Alounak

10 Russell Gardens, Olympia, London, W14 8EZ

Alounak is not only one of the few places serving genuine Persian/Iranian food in London, but it is also distinguished by the superb quality of its dishes, and the cheapness of its prices; and, for those of you who like a drink with your meal, it is not licensed, so you can bring your own and not be charged for it. Whilst slightly gaudy in appearance, but probably authentically so, it offers a series of dishes that more than satisfy the most demanding of taste buds, with food that is bursting with flavour. For the hungry, they offer an amazing combination starter: Mirza Ghassemi, char grilled aubergine, fried onion, garlic and tomato, Homos (yet another spelling of hummus!), Salad Olivieh, diced chicken breast, potatoes, boiled egg, pickled cucumber, garden peas, mayonnaise and olive oil, and lastly Halim Bademjan, mashed char grilled aubergine, fried onions, herbs, garlic, butter beans, walnuts and kashk.

Alounak is not only one of the few places serving genuine Persian/Iranian food in London, but it is also distinguished by the superb quality of its dishes, and the cheapness of its prices; and, for those of you who like a drink with your meal, it is not licensed, so you can bring your own and not be charged for it.

Whilst slightly gaudy in appearance, but probably authentically so, it offers a series of dishes that more than satisfy the most demanding of taste buds, with food that is bursting with flavour.

For the hungry, they offer an amazing combination starter: Mirza Ghassemi, char grilled aubergine, fried onion, garlic and tomato, Homos (yet another spelling of hummus!), Salad Olivieh, diced chicken breast, potatoes, boiled egg, pickled cucumber, garden peas, mayonnaise and olive oil, and lastly Halim Bademjan, mashed char grilled aubergine, fried onions, herbs, garlic, butter beans, walnuts and kashk.

However, you must order a portion of Taftoon bread to go with it; no worry though as that is only a small additional charge and you can watch it being baked in seconds in front of you in a most colourful style of tandoor oven.

Wonderful mains run from marinated baby chicken served with rice or bread or salad to a range of kebabs with both fish or meat and even a whole sea bass; all their prices represent fantastic value for a Central London restaurant. Do accompany either the starters or the main courses with some Mast-O-Maasir, chopped shallots (wild garlic) mixed with homemade yoghurt.

Finally be amazed that - though they add on a 10%, and well deserved it is as the waitresses are delightful and most helpful, service charge - the bill is extremely unlikely to be more than £25 a head.

They have another, but rather smaller, branch in Westbourne Grove.

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Persian

: 12:00 - 24:00

Reservations: 020 7603 1130

10 Russell Gardens, Olympia, London, W14 8EZ [Map]

N/A    £27.00

(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)

REVIEWS OF Alounak

Peter (16 October 2008)

This place rates as one the most consistent restaurants in London, let alone Kensington. The members of staff are always helpful, if not a little rushed off their feet. Sometimes, the place gets full quickly, so book if you can. It's a hotspot for Persians, which is a compliment, and their food is delicious. You will leave feeling satisfied without stretching your pocket. Take wine with you though, as locally it's a little overpriced and there is not a great choice. This place is a little treasure.

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