The Persian Empire may no longer exist, but its cuisine still does. Often referred to as “Iranian cuisine” in line with the country of Iran, it’s a world of deliciousness. There are some great Persian restaurants in Tokyo and Yokohama. Here’s a look at some of the best.
First opened in 2004, BolBol immediately sets the mood with an opulent interior meant to transport you to the days of Persia. As the restaurant itself says, BolBol believes that “every occasion should be exceptional” and their atmosphere perfectly reflects that philosophy. Especially recommended is the BolBol Special Curry made with chicken, walnuts and pomegranate sauce, as well as Ghormeh sabzi, an aromatic stew made from mutton, parsley and herbs.
For an even more immersive Persian dining experience, try out the restaurant’s flavored tobacco hookahs. Occasionally, there are belly dancing nights that crown the whole gourmet experience. Check the restaurant’s social media for updates on future events.
Where: 3-2-15 Koenjikita, Suginami-ku
Aladdin is the creation of Asghar Kemestari, the Iranian restauranter behind Japan’s first Iranian eatery, Alibaba. The restaurant used to be located in Roppongi, but that facility closed in December of last year. The new Aladdin is located a 3-minute walk from Hiroo Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. With space for up to 41 people, it is smaller than the previous locale but still serves the same excellent food. And this one, unlike the old location, has outdoor seating too.
Aladdin now puts a special focus on their grilled dishes. You will of course find all the Persian staples like kebabs and stews at Aladdin, and additionally more health-conscious options like a selection of salads. Finish your meal with Iranian spiced coffee.
Where: 5-14-14 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku
When: 11:30am—3pm and 5pm—10pm
Though small, JameJam prides itself on being able to bring a taste of Persia to any occasion, be it a casual dinner on a weekday or something more special such as a wedding or a birthday celebration. Just ask the owner and chef Karvandi, who can often be seen chatting with guests. When in the kitchen, though, he’s busy preparing many Iranian staples such as Kabab Koobideh, a meat kebab made from ground lamb or chicken mixed with pepper and chopped onions.
Also recommended is the restaurant’s Khoresh-e Morgh, a dish made with sautéed chicken and tomato sauce. Please note that JameJam doesn’t serve alcohol.
Where: 2-20-7 Asagayaminami, Suhinami-ku
When: 11:30am—2:30pm and 5pm—8pm
Living up to its name, Arash Exotic Dining is a combination Persian and Indian restaurant, serving both Iranian as well as tandoori dishes. They’ve also added some Turkish donor kebabs in for good measure. The Persian offerings extend beyond kebabs—even if Arash has an impressive selection of those. They have delectable stews such as fesenjan, an earthy and tangy Iranian stew made with ground walnuts and pomegranate.
If you only have time for one Persian dish, the restaurant recommends either the Mahiche and Baghali Polo, a lamb-shank stew with fava beans, or the Special Persian Set and Saffron Rice which includes three different types of meat kebabs.
Where: 3-1-1 Misakicho, Chiyoda-ku
When: 11am—5pm on Saturdays | 11am—3pm and 5pm—11pm Mon to Fri
Caspian is an authentic Persian restaurant with an Iranian chef. It’s located around 10 minutes on foot from Yokohama’s Namamugi Station on the Keikyu Line. However, while it has everything that you’d expect to find in a restaurant like this, including eight different kinds of kebabs and Bastani ice cream, Caspian also aims to be a diverse dining destination that offers something for every palate.
That’s why besides Persian cuisine, Caspian also has dishes like carbonara, penne pasta, gratin, mini pizzas, cobb salad and more. That way, groups that can rarely agree on where to eat can finally have a place that serves a little bit of everything alongside its great Iranian food.
Where: 4-7-14 Higashiterao, Tsurumi-ku
When: 11am—2:30pm | 5pm—10pm
In addition to visiting these restaurants, you can also get take-out from most or order via food delivery apps. Whatever you do, whichever of the Persian restaurants in Tokyo and Yokohama you choose, make sure you have a taste of this rare foodie find.
Please note that working hours are temporary and liable to change. Check the websites of the restaurants before visiting for the latest information.
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