Persepolis

After visiting London time and time again we’ve settled in Peckham. It’s slowly but surely turned into our London home from home and every time we’ve stayed there we’ve walked past Persepolis but never gone in.

This time we finally got round to going inside. Persepolis is a little Persian corner shop with a cafe in the back which just happens to be run by the author of Salamagundi, Snackistan and Veggiestan.

The shop is compact but full of goodies that I’ve not seen up here in Scotland. Now Maqbools is huge in comparison and keeps us really well stocked but here you’ll find things that are extra special. Behind the shop you’ll find a mish mash of chairs and tables squeezed into what little space they have left.

My first impression was ‘oh god I hate being squeezed into tiny spaces for dinner’ but this place is well and truly an exception to the rule. Rather than feeling cramped and squashed into your designated space it feels like your having dinner at a friends house. Everyone there is unbelievably friendly and you couldn’t feel more welcome.

Our first visit was for dinner. We went for the meze to share and Kashmir fried mango.

On the meze we got –

  • Aubergine and Pepper dip
  • Black Bean salad
  • Pickles
  • Marmite (yes marmite) hummus. It was really good!
  • Falafal with chili sauce
  • Aubergine dip
  • A potato cake
  • Vegetable crisps

Next we come to the Kashmir fried mango. Now Leo is the kind of person who happily puts his fingers in a finished bowl or plate to mop up the left over sauce. I am not. I hate sticky things on my hands and we’re in London so my hands feel constantly unclean from everything you touch on your travels. This dish was an exception for me. It’s mind blowing. You have this beautiful sticky sweet mango sauce spiked with an array of spices which give it levels of flavour I didn’t know existed. Suspended in this sauce are an array of lightly cooked fresh vegetables. I’ve been dreaming of this dish ever since I ate it and I can’t cook it at home soon enough.

We continues to eat on after with with baklava, halva, a vegan knickerbockerglory made with toffee ice cream, dates, date syrup and more halva. We left happily stuffed and vowing to return before we left.

Fast forward to Thursday morning before our flight home and we’re waiting outside for them to open. Now being summer I’m not wearing sleeves so I’m pretty colourful and  recogniseable with all the tattoos but still I was surprised to be recognised by our chef and author Sally as she opened the door. Once again it was like being welcomed by a friend as she told us to come in and make ourselves at home while she got the morning’s deliveries straight.

As we were the only people there it was easier to look round the shop so we had a good nose about before ordering breakfast. As the food was so good last time we decided on three dishes this time round. Scrambled tofu with dates and Iraqi spices, Turkish style tofu with peppers, onions and chili and last but not least Fattet.

Scrambled tofu with dates and Iraqi spices and Turkish style tofu with peppers, onions and chili are pretty self explanatory, Fattet not so much. It’s Fried bread, chickpeas, spinach, onions and garlic lemon tahini sauce. I really wanted to eat another plate of it but I was so full! On top of all this we also had an amazing smoothie of avocado, almond and orange blossom water. No wonder we had to walk very slowly to the train.

I cannot recommend this place enough, it’s wonderful in every possible way.

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