Mohsen 152 Warwick Road, W14 8PS
Be not alarmed by the snarling, growling figure who may approach your table at Mohsen, the Iranian restaurant in Olympia. For it is likely only to be the six-year old son of the owners demonstrating his best monster face. And the relaxed, family atmosphere is one of the most enjoyable welcoming aspects of this piece of Persia perched precariously and incongrously outside a giant DIY store in west London.
Neither Tom, myself, nor our ever-growing gang of strangers (the Twitterarmy?) who hear of our meals online and turn up had been to Iran. So we were grateful to the staff for helping us choose what to order and then showing us how to eat our sabzi. Sabzi was a gem of a discovery for me; a starter sandwich made up of cheese, tarragon, coriander, mint and radish stuffed inside some of the wonderful homemade bread that everyone who has visited Mohsen raves about. The bread is baked just inside the front window of the restaurant.
The other starters were also delicious; my favourite part of the meal. Kashk oh bademejan was a mush of grilled aubergines and whey with a fabulous smoky aroma. There were more – a fresh salad from Shiraz amongst them – but I missed most of them as I was down in the furnace of a kitchen watching saffron-marinaded kebabs sizzle deliciously on the grills.
The platters of meat that arrived on the table were nothing if not eye-catching. Our herbivore friends enjoyed okra stew with piles of fluffy rice.
All this was washed down with Mohsen’s refreshing cardamom tea and our very own lager (it’s a BYO) which may account for why my analysis of the main course is less detailed than the starter…
In conclusion, Mohsen was fun, friendly, reasonably priced and a great stop on your own journeys round London’s less-boring eateries. A good night out.