Sabzy, which means green herbs, is a restaurant that specializes in Persian food. Did you even know there’s places in town to eat Persian? I sure didn’t until I was in the area one day and noticed a bright green sign beckoning you in to enter. Located in a small plaza filled with a variety of ethnic restaurants (Daore, Masala Wok) and bakeries, Sabzy is one of those off the beaten path restaurants that doesn’t get much love or attention. They’ve been open since 2008!
Two of my favourite dinner companions, who are always game to try a new restaurant, joined me on a late Thursday evening to try Sabzy out. We arrived at 8:00pm and the place was empty. Only one family of four was there so we pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves. The waiter was friendly and gave us a couple of recommendations after finding out we’ve never been before.
The menu is short with a page each for appetizers, kabobs and meat entrees. Prices are definitely on the higher side, especially with the kabobs. They have a deal on Tuesdays where it’s buy 3, get 1 entree free. I didn’t look at the “fine print” when we went, I thought it was a special on that they had for the month. Bah. Next time.
They do also have a lunch special – two kebobs for $14.00 is much more reasonable. Not on their menu but you can see it on their Facebook page.
Eggplant spread ($9.00)
Smoked flavoured eggplant mixed with caramelized garlic, onion and fresh tomato served with bread. The spread was tasty and refreshing but I didn’t get much smokiness from the eggplant. Portion size was a bit too small for my liking (for $9.00, it’s pricey) but my two friends devoured it. It comes accompanied with slices of pita bread – they should warm these up and slightly toast them.
Signature bandari ($18.00 single), jojeh and kobeedeh skewers ($19.00 double skewer)
The signature bandari is apricot marinated boneless chicken thigh mildly seasoned with cayenne pepper, the jojeh classically marinated chicken breast and kobeedeh consists of grilled, seasoned ground beef. The bandari was the best of the three skewers that we ate that night (it’s their signature for a reason) with the apricot marinade shining through. Again, the price point is pretty questionable ($18.00 for one skewer!?!) but that’s the general consensus/complaint you’ll see if you look up other people’s reviews.
Zereshk polow served with lamb shank ($24.00)
Barberry rice mix served with rosemary and ginger marinated spring lamb shank. As there were three of us, the waiter was accommodating and gave us each a full dish of the barberry rice to go with our skewers and lamb shank. The ginger and rosemary sauce combination was fragrant but the lamb shank, from New Zealand, wasn’t fall of the bone tender. You could break the meat off without using a knife but I just wasn’t blown away. The portion size again is on the small side.
Barberry rice mix ($8.00)
The barberry, similar to goji berries, gave the rice a nice punch of sweetness to the dish. Bonus how gorgeous it looks! I will have to try adding some fruit the next time I make rice myself. Delicious!
Pistachio cheesecake ($8.00)
We ended things off by sharing a slice of pistachio cheesecake. They added a raspberry sauce that paired perfectly with the cheesecake. Not overly sweet, it was a great way to end our meal.
Overall, Sabzy was worth a try but I don’t have much to compare with. I will have to try the other two Persian restaurant in town (that I know of) to compare: Shiraz Restaurant and Persia Palace Restaurant & Banquet, which is located in the same plaza as Sabzy. I’d check them out on Tuesday for their buy 3, get 1 entrée free deal.
Sabzy Persian Grill
9314 – 34 Avenue