There are very few places where you feel completely at home when you walk in. But this was how we felt when we went to Charmy's, a fresh vegetarian pasta place in the centre of Tehran close to the Vahdat (Roudaki) Hall; it is a very nice yet small and warm, as well as extremely clean, eating spot. The place has been open for almost 2 years, and 23rd February is the anniversary of their opening.
We felt at ease and completely relaxed within a few minutes as we placed our order and were served with freshly squeezed cool red orange juice. There was an interesting variety of pasta on offer.
We started with spring rolls which were perfectly cooked and then we had spinach and the delicious mozzarella salad and you could feel the freshness in every bite. For the main meal, since we had been walking a long way and had not eaten since breakfast, I ordered the potatoes frittata with loads of tasty cheese and Paul had spinach lasagna. I loved the cheese and the pepper in it. The colorful dishes that they use to serve their delicious food were made by the doyen of Iran pottery, Soraya Kiani and their logo was designed by Armin Saeedian.
I loved the colorful tablecloths and the chic colored wall and simple furniture. Everything was neat, tidy and ordered and gave me a nice cozy feeling. I love aubergine (eggplant) especially grilled and so we shared a pasta with grilled eggplants and mushroom. I tell you I do not know what they do or how they make this aubergine sauce but it was yummy!! If my office was nearer, I would put so much weight. And finally we had delightful home-made mouthwatering tiramisu. They told us that they do a lot of catering for parties or receptions and official functions.
Charmy's is a wonderful and successful small restaurant and I am proud to know Rezvane and Sharareh, who run it so superbly. Sharareh is the main cook and Rezvane is her assistant and does the accounts and shopping. Once a week they have a special menu but on other days they have a seasonal menu. When I asked them what is the core of their success they both told me that it is sheer hard work plus good friends, loyal customers and they put all their energy into it. I had to admit that their success may have also had something to do with them both being women, but their high esteem comes from the sheer good taste and freshness of their food and their friendly warm ambition.
We wanted to do a review last year but there was a chance that they were going to move to larger premises. Charmy's has been through many changes and by clever use of an overhead space they now are able to have two more staff, Yousef and Saeed to help them along.
It is the best vegetarian restaurant that I know in town and the reason is not only the very fresh ingredients but that extra personal touch and the warm feeling that you get as you watch your food being cooked - it is just like sitting in a friend's kitchen.
These young people in the task that they have undertaken and the hard work that they have put in have told me that they are very grateful to all those who helped them, including Sharareh's mum and their friend Sepidar in particular as well as Soraya, Armin and all their friends and loyal customers.
We enjoyed our food a lot and we shall be back soon - your places were empty..
They are open from 12-4 and 7-11, but closed on Fridays and public holidays. If you are going as a group, make sure you call them first.
2 Alborz Street, Hafez Avenue (opposite Amirkabir University)
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