338 Springvale Rd
Forest Hill, VIC 3131
If you get a recommendation from an Iranian ex-coworker for a Persian restaurant, TAKE IT. Being entirely unfamiliar with the cuisine myself, I wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from any other Middle Eastern restaurant. But when I was recommended Persian Flavours as a pretty solid option, I was immediately convinced.
Although this place is literally a 2 minute drive from my place, I’ve ignored it for a long time, as it seemed like one of those dodgy suburban shopping strip restaurants. But turns out business is booming, and the restaurant bustled with both diners and take-away orders. It even had groups of Asian families, which is saying something. From my experience, first generation Asians tend to avoid anything non-Asian unless it is really something special.
Those who say that Persian Flavours looks like a cheap Chinese restaurant have clearly never been to a real cheap Chinese restaurant. It felt more like a home-styled canteen; everything was clean and tidy, and decorated with bits and bobs on the walls. Unfortunately the service was awful. It took ages to get seated, eons to get water, and an eternity to actually be served. It didn’t help that Chris had his starving eyes on, and the staff had their avoiding eyes on.
The Mixed Kebab ($20.8) here is the bomb. Each skewer was smoky and juicy; the chicken kebab was especially good in its tangy ginger and lemon marinade, whilst the lamb tikka was tender and flavoursome.
On the side were a large, puffy swathe of naan, and a handful of lettuce pretending to be salad. There’s also the option of having it served with rice.
The Mixed Veggie Curry ($11, small) on the other hand was significantly less exciting. I had insisted on a vegetarian option to balance out the meal, and the result was an overly sweet and somewhat insipid mix of miscellaneous vegetables, some very obviously frozen. And yes, you do have to pay for the Saffron Rice ($3, small). Chris liked it enough though, and the portion was reasonable for the price.
All in all, Persian Flavours is a pretty decent option to have near home. The kebabs are excellent, the bread good, and the curries I’m sure would’ve been at least satisfactory had I gone for a meatier option. Golistan is better, but this would be a more than adequate alternative if I couldn’t be bothered driving the 15 minutes to Box Hill.
Rating: 12.5/20 – kebab victory.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.