CINGARI

The meal started with “Makooi Lettuce Salad”: extremely fresh, crunchy lettuce, served with diced potatoes and corn in a creamy white dressing, flavoured with fresh dill and cumin. Also “Raita”: plain white yogurt, with some onion, tomato and cucumber diced in the middle. I had an amazing yogurt drink “chassa”, much like the Iranian “doogh”, but with a foamier, sweeter, thicker taste.

The main course was “Lamb Sagaii Aloo”: a rich brown grainy curry with chunks of meat and a streak of cream on the top, and plain white basmati rice. It was the best curry I have ever eaten. The menu described it as lamb  cooked with spinach in a special curry sauce- whatever the special sauce was, it was absolutely amazing. It was hot and spicy, but not so hot like some curries which want to tear the roof of your mouth off- just right.

I had no room for dessert. Actually, I don’t like Indian desserts anyway, so it was small loss for me.

It was the best restaurant meal I have had for a long time- I am not counting the regular traditional “kebabs”.

The service was fine too, the servers did not smile and pretend that they had been waiting their whole life to serve you, as servers in that other part of the world often do, these were sad serious guys who did not hide their depression and sorrow at the state of the world. Suitable service for the perfect curry.

So, Cingari has definitely joined my list of “must-visit” restaurants in Tehran: you can find it above Haft-e Tir square. I would not go so far as to recommend actually travelling to Iran to visit this restaurant, but if you find yourself in this city and you like curries at all, stop by and spend an hour or so in curry heaven.

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