Alounak Bayswater, London – UK

FireI had been working with a colleague from their home office in Notting Hill as I had yet to pass the security checks required to be permitted entry to this clients building.  We had worked (a little) and decided it was time for lunch.

Alounak was described a ‘very popular’ and a ‘place that Persian people queue for a table’.  My colleague then went on to explain that they have the most amazing bread that is made fresh for you at the enormous oven that sits just by the entrance.  I was sold – even though they didn’t sell booze (yes, we took our own; heaven forbid we have to have a business lunch sober).

As we entered I noticed a few things; the oven was on and was very hot, we were the first guests of the day and the hygiene rating on the door was only three stars out of five.  I also thought that they wouldn’t be winning any awards for ambience / décor here – everything was pretty basic.  We asked nicely if they could fix the temperature for us (and sure enough 10 minutes later it was much better) and they opened our beers.

The menu here has a fairly limited selection of goodies, all of which sounded good.  We opted for Chicken and Lamb Kebabs and a Mezze platter to share as a starter.

The starters were good – really tasty and of course the man who appeared from the basement to cook the bread fresh was great; I was sure I could taste the freshness!

The Kebabs were equally tasty with just the right mix of herbs and spices to match the flavoured rice.  The portions seemed just the right size too with all of our party managing to clear our plates, albeit just.

The service was OK although I could imagine that in the middle of an evening service, it may become a little haphazard.  I would suggest repeating your order just to make sure that it all arrives.

I paid just over £40 for two courses for three people which I felt was pretty good, although this didn’t include any alcohol.

I was feeling pretty content while waiting for some change although this changed to slight disappointment when I saw the huge frozen chicken truck pull up outside the restaurant and cart in massive boxes of food.  All frozen of course.

Alounak Bayswater, 44 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH. (No website).

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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