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Good, Great and Fantastic Restaurants in Tehran: Bistango

3/15/06 By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

It is customary to go to parties at peoples homes here, but several times just for a change recently, we went to some of Tehran's best restaurants. In this short piece I shall introduce you to one of them so when you are here next time you might like to try them out for yourself. Please make sure that you book your table in advance if you are taking someone important or if you are going there for a special occasion. They are often fully booked, in particular for dinner and on holidays.

Bistango - A Great Gourmet Place to Eat in Tehran

Iranians, like many other nationalities, when they love and respect some people, go out of their way to make their loved ones happy and pleased. That's why we invited our next guests, a mixture of both family and friends, to what I consider the best restaurant in Tehran. We wanted to take our loved ones to a place where for a short time one forgets where one is and leave all the life's hassles and worries behind. I assure you that if it was not for the calories, this place would refresh you and your mind.

It was again long in advance that I made the booking for a midweek night and we were more than delighted when the guests liked the restaurant and greatly approved of our choice.

Bistango offers international cuisine at highest standards. Bistango came about when Saman Jilanchi came back to Iran after 18 years to run the family business, the Raamtin Hotel in Vali-Asr Street. He wanted to bring fine dining experience back to Tehran and so he hired a Canadian chef who taught his students, who later took over. The dream came true. Most of those who go to Bistango agree that its distinctiveness and service is still unrivaled in Tehran. We can only hope that others learn from this so that more customers enjoy better food and service. It is not cheap but it certainly is worth it.

Bistango truly has the best ambience in Tehran for dining out for me, and if we could afford it, I would be a great regular customer both for lunch and dinner. They have very good lunches, and it is great for many occasions like school friends reunions. Maybe the essence of their success is that food and ambience are combined. I have been there twice and on each occasion have enjoyed my food greatly. We were able to take some photographs.

At Bistango they have an open kitchen which is very neat and clean and I love their Iranian head chef who is not only very friendly but very professional too.

I wished they had made rather more use of their space and although there were a couple of floor supervisors, I felt that they did not interact with the customer sufficiently except on arrival and departure. On their menu we read "a divine combination of food and art!" Divine is probably an exaggeration, but it certainly was good. Although the standard of service was high, it was slightly impersonal and because of that came across as a little plastic. I do hope that they really look into this so that such great experience of going out becomes even more interesting, enjoyable and unique.

Please contact them for reservations:
8855 44 09 and Fax 8871 85 93

They have a website (with music) at

I have tried to be simple yet serious as I can and have graded them for general ambiance, presentation and quality of the food, their service and our general feel for the place. Needless to say, I think they are all very good. If you go to any of these restaurants, you should assume an average price of 250,000 Rials (about US$30) per head for dinner, taking into account that many of us these days do not go for both starters and a big dessert in one meal.

The Verdict

Here are my scores for the 3 top Tehran restaurants that I have written about. I strongly recommended that you book your tables for all of them in advance especially if it is a special occasion or if you have many guests. From the results it is obvious which is comes top of the list, it is one place that you truly forget where you are, bon appetit and let me know of your experiences.

Here is the table:

				Entrecote  	Monsoon  	Bistango

Ambiance			6		8.5		10

Food Presentation		5.5		7		10

Taste and quality 		6.5		7.5		8.5

Service				5.5		9		9

Dishes and Table Settings	5		8		9

Our General Feeling		6		9		10

Value for Money			5.5		9		10

Total out of Max. 70		42		58		66.5	

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