Bookmark and Share

A Night in Darakeh


By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


Darakeh is a village on the slopes of the mountains to the north of Tehran and is one of the many spots that people can go for a soft or hard hike depending on how far they wish to walk.  When I was younger, and before it become so popular amongst the young as a place to meet friends, I used to get up very early in the morning, on Thursday mornings usually, go there, hike about an hour or so, have breakfast and be back home for a shower and a change and get to work by 9am. But these days due to my uncooperative knees I can hardly undertake any such adventures without painful consequences for weeks afterwards.




However, Darakeh has also been a very popular place all year around and especially on summer evenings for people to go and enjoy the nice air, although now it is rather spoiled with all the many cars that are allowed along the very narrow street which goes from Shahid Beheshti Square to Evin and Azadi hotels on the Shahid Chamran Expressway (Parkway) corner in a long horseshoe shape.  There on the side of the mountain there are many small and large restaurants and places to spend and enjoy kebab and some seasonal delicacies.




Last week with a few friends we went to experience a rather new restaurant where we had heard about its high tech service.  The place is called SPU which is the name of a spring higher up and it is run and operated in a very efficient manner.  There you may choose to sit at metal tables with heavy chairs or you may go for a more traditional choice and sit on Takhate – cushioned carpeted platforms where you sit on the floor.


We chose a night in the middle of the week as we were told it was very busy and so it was.  We waited for about 15 minutes before we were lead to our Takhate.  As we were led there by this nice middle-aged section manager, we saw a younger worker was vacuuming it and make it ready for our use. 




SPU has a short menu which I prefer  (, so when Mr. Salimi, the gentleman who took our order, came with his walkie-talkie and blue-tooth earpiece, we ordered some Zaytoun-Parvardeh (olives in pomegranate paste and walnuts) and Mirzaghasemi (a lovely mixture of egg-plant, tomatoes, eggs and garlic) plus salad and mastou-mosear (thick yogurt and shallots) to start with, and chicken on the bone and shish kebab (basically barbecued lamb chop) for dinner plus some Dough (yogurt drink), plus some freshly baked bread made at the restaurant.  He took the order and entered it on his palm-pilot. So far all was true.  Soon we discovered that the rest of what we had heard about this place was true too. Those who served us (Ali and Seyavoush) were very polite and courteous; and despite the large number of tables and guests everything was efficient and well organized and the food was sooooooooo deliciousssssssssss!!




Your place was very empty.  I have a few pictures from that night to share with you from the restaurant and Darakeh Square where we strolled for a while afterwards and enjoyed some lavashak (dried cooked mixed plums or berries) and some fresh walnuts; and if we were not so full maybe we would have had some barbecued corn on the cob.




Here is the address and telephone number if you wish to make a reservation:

SPU: Darakeh Square, Tehran, Iran

Telephone:    0098 21 224 19494

Fax:             0098 21 224 19495


© Copyright 2006 (All Rights Reserved)