I first heard about Behesht first from an old friend who used to live in London. Then, someone (an Italian, mind you) went as far as to tell Nayereh it was the best restaurant in London. But when I coincidentally sat down next to an Iranian on my flight to London and he told me I couldn't miss it, I knew it would have to be one of my first meals in London.
We arrived after a bit of searching, it's not at all in central London. That said, the neighborhood was no where near as dodgey as some other areas I stumbled into accidentally throughout my trip. We knew we were getting close as we saw Iranians of all ages walk away from the restaurant towards the tube stop with expressions of pure contentment on their faces. When we got there (maybe a 10 minute walk from the Kensal Green stop), we were pleased to find the place was packed full of Iranians and non-Iranians alike. As the photograph above shows, the restaurant was full of really traditioanl Iranian tapestry and tilework and it was a real treat for me, not having been to Iran in over three years.
For an appetizer we ordered tadiq covered in ghormeh sabzi, a stew made with herbs, kidney beans and chunks of slow-cooked lamb. They topped it with some saffron rice, adding a little bit of sweetness to the yum-fest already going on. In the background is masteh moosir, a thick yogurt made with copious amounts of garlic.
Another amazing thing about Behesht was the prices. The dishes were between 5-7 pounds. Not bad, considering the mounds of rice, roasted tomato, and salad that accompany the kabob. And the food was incredible. Both Nayereh and I agreed that we have never had better Iranian food outside of Iran. The rice was soft and fluffy and both types of meat were tender and full-flavored. If you're planning a trip to London, I definitely recommend stopping by at Behesht if you're interested in having some really authentic Iranian food.