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Eating Iranian at Quartier Perse

Posted by Kim / October 3, 2007

20071003_quartierperse1.jpgIn N.D.G., a few meters away from the Villa-Maria metro exit, sits a small restaurant that prepares some fantastic Iranian food. Quartier Perse seems to be one of those little-known places that is often recommended by people in the loop, and there’s hardly any mistaking why that is. From kebabs to dips to a soup that pleases the soul, this is one great place to eat.

My recent trip back to the cozy resto was a combination of good and not-so-good. The staff was very attentive and friendly when we first arrived, and our order of an appetizer threesome was brought to our table promptly. Included in this $11 trio is mast-o-khiar (a yogurt dip made with cucumber, mint and raisins), mirza ghassemi (an eggplant and tomato dip, with garlic and spices) and zaitun parvardeh (olives coated in a walnut and pomegranate sauce). A big basket of warmed pita points accompanies the dips, and this entrée is the highlight of the meal.

20071003_quartierperse2.jpgA big basket of warmed pita points accompanies the dips, and this entrée is the highlight of the meal. All three are very different from one another, so it’s a great combination of flavours happening simultaneously. The yogurt dip is similar to Tzatziki, but the raisins add a welcome sweetness. The eggplant/tomato dip is also sweet, and very rich, the roasted eggplant playing well with a turmeric taste. The best was the olive dish however, which consisted of pitted olives rolled in a thick and chunky walnut/pomegranate sauce. The saltiness of the olives and the sweet, nutty and smooth sauce is heavenly.

The stews and the kebab dishes are all served with your choice of a salad or soup. Given the soup is fantastic, the whole table ordered it, but our waiter returned with bad news – only two soups were available. This is doubly unfortunate as the salad is really nothing exciting; it’s a simple green salad with a somewhat interesting creamy dressing laced heavily with dill. The two soups we did get were fantastic, a hearty barley and lentil soup spotted with a dab of cream in the middle.
20071003_quartierperse3.jpgEveryone at the table chose the kebabs as the main course, and no one at the table was disappointed. Every kebab dish comes with a heaping mound of basmati rice, spiced with a healthy dose of saffron and a roasted tomato. The rice is a welcome side on the plate, but likely more appropriate and appreciated with one of the stew dishes, as a method of soaking up the sauce. While it’s perfectly prepared, it does get a little monotonous, even when sharing a bite of rice with a bite of meat.

20071003_quartierperse4.jpgSpeaking of the meat, the kebabs are absolutely wonderful. The chicken is succulent and extremely juicy, with a subtle lemon hint. There are a few combo-kebab plate options, so I enjoyed both the koubideh and barg kebabs. Koubideh is brochette made from minced beef, reminiscent of meatballs in both texture and taste. Barg is a “Persian-style” brochette of oh-so-tender filet mignon, and it’s as expertly grilled as the chicken. With the rice, this meal becomes one of abundance, and be prepared to bring some food home.

One of my complaints about Le Quartier Perse is that their website is sadly outdated. The prices listed there are no longer true, so the meal ended up costing much more than what was expected. Expect to pay a few dollars more per dish – though I have to admit, the rise in price is warranted, considering the meal you receive.

Quartier Perse
4241 Décarie (corner Monkland)



Fairfax / October 4, 2007 at 10:46 am
Kim, can I just follow you around to every food place you review? You're trying to get some wickedly cool places.

I'll be lucky if I find the time to try 1 out of every 10 you review. But keep up the good work, at the very least you consistently succeed in making me hungry.
Fairfax / October 4, 2007 at 10:48 am
In that previous post I believe I meant to type "getting to try", not "trying to get". Dyslexia is a thingful wonder.
kim / October 4, 2007 at 12:46 pm
Haha, an entourage of hungry food-lovers! That would be lovely. :)

Thanks for the comment, Fairfax - let me know if you do end up trying any of these, and what you think!
namebutler / October 5, 2007 at 11:30 pm
Thanks for the tip Kim. Sounds like you could have got some freelance web design work. Did you mention the outdated website to them? They likely don't even know that the prices are wrong.
Cleo / October 12, 2007 at 12:46 pm
Hi Kim,

I went to Quartier Perse and I must agree with everything you wrote. I ordered the chicken dish and it was delish! The soup, although my bowl was only half filled, was super. I found the staff to be polite but toward the end of the meal, a little slow. This could have been due to the fact that the restaurant had filled up with hungry patrons. I've said this before and I'll say it again (and probably again and again): Your reviews are always interesting and I'm trying to visit as many of the places you review and in the end, I'm happy that I did.
caroline berajeklian / September 20, 2009 at 05:04 pm
Best Iranian Restaurant in Montreal
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