at Mahdi are also crammed so close together, making it perhaps a less desirable venue for a first date. But who cares—the place will make you feel like you have travelled thousands of miles (and also through time) and have arrived in one of the stories of One Thousand and One Nights.

It serves up a traditional, well-executed menu, amenable prices and huge portions. Sharing dishes is a standard practice in Iran. Order a couple of starters. The hummus here is great—smooth, and packed with delicious flavours of chickpeas, garlic and sesame—a great companion with their unbelievably fantastic sesame flatbread. However, if you cannot make up your mind of what starters to go for, then there is always the mixed starters to make your life easier—for £16.50 you will get 5 starters selected by the kitchen. If you like meat, then go for a mixed grill platter for your mains, presented on a raised stand at the centre of the table. Their portion sizes are really generous so a mixed grill for 2 (£24.90 for succulent lamb and chicken, complete with steam cooked saffron rice with barberries) can easily serve 3 persons. Similarly, their mixed grill for 3 (£32.90) can suitably feed 4 persons. Tasty!


Persian, Middle Eastern

A meal for two (based on 4 persons sharing mixed starter and mixed starter for 3 persons, plus one mango juice per person): ~£30

Address: 215-217 King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9JT

Phone: 020 8563 7007

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