Sunday, March 6, 2011
In a nutshell: rough and ready service, acceptable food ... great bread.
Hatam bills itself as serving 'Original Iranian Food' and if this is what you would find in Iran then you would eat well, although you wouldn't be blown away. At just Dhs 45-60 for a main course, your wallet won't feel the pinch either. Located next to Zyng and Japengo's in Ibn Battuta's China Court, the first thing to strike you when you sit down are the tiled tables which appear rather garish to Western eyes. The menu provides a photo of each item to help you make your choice but the simple layout and plastic feel of the menu was in line with the rather rough and ready feel of the restaurant.
All the staff were friendly and the service was certainly very quick, but nobody except one Indian waiter spoke much English. We were served a plate of herbs and cheese but when I asked what everything was the response of, "It is for you...appetiser" didn't elaborate very much! An Iranian salad is certainly better presented than a Lebanese one (which consists of a plate of uncut salad vegetables) and whilst it was very simple, it was fresh and crispy. The best part was the Iranian bread which is provided on the table free of charge. Closely resembling Indian naan bread, after my first little bite I could not resist eating an entire piece myself - wheat and yeast intolerances notwithstanding, any after effects were well worth this delicious fresh, warm flatbread.
Simon opted for the tikka mix for his meal which consisted of a skewer each of chicken, lamb and hammour marinated in a tikka sauce and served with french fries or rice (don't think the chips are quite the original Iranian food though). Spiced, but not hot, he found the flavour overly-buttery and a bit sickly after a while - this from the man whose favourite Indian meal is Butter Chicken. My grilled shrimp were very dry as they had perhaps been a little overcooked, although I'd rather have them over- than under-cooked of course. Served with rice, this was a very simple meal that could have been delicious but that failed to tickle my tastebuds due to being so dry and chewy.
I won't be eating here again but I may very well go back to buy some takeaway bread to gorge on!
Labels: Dubai restaurant reviews - 3/5