Mahdi is restaurant/grill serving authentic style Persian cuisine based in King Street in the Hammersmith area of London. The staff are friendly and the style of the restaurant is very rustic middle eastern with lovely brick work and decor, imported Persian light fixtures and ornaments and trinkets placed through out.
This restaurant has been around for quite a few years and has a very loyal following making it one of the more popular Persian restaurants. Most people go for the grilled options like the “Koobideh” which is minced skewered lamb and “Joojeh” which is marinated grilled chicken amongst many other options. There are also “Khoresht” dishes which are stew/curry style but not spicy, many of these Khoresht dishes take an immense amount of time and effort to prepare.
Food, Food, Food…
We arrived on time for our booking and was escorted to our table and offered dates and water as it was one of the last days of Ramadan. We ordered a few different dishes (all grill options). I was advised to try the “Joojeh” on the bone which is baby chicken (poussin) with a very light saffron marinade chargrilled with a skewer of the lamb “koobideh”, others ordered “Joojeh” with no bone (chicken breast pieces), Lamb chops and some standard started like homous, bread and so on.
The restaurant was very busy and the food took approx 35 minutes to arrive as we had been pre warned, served in large metal embossed tray looking plates with descent, quite large portions.
My meal was priced at £12.80 which consisted of one and half whole baby chickens and a minced lamb skewer which in hindsight was too much but thats what happens when you order food starved. The other meals were all between £11-£14. The baby chicken was cooked well and the marinade was was done well with saffron and lemon which is what makes the colour golden. Slightly on the dry side and taste wise 7.5, not the best I have had. The rice was lovely, fluffy and steamed.
The Koobideh looked great, slightly charred on the outside and I was hoping for a juicy melt in the mouth inside like the way a proper koobideh is supposed to be, But alas I was disappointed, after the fist bite the inside was slightly raw which is not nice for this type of lamb and makes for a slightly pasty texture. Unfortunately there were others on the table with the same under cooked kebabs.
The restaurant was willing to bring us fresh kebabs but it being so busy we decided not to do that. All that being said the first and last parts of the kebab were cooked fine and even then not the best koobideh kebab, I would give it a 6.8 at best and even lower because of the undercooked.
The boneless chicken was very nice, tender (again slightly dry though) clean cut pieces of chicken breast with a lovely saffron marinade again. The lamb chops were not bad and the starters were average.
The restaurant serves only halal food which was confirmed by the managers and staff and serves a large community of muslims from all over, there is also a tiny cupboard sized room which is there for praying if need be.
I will probably visit here again at some point as it is one of the favourites with some of our friends and see if there is any difference.