Banu was my final stop on my Summerlicious 2014 journey this year (insert sad face). The three October babies reunited again for a prix fixe meal; I think that’s what we do best and enjoy the most. 🙂
Banu features Iranian cuisine, one that I’m sure I haven’t tried before. I was excited to try out all the dishes on their menu. 🙂 I’ve seen it before many times on previous Summerlicious & Winterlicious so I know this restaurant has been around for a while.
The restaurant itself is a long hallway decorated with Iranian elements but with hints of modernity. I liked how the table was unique in that it was made with small blue tiles! It was pretty neat.
The first course was a potato salad with nigella seed bread which tasted surprisingly delicious. You scoop some potato salad onto the bread and the entire thing goes so well together! I tried some of Holly and Joyce’s smoked eggplant (which I was tempted to get but didn’t since I had recently had roasted eggplant at 93 Harbord). I really liked the smooth texture of the eggplant and how comfortingly warm it was compared to the cool but refreshing potato salad.
For my main course, I chose the “classic Iranian fare” of Baghali Polo. It was a vegan dish so I expected no meat but I didn’t expect that the entire plate would be just a dish of basmati rice with sour cream and butter on the side. I wish there was more to this dish because it was very boring to eat all the rice on its own. Yes, the rice was flavourful and I enjoyed the burst of fava beans in every other spoonful but other than that, something other than plain rice would have been a better main course. I suggest adding some solid vegetables but then I guess that is not what Iranian cuisine comprises of.
Holly and Joyce ordered the Khoresht e Karafs (veal shank). It came as a bowl of veal, herb, and celery stew with saffron basmati rice on the side. I tasted a bit and it was just okay. They really enjoyed it though.
Lastly, for dessert, we all chose the Sholeh Zard, rice pudding with rose water and saffron. I’ve never had rice pudding with such a strong flavour of saffron before but I really liked it. The grains of rice in the pudding were big and mushy. I really liked this and how it wasn’t too sweet.
Overall, my first sampling of Iranian food was mediocre. I liked the appetizer and dessert but the main was not outstanding. I will have to try more Iranian dishes in the future for more variety!