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Khoshbin: The Shomali (Northern) Restaurant in Tehran


By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


Once in a while one comes across an experience that although not great certainly is interesting.  I have been trying to find out regional restaurants in Tehran which is not an easy task. Recently I struck lucky and one of our taxi drivers knew of an authentic Rashti restaurant (Rasht is the capital city of Gilan province in northern Iran by the Caspian Sea) and kindly found their phone number for me.



Last week a couple of my cousins and myself went to try it out.  It is called Khoshbin and they only serve Shomali (northern) food.  The place is now run by the two sons of the late Mr Khoshbin and I am sure it has seen better times.  The menu is quite varied and prices are not as high as some places in north Tehran; and so, without breaking the family budget, we tried several samples of their food.



The restaurant seems well known to many and, believe you me, it is a very busy place - the table next to us changed customers three times in the one hour and the second time we went there a few days ago, we had to wait a long time to be seated.  I noticed that their take away business is also flourishing.  What impressed me most were the very cool head waiter and the charming chef.



I am sure you can see that the ambiance is not too much to write about except that it has not changed much for many years.  As for the quality and taste, well that is another story. I am lucky to have several in-laws and friends who come from the North so I have been spoiled with great home-made Rashti and Shomali cooking; therefore it takes a lot to satisfy my trained taste.  Let's just say for value for money it was good.



I found their Kebab Toursh (sour kebab) good and their Zeytoun Parvardeh (marinated olives in pomegranate juice with crushed walnut and herbs) absolutely exquisite.


Their Baaghali Ghatough (a stew made from special broad beans and dill), and Mirza Ghassmi (a mixture of egg plant, tomatoes, onion and eggs) was acceptable.



What made it such a great treat for me were the people who came there to eat.  Mostly men, they had such interesting faces and body language that I had a hard time not staring. When I go to such places, real-life spots, then I can see some of the answers to my many questions about Iran. 



I recommend the experience for sure and hope that the sons (who did not want to be photographed) become more proud of what they do to keep the memory of their father alive.  I have a few photos for you to share my experiences there and give you a taste of the place.



Khosbin Restaurant, 406 North Saadi Ave., Tel.  33902194  0912 1400053  it is just  Below Sayeed Ali Crossing/Manoucheri Street, [Manoucheri is a well known place for antiques in  Tehran]

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