“ 17 Garrick St / Covent Garden / London / Tel: +44 2072407811. „
This Persian (Iranian) restaurant is about a 30 second walk from the heart of Covent Garden. To my knowledge it is the only Iranian restaurant in the west end. I have some close Iranian friends in London and know the cuisine well enough to say that what simurgh offers is very adapted to English tastes but in essence authentic.
The interior is highly decorated and atmospheric and there is a snug eating area downstairs bedecked with carpets which I believe can be hired for parties. There is always eastern music playing (though admittedly normally Turkish or Egyptian) and a bellydancer performs 2 nights a week (Thursday & Saturday), which certainly would not happen in Iran even though they have a similar but more subtle dance .
I have been here on 5 different occasions and the reception has been varied. In terms of Iranian hospitality, the waiters can be a little cold on a busy night and on the whole are not actually Iranian and therefore sometimes do not understand the menu. When things are a little quieter and the actual owners are serving I have found them to be very attentive and warm people. It is often busy of Fridays and saturdays but I have never had to book a table or wait long.
The food is similar to Turkish style but perhaps with more Indian influences. For those partial to a kebab and rice to sober up, the prices could seem high. However with main courses an average of £12 pounds it is not extortionate especially considering the location. My favorite choice, Lamb and Lime (aka Ghoresht e Geimeh) costs £10.95 and is such a generous amount (including 3 different types of rice, though I find them a little dry) that you dont really need a starter. Everything I have eaten there is extremely tasty and well presented and generally I would expect to pay £20-25 per head including starter and a drink.
In short if I was in the area and hungry it is definately worth checking out, but if you want persian food and prepared to hop on the tube there are better places.
Iranian Restaurant in the heart of London.