Caspian, Sheffield

Update
I have since learnt that Thursdays are the head chef’s day off… hence the average review. Go, but not on a Thursday and tell me that you fared better than I.

I wasn’t planning to blog this so my review won’t be as detailed as others, but after stirring up interest about this place as I tweeted through my meal, I thought I better had.

Last Thursday night I had nothing in the fridge and was absolutely knackered.  I needed good solid food in a relaxed atmosphere.  We considered Wig and Pen, Dhanista’s and Amigos amongst others, but I persuaded Gav that we should give Caspian ago.  I’d read a couple of decent reviews on Sheffield Forum and fancied trying it for myself, especially as I haven’t really tried any Persian food before.

It was dead when we arrived (not normally a good sign) but went for it.  Thankfully it filled up a bit as the evening progressed.

I can’t remember the names of the dishes but to start we had a feta salad….

That was one huge chunk of feta.  It was served with fresh parsley (bleurgh) and fresh mint (yum).  It wasn’t in any way an imaginative dish and the iceberg lettuce leaves along with the insipid tomatoes were hardly inspiring.  However I liked the feta so it was fine.

We also had a dish of lamb cooked with chickpeas (I think, or lentils).

This was really tasty and rich and, although there weren’t any chunks of lamb in there, the lamb flavours were quite delicious.  We were also served some traditional Persian bread which was good.

So, starters were tasty, but I’d heard that dreaded microwave ‘ping’ at least 3 times as we’d waited to be served.  This really did affect my enjoyment of the lamb dish as I’m sure it had been zapped.

Onto mains and we had a lamb shank.  This was pretty big and the meat literally fell off the bone; it was lovely, as was the sauce it came with.

We also had a lamb stew.  Again the lamb was well cooked and the flavours in the sauce were slightly unusual, or at least different to any combination I have tried, and it was, again, tasty.

The down sides were the side dishes.  The rice was dry (probably another victim of the microwave) and the salad was bland (more iceberg lettuce).
We also ordered a skewer of grilled tomatoes.  I had expected that my tomatoes would have been marinaded, then lightly char grilled to add a slight smoky flavour.  Hmmmm; a far cry from what I was actually served.  Tomatoes were bland, cremated to one side and raw in the middle.

The tomatoes weren’t the worst bit though.  Oh no.  That would be the hair in my salad. 

It was as though the chef had prepared all his dishes earlier in the week so that he could just zap them in the microwave before serving.  All in the name of laziness.  Hell, he couldn’t even be bothered to turn my god damn tomatoes over on the grill.  And there’s not a lot to say about that hair.

Tweeters asked if I complained and whether i paid.  The answers to those questions are no I didn’t complain (Gav scoffed the burnt tomatoes declaring that there were ‘alright’ and he knocked my hairy cucumber onto the table, splattering all the salad dressing on it and making the hair look as though I’d set them up) and yes I did pay (because I couldn’t complain).  Thankfully the bill was £29.50 (including a large glass of white, a glass of cherry juice and a glass of mango juice) so it didn’t break the bank.

As I said on Twitter, it was a shame and I stand by that.  The good points (i.e. some really tasty lamb dishes) would have pulled me back for more had I not heard that microwave ping, found that hair or ordered the tomatoes….

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