Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Side Dish: Eastern Food without the Exotic

Side Dish Restaurant
1008 Langley St.
Victoria, B.C.
(250) 477-9995

E: Strange. In a region that was once known as Persia, I would expect the food to include the exotic. I’m fascinated with the ancient culture because of the sun god Mithras. His secretive religion is as mysterious as the restaurant that does not bear his name.

At Side Dish, I was fascinated with the baklava desserts offered and that’s what I should have picked up instead of one of their traditional dishes. As colourful as it was, I wondered where did the flavour go? I have to agree with what another fellow blogger, Your Restaurant Sucks, wrote about the quality of service and the food. As colourful and simple as my dish was, I wondered where did the flavour go? Was the pomegranate fruit forgotten or the sumac spice not applied?

There's nothing wrong with the freshness or simplicity of the meal. But I think visiting this place will be seasonal in order to get the best in what the harvest can offer.

J: The kabobs looked as about exotic as National Geographic cut-outs on the wall of an office cubicle. The kebabs were processed lines of meat. I couldn't laugh, my meal faired no better.

E: At least James' meal looked like it should belong in a garden, which might be true to the region back when its known as one of the possible locations for the fabled Garden of Eden. The multicolored saffron rice made for a nice presentation. All I got were specs of orange than an all out green and red.

It was a simple meal which needed a bit of an extra oomph. That is, my taste buds did not pick up on any use of added spices to give the meal some extra flavour. I really did love how the charred tomato tasted. It was different.

J: The chef's specialty was a chicken leg cooked in tomato saffron and lime. I couldn't taste anything but the tomato sadly. I was given the heated tomato sauce in a side dish. I poured it liberally over the saffron rice to take away the dry taste. It helped slightly.

And I consider a salad something a little more than two pieces of tomato and cucumber on two leaves of lettuce. That's more suited as a salad for Peter Rabbit.

E: The salad dressing helped. It gave that part of my meal that exoticness I was craving. Had the pomegranate been in seasaon, I'm sure that would kicked that part of the meal up by a notch.

Like I said before, the next time I stop in here for a bite, it'd only be for the baklavas instead of anything else.

J: The Side Dish is a cozy and clean restaurant. For me, that's important but foodwise, they haven't convinced me to make a return visit. Maybe if they start by presenting an appetizing kebab, this place would feel different.

3 Blokes out of 5

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  1. Persian food is very simple and very delicious. I really don't know what you mean by processed kabobs. There is ground meat kabobs and then kabobs with pieces of chicken or red meat. There's nothing processed about it. I have eaten in many persian restaurants and Side Dish fares very well in comparison.

    I would do a little more research before making comments like the food was "westernized" as that is untrue. The food served at side dish is what you should expect to see at the home of a persian family.

    1. I am quite disappointed with the comments made by these "two hungry blokes". My husband and I have just moved to the Island from the Lower Mainland. The first thing on our list was to find a GOOD Persian restaurant. We drove to Victoria to try the Side Dish restaurant and were VERY pleased with the quality of the food. We have to say that this Persian restaurant is just as enjoyable as the one's in North Vancouver. I would hope that the opinion of two so-called food bloggers would not discourage you from experiencing this restaurant. We give the Side Dish Restaurant two thumbs up !!!

  2. Side Dish is a great persian restaurent, I am persian and i eat there alot

  3. I'm Persian and I have to say that the food at SideDish is excellent and well-priced. I don't think you know much about Persian food to give this review.