Pistachio on Carlton Road near to Sneinton Market has recently opened serving ‘Modern Persian Cuisine’. Their menu is filled with a whole plethora of dishes; ‘soups, skewers, salads, and stews’, many Iranian in concept and all sounding so evocative with the promise of flavours of the region.
Saffron, Cinnamon, Dried Lime, Lemon Juice, and Garlic, mixed with dried fruits like Pomegranate, were all listed, interspersed amongst the menu descriptions to tempt ones taste buds.
I have recently been cooking up a whole lot of Middle Eastern Food at home and was curious to try something perhaps more authentic than my efforts in the kitchen.
I had checked out their menu on Twitter and had already kind of picked my meal before I arrived so was here to try out their Lamb and Herb Stew or ‘Ghormeh Sabzi’ as it is known traditionally.
Lamb and Herb Stew – ‘Ghormeh Sabzi
The name of the dish ‘Lamb and Herb stew‘ sounds really simple but there really was a lot more to this plateful than just that. The menu describes the dish as
“This tangy, savoury and citrusy stew is made with a mixture of sautéed herbs, red kidney beans and diced lamb, served over Persian Steamed rice”
I really liked the wholesome honesty of this stew, I had wondered if it was going to be a bit rich and fatty from the lamb however it was not at all. There was a lot of lamb, tender cubes that pulled apart easily with your fork which was great, plenty had already fallen apart to mix in and provide a nice thick gravy like sauce.
It was hearty with a lot of subtle flavours layered into it, the dried Persian limes did add a slight sour note, but you would hardly notice that as there is a lot of chive, parsley, and coriander added into the sauce that make it much more fresh and they enlivened the experience on the taste buds. I really liked all those herbs in the green sauce and the kidney beans just added a bit more bulk and a nice soft crunch as well into the dish experience.
As I ordered, I was advised to get the Pickled Vegetables to go with this dish and I kind of ignored the advice as I am not really a massive pickle fan, however they brought me a small dish anyway just so I could try (I have to admit that they were right).
The sharpness of the tangy hit and crunch from the bite of the pickle was actually a pretty perfect marriage with the stew. It kind of countered the slight sourness of the lime in the stew and brought the dish alive. They also brought me a small side of the Persian yogurt mixed with shallots and that was great to mix into the rice and the stew as well. It just shows that you should listen sometimes 🙂
The Persian Rice that accompanied the Stew was so good that it is worth a mention all by itself. It was soft and fluffy and looked so amazing on the plate I was almost thinking it was a small crime that I was messing up the look by spooning the stew on to it, To be honest though that was a momentary fleeting thought as they both needed each other. I fear that the sauce on it’s own would probably be a bit overpowering .
I was curious as to how they managed to create the look of this rice dish so I did a little research to learn that you create this golden yellow crust, or ‘tahdig‘ to give it the correct name by adding the steamed rice into a bowl of melted butter mixed with saffron. You cover the dish and let it cook away for a while to create the yellow crust on the base of the pan, then when you tip it out you get this golden yellow effect. I might try that at home, as it did look well fancy 🙂
All together this was a terrific little bit of food at Pistachio. I was glad that I tried something just a little different and I reckon that if the rest of the food on the menu lives up to the experience I had sampling that Lamb and Herb stew, well it is going to be pretty darn good eating here.
The Menu (at the moment)
I understand that the menu is evolving and that some dishes like the BBQ grill ones in the middle will be a constant but the others will change just to mix things up a bit and give something new for the diner to try. I think that the idea is to keep the menu small so that they can focus on a small number of dishes and keep everything consistent.
I have my eyes on a few of the other things on offer here at Pistachio. I really wanted to try the ‘Persian Noodle Soup‘ which they were describing as being ‘Iranian Comfort Food’ but I had already ordered that stew. I was also pretty tempted by the salads like the Shirazi which was a salad of ‘fine chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, mint, lemon juice and olive oil’, I was thinking that would be a good one for a hot summers day.
I suspect that if I am back I will bring company and we will check out the ‘Mixed BBQ Grill for Two’ and get a whole load of the dips and some bread to go with them. I can fortell that ‘Pistachio, Feta and Yoghurt Dip‘ is going to be scooped up with much gusto on a piece of Persian Bread , Yum!
Pistachio is located at 15 Carlton Road in Nottingham, It is just about 1-2 minutes walk from Sneinton Market and only a short 10 minute walk from Hockley.
You can check them out too on their Facebook Page and on their Twitter Feed @FoodatPistachio