An elevated road system connecting Subang Jaya to the Subang Airport Road was opened not too long ago. One way to join this elevated road to go to Subang Airport and to the Federal Highway is along Jalan Kemajuan Subang near Carrefour in Subang Jaya. We were driving up this road one day when my wife spotted an Iranian restaurant on the left hand side.
The restaurant is sited on the ground floor of Casa Tiara apartment building along Jalan Kemajuan Subang. To get there, drive along Jalan Kemajuan Subang from Subang Parade towards Carrefour. Immediately after Carrefour, turn left into a side road, into Subang Avenue apartments. Casa Tiara is at the end of the side road, after Subang Avenue.
The place was very quiet when we arrived there one Saturday evening. We were the only customers in the whole duration of our meal. It was only when we were paying our bill that a couple of middle-eastern looking guys walked in.
The place was decorated in a kind of mix between Iranian and Chinese. The decor was apparently Iranian but the table and chairs were unmistakeably Chinese marble. An Iranian guy attended to us. He said he wasn't the owner of the place, that he was just visiting and had not decided whether or not to stay on in Malaysia.
The thing that I found most odd were 2 rows of beds on both sides of the restaurant. The Iranian guy said they were for people to smoke shisha - a big middle eastern implement for smoking tobacco through water. Fortunately nobody was smoking at that time. I cannot imagine having a meal surrounded by horizontal people puffing away on their tobacco pipes.
The menu was kebab, kebab and kebab. They had kebabs of various types. There were only 3 dishes in the menu that were not kebab - a fish, a lamb shank and a chicken dish. We asked for the fish. The Iranian guy told us they didn't serve the fish any more. He claimed they could not get good quality fish in the Malaysian markets. With that out, there were really not very many choices.
Tea was served after we made our orders. It came in the most charming and elaborate teapot set I have seen for a long time. The Iranian tea was good. It was served with cube sugar imported all the way from Iran. The cube sugar was quite unlike what we have in Malaysia. It was not very sweet and it flavoured the tea well.
We had a kebab - but of course. It was a combination of beef and chicken, served with rice in 2 colours. The meat was really very nice - tender and aromatic. I found the beef especially good. The rice was the long grain type - not unlike the basmati used for briyani. It was not starchy and tasted quite good.
The lamb shank was also served with the rice. The lamb was quite simply cooked but it was tender and was quite delicious. I liked it.
More rice in the chicken dish. Only this one had (as what I heard from the Iranian) "ball" berries on it. I searched the net for "ball berries" but couldn't find any. The "ball" berries were quite unpalatable by themselves. They were sour. But the rice tasted good with them. The chicken was quite ordinary. Looked like curry chicken but tasted far from it.
The meals were served with 2 sauces. One was an oily red sauce - again looking like curry but not at all.
The other was a light yellow sauce which I preferred. It had the strong flavour of mutton and went very well with the rice.
After the meal, I asked for Iranian desserts. The guy told us they did not have any. He said desserts in Iran were made by women. I guessed they came to Malaysia without their wives.
The guy recommended an Iranian yogurt drink. I was gamed to try. And I was sure glad that I did. It was really good. So very refreshing. The drink, like all yogurts, was sourish. And it was also somewhat salty. The sour and the salt seemed like an odd combination for a yogurt drink. But it was good. My wife tells me that we can get "yogurt masin" in some mamak shops. After this experience, I will have to try our local variety.
In spite of some of its oddities, I quite like this Iranian place. And the food is really not bad. Unlike Malaysian food which is normally quite strong in taste, I found Iranian flavours rather mild. Yet they were quite delicious. I think I got more natural flavour of the meat in Iranian cooking.
We will back there again, only I don't know when. Looking at the pace of their business, I hope they will still be around when we decide to do so.