Sherman's Food Adventures: Avishan Middle Eastern Grill

Avishan Middle Eastern Grill

Usually, when we meet up with Nikita and Bluebeard, we head for Japanese or some other Asian cuisine (sometimes in Langley).  AI really don't mind going into Langley to meet them since I am of the opinion that good eats exist East of the Fraser River.  So this time around, I reached back into my memory of a place that Nikita had raved about - Avishan Middle Eastern Grill.  Ah yes, we've never eaten that type of cuisine together before (even though I love it personally), hence that is where we met up for eats.

I decided to order the Kashk Badmejan consisting of mashed grilled eggplant, whey sauce (kashk), sauteed onions, garlic  and mint served with Avishan’s bread.   This was pretty tasty with delicate eggplant that was flavoured by the tangy whey.  There was also the sweetness of the sauteed onions as well as the fried ones on top.  There was a background smokiness to the dip and nuttiness from the walnuts.  Loved the soft bread that came with the dip.

For myself, I went big with the Shishlik or grilled whole rack of lamb served with rice, grilled tomato and salad.  I gotta say this was prepared really well.  The lamb was medium rare being super moist and tender.  Furthermore, they were well-seasoned with enough salt, acidity and aromatics.  Even though the picture doesn't really show it, there was some char that added smokiness and depth of flavour. 

Continuing on the same theme, Bluebeard had the Lamb Shank baked slowly with garlic and onion.  As you can see in the picture, they weren't shy about keeping all of the fat from the braising juices.  Although that could be a turnoff for some people, this actually added lots of aroma and body.  The caramelized onions were the primary contributor in taste providing rich sweetness.  Fork-tender and moist, the lamb shank itself was properly prepared.

Viv decided on the boring Chicken Kebab with the same accompaniments.  Turns out that it was not the greatest decision as it was the least flavourful of the bunch.  It wasn't necessarily the seasoning either.  It is that chicken can just be somewhat of a blank slate.  But it was grilled nicely with a beautiful golden char.  The white meat was neither juicy nor dry.  So it was fine.

Nikita one-upped Viv and got the Bakhtiari sporting not only the chicken kebab, but also a lamb tenderloin kebab as well.  Due to the leanness of the lamb, it wasn't as moist as the other cuts of lamb we had.  She remarked that the shank or my rack of lamb would've been a better choice.  Despite this, the bulk of the food was prepared well and delicious.  The people there are also nice and inviting.  Definitely an option in that part of Langley.

The Good:
- Well-prepared proteins
- Nice people

The Bad:
- Have to be patient, family-restaurant, things will take time


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