Parsia Restaurant is along Jalan Pendidikan 4 near Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM). The interior is spacious and decor was simple with a distinctive Iranian flavour and ambiance.
Amin, who is from the historic city of Shiraz in Iran, told me that there are only two Iranian restaurants in Johor Bahru. The other one is Pomegranate Restaurant which is just across the street, opposite Parsia Restaurant.
Amin let us try some of Parsia Restaurant's popular dishes.
Parsia Restaurant's Iranian Parsia Mandi at RM26 is their signature dish and one of their top sellers. The shoulder lamb flesh had full bodied lamb flavour and it had just the right tender bite - not tough and not too soft.
I especially love this rich gravy as it was also full bodied and perfumed with herbs and spices. I can't help dipping those fries in the gravy as they were so delicious when eaten with this gravy.
Inside the tender lamb, it was invitingly moist and juicy.
Chicken Mandi at RM14 was slightly crisp outside while inside it was juicy and tender.
Tender, juicy and fragrant Kudideh kebab made with minced lamb at RM14.
The popular choice of chicken lovers, this chicken kebab at RM18.
Loghmeh kebab which is a combination of lamb and chicken at RM19. I like this combination as the richer flavours of lamb blended well with the relatively bland chicken. The juicer lamb also complemented the drier chicken giving the whole dish an interesting texture.
All the Iranian mandi dishes are served with this fragrant Basmati rice. The long grain, nutty rice is boiled in soup made by boiling lamb bones. The rice grains were infused with the aroma of lamb and herbs. It may look fluffy and light yet it had full bodied taste and smothering flavours.
Many Iranians must have yogurt with their meals. This yogurt tastes very similar to cottage cheese, except that it is like very soft bean curd in texture. The motif on top is made with mint leaves.
Iranian food is eaten with lots of tangy and savoury dips and salads made with fresh lime, tomatoes, mint and herbs.
We tried this Iranian fizzy drink with fruit flavours like peach and pomegranate. Interesting and pleasant, worth a try at RM4 each.
I enjoyed my first experience with Iranian food today. The meals were tasty and hearty with strong emphasis on full bodied flavours.
Restaurant name: Parsia Restaurant
Address: 63-01, 64-01, Jalan Pendidikan 4, Taman Universiti, Skudai, Johor Bahru
Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Date visited: 18 Dec 2012, 16 May 2013