Nutshell – the modern Iranian restaurant, which staged a pop-up in London’s Brick Lane last year – has found a permanent home in Covent Garden, where it will open for dinner from Tuesday July 30 with the ethos that Iran’s most interesting cuisine has its roots in home cooking. As such, owners Mohammad Paknejad and Marwa Alkhalaf, a husband-and-wife team originally from Tehran and Saudi Arabia respectively, have shared some of their favourite dishes with Nutshell’s head chef Jeremy Borrow, previously of The Palomar restaurant.
The exotic menu will entice guests with starters of bazaar bread (£3.50) with mast-o-khiar (a yoghurt dip with pistachio); kohlrabi (a type of turnip) with caramelised onions, mint and tea-marinated raisins (£6.50); or an oxtail tomato dolmeh (stuffed vine leaves, £8.50). For the main course, the selection includes joosh pareh (beef dumplings made with sour cherry and chickpeas, £11.50); cauliflower fesenjan (an Iranian stew) with walnut, pomegranate and barbari bread (£10.50); qalieh mahi (a type of fish stew, £16.50); jojeh kebab (grilled chunks of chicken) with saffron, lemon and yoghurt (£12.50); and octopus with sabzi salsa salad and butterbeans (£16.50). To finish, try the “chocolate and roses” served with pistachio and cardamom (£7.50) or a Persian sundae of lemon, pomegranate and basil (£6.50).
The cocktails (£11) also take their cues from Paknejad’s homeland, from the Silk Road Gimlet (Tanqueray Rangpur gin, green cardamom and Persian lime cordial) to the Negroni Irani (sour cherry wine, spiced Campari and saffron gin).