Elegance and sophistication are two words that rarely spring to mind when it comes to Iranian kebabs. Usually served up with some fresh bread and a helping of rice, kebabs aren’t the most glamorous of foods. Enter Kateh, a fine dining Iranian concept that made its way to Kuwait from London. Classic from this cuisine are given the modern treatment, and coupled with fabulous plating make for heartwarming meals fit for a king. With its great success in their trendy London location, Kateh extended their Persian comforts to Kuwait’s Murouj Complex.
Iranian food is delicate in its preparation – too much spice or too little can offset the entire dish. Taking that to heart, the head chef at Kateh has perfected the flavors making for a well-rounded and fully satisfying meal. Every detail has been thought out brilliantly to compliment the theme as a whole. Teal and gray accent the whites and natural dark wood setting. Offering indoor and outdoor seating options, there’s an air of Zen amidst the hustle and bustle. Even the cutlery exudes the ethos they hold dearly – modern Iranian. Our suggestion would be to go in a group, because you’ll want to try everything on the menu!
As we took our seats and started flipping through the menu, a wafting scent of deliciousness made its way to our table – their complimentary platter of fresh baked bread. Their Taftoon bread and Panir Sabzi is gloriously fresh and delectable. Break off a piece of Taftoon add some Panir cheese, a sliver of radish and the leafy greens – perfection in a bite. Teamed with one of their beautifully crafted cocktail creations, nothing can compare. When it came to picking salads and starters – we may have gone slightly wild with options. We ended up with two kinds of olive based snacks to munch on while our starters and salads came out. The Fried Olives, a favorite that sells out almost instantly, includes delicately marinated green olives that are fried and layered with a tangy Persian Feta sauce and chili olive oil. The second olive dish came in the form of beautiful medley of black olives topped off with a sprinkling of walnuts and pomegranate seeds and finished with Golpar – molasses.
For our cold starters, we opted for the wonderful Mast Va Musir, a thick and almost fizzy yoghurt dip mixed with wild mountain shallots. As for the salads we ordered the Classic Salad Shirazi which consists of perfectly ripened heritage tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and mint diced and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Our other salad of choice was their inventive Salad Laboo – a Burrata served with warm roasted beetroots and a refreshing basil salad making this absolutely light and palatable. As the weather was getting a little chilly, we ordered a heartwarming Ash Reshte which is a Persian noodle soup with chickpeas, kidney beans and spinach. Once done with our soup, we went on to try their warm starters and found that they were absolutely refreshing.
Ordering the delicately layered Mirza Ghassemi was a hit – the grilled smoked slender aubergines combined with eggs, tomato and garlic made for an interesting and delicious combination. The Koofteh Berenji is simply not to be missed! Superbly made Persian meatballs made of split peas, rice and a beautiful combination of Persian Prunes with fresh herbs atop a dollop of yoghurt. Then came light pastries in the forms of Narguessi: stuffed with Feta cheese and spinach, and Piroshki: with a beautiful aromatic blend of spices hand cut steak with sour cranberries – YUM! This was swiftly followed by all the grills and stews and our stomachs happily obliged. Because, lets face it, no one goes to a Persian restaurant without ordering at least one grill of sorts!
Now, the beauty of Persian grills is the subtlety in the flavors. Be it chicken or meat, there’s nothing more delicately flavored and tender than the way Persians prepare their grills. With love and attention to detail, every kabab has its own unique flavor profile that works brilliantly with their rice. For the most traditional one, go for the Koobideh – a much loved favorite with a complex flavor profile. When it came to the stews – the flavors were vibrant! The beautiful blend of herbs and greens mixed in with kidney beans and veal making a gorgeous Gormeh Sabzi. While the intense flavors of the Bamya stew bring back notions of childhood comforts and family gatherings. The Fesenjan, with its succulent confit chicken in a sweet and sour walnut sauce, is an absolute classic with fragrant notes that simply cannot be overlooked. The rice options we went with were simple and to the point – saffron rice in all its glory. To add some oomph, we ordered the saffron rice with Zereshk! Zereshk, for those that don’t recognize the word, is a mixture of bright, ruby colored barberries, cranberries and slivers of pistachios giving the rice an incredible gem-like topping.
To top off our meal, we just had to order dessert. So we went with a selection – from the traditional Bastani: Persian saffron ice-cream with fresh pistachios, and Falloodeh: Persian rice noodle sorbet with a subtle lime flavor and sweet cherry coulis; to the incredible twist on an indulgent sesame flavored dessert, the Sesame Cream’wich. This sesame deliciousness consisted of a tahini flavored ice-cream coated with a candied sesame halva caramel. Glorious doesn’t even begin to explain this dessert or the experience as a whole.
Head to the illustrious Murouj Complex near the Sahara Club in Sabhan to experience the true flavors of modern Persia only at Kateh. For more information, call them on 2205 0277 and follow them on Instagram@Kateh_Restaurant.