We’ve been to a lot of Persian restaurants in our time. Tasted plenty of buttery koobideh, and tried almost every variation of every dip on the menu. And the mirza qasemi at this Hereford Road spot remains number one of its class. Thick, smokey, with strings of tender aubergine that just missed the blender, a subtle hint of blitzed egg, that adds creaminess to an otherwise tomato-heavy dip—this warm starter is the MVP. It’s a dip that made us pull out our phone, getting bread flour on the screen and all, to snap a blurry photo with an indecipherable message along the lines of “This dip! Notting Hill! Aubergine!!” to anyone who had ever expressed a mild interest in mezze in our presence. And once we pulled ourselves out of that smokey aubergine trance, we were able to take in the fact that the rest of this little Persian restaurant was pretty special too.
Stepping into this easily missed spot off Westbourne Grove, you’ll immediately be hit with the smell of freshly baked taftoon. A smell we’d happily pay extortionate-Anthropologie-scented-candle-prices for, if anyone was smart enough to bottle it. And while you take in the pleasant waft of bread, you’ll also notice that this really is as small as it looks from the outside. There’s 24 seats, a small bar by the till, and a tandoor oven taking up the left corner of the restaurant.
It’s a charming little spot, that puts equal thought into making itself a place that people can fall in love, as it does its creamy refreshing mast o khair. A smooth, cold yoghurty dip filled with chopped cucumber and mint, that feels indulgent and healthy all at once. Or the kashk-e bademjon, a slow cooked aubergine number topped with crispy crushed walnuts that tastes best when it’s shovelled down with the warm, fluffy bread. And the care they put into their dips, and freshly baked bread, is the same care they put into the grilled meats. The joojeh is moist and citrussy, the koobideh has the perfect ratio of buttery fat to kebab, and the lamb fillets are tender and meaty. Our suggestion? The Sinuhe special, a mixed grill, which is the best way to taste all the meats, and is perfect for sharing.
No matter if it’s your first or 27th visit to Sinuhe, you’ll feel like you’ve been coming here forever. A flickering candle on each table, rustic wooden interiors, and a playlist that’s low enough that it blends into the quiet hum of conversation—this is a restaurant that you can imagine having an intimate third date in while also making a mental note of how many people it seats so you can book out the whole space for a lowkey celebratory birthday meal. It’s useful for a lot of things, even if that thing is a casual weeknight dinner when you’re craving some excellent dips. However you end up choosing to use this restaurant, don’t forget the mirza qasemi.
This is the best mirza qasemi we’ve had in London. A smokey, rich, and flawless version of the classic Persian aubergine dip, you need this on your table.
Creamy and refreshing, this cucumber heavy dip has a nice crunch to it, and pairs just as well with the freshly baked taftoon bread as it does with the saffron steamed rice.
The grilled meats here are just what you’d expect from a great Persian spot. The joojeh is citrussy and light, while the koobideh is buttery and tender. The best way to try a bit of everything is to go for their £42 mixed grill for two which comes with the aforementioned, as well as lamb chops, and lamb fillets.
The best of both worlds, this is a solid option if you want both lamb and chicken and have no one to share with. We like to let the butter that comes on the side melt into the saffron rice for some extra flavour.