9 Park Walk
Dish Dash serves up its Persian fare on a tiny but glamorous side street off Fulham Road. Even if you've never heard of the place and happen to be ambling along Park Walk of an evening, your nose may find that it cannot allow you to walk past without your mouth getting a chance of sampling the food that is providing your nasal cavities with sensory overload. The restaurant smells fabulous as you walk past its entrance, but it smells even better as you walk in with a soft blend of spices, tea leaves and Eastern promise climbing through the air.
Dark oak panels flank one side of the restaurant, with traditional and modern design sitting alongside. Huge oil paintings hang off the walls next to backlit canvases and ornate hookahs. The restaurant seats around forty, so it's ideal for intimate dining and birthday gatherings. We settled into our seats and started glancing over the menu. There's a guide to eating your way through the choices on offer at Dish Dash: the Persian way entails picking three or four dishes along with some naan whilst the English way decrees that the diner selects one large dish, a naan and a side order. Lastly, the "Feast from the East" method urges the diner to pick two small dishes, one big dish, a side dish and a naan for a "complete feast". If you're built like a rugby player and have, for some reason been unable to eat for a few days, then the "Feast from the East" is for you. We decided to opt for a mix of Persian and English tactics in our approach, being only average in build and having eaten around five hours prior to dinner.
Before we got round to ordering our starters, we opted for a whiskey sour and a Ghermez (raspberry puree, cranberry juice, lemon and sugar), which were both wonderfully drinkable. Drivers and tee-totallers are fully catered for here with a comprehensive range of virgin cocktails and teas. Having thoroughly enjoyed our drinks, we chose starters of olivie (chicken, egg, gherkins and potato in a mayonnaise dressing) and lavash (ground lamb wrapped in thin Persian bread). The olivie was good, although it tasted more English than Persian, whilst the lavash was satisfyingly savoury and well paired with its accompanying mint yoghurt dip.
Filling a little full already, we moved onto main courses of Mahi (fish marinated in honey, lemon and mint, with dill rice) and a shish kebab marinated with onions and lemon. The fish, which turned out to be tuna, had a welcome tang of lemon and the dill rice served as a subtle accompaniment. The lamb kebab was tender and flavoursome and the pickled vegetables that went alongside were completely moorish. We topped up on drinks with virgin cocktails: the Seffed (pear and white peach puree and pineapple juice), and the Zard (banana and mango puree, orange and pineapple juice and a dash of grenadine syrup) were both fresh, tart and fruity.
By this point we weren't far from full, but the dessert menu beckoned and we couldn't ignore it. We chose mint and Persian teas to accompany our puds and sat there sipping mouthfuls of herbs and spice in between bites of baklawa and Zivas Shirini - a rhubarb, strawberry and sultana compote with a crumble topping and a yoghurt deeply rich with cinnamon.
Granted we didn't choose the "complete feast" approach to eat our way through the menu, but it felt a little bit as if we had. We lingered over our glasses of tea a little longer, and once standing was a realistice possibility, we tumbled very slowly out of the door - very satisfied and very, very full.
Prices range from around £20 - £30 per head, depending on number of dishes (drinks excluded).
Dish Dash: 9, Park Walk, London, SW10 0AJ
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar