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Restaurant Reviews - The Netherlands
1054 JG Amsterdam
Tel: 020 6185481
Review date: 10/11/06
The bright back-lit signage on the outside of Daar Baand might make you mistake it for a late-night kebab-take out establishment on the Overtoom and this made my eating companions and I hesitant to walk through the door. However a peer through the window uncovered no signs of the familiar leg of doner-meat and so we entered. The inside of the restaurant had the feel of a Moroccan riad with orange walls, hookah pipes and Persian cushions on the seating.
A look through the menu revealed that Daar Baand is in fact an Iranian restaurant. On offer were a fascinating array of tapas dishes (2.50 to 5.00 EUR), such as mashed eggplant with fried onions and Iranian herbs, stuffed vine leaves, cheese in yogurt and honey, as well as some equally tempting main courses like kebabs and kofte dishes. We chose to order from the extensive tapas menu so as to maximise the number of different dishes that we could try. Out of some 14 dishes that we sampled only two disappointed because they seemed to have little to do with Persian cuisine (I admit I'm no expert but vegetable spring rolls with a sweet and sour dipping sauce seemed somewhat out of place on the largely authentic menu). Almost everything that we tried was very tasty, fresh and filling. However a dish of whole pickled garlic bulbs was not to everyone's taste and look out for the chicken drumsticks - I suspect these were in fact part of the chicken wing in their previous life.
Service was annoyingly inattentive at times and could certainly be improved but any frustration wore off with a few more sips of Iranian shiraz (as did the initial harshness of the wine).
In short Daar Baand is probably not somewhere to take someone on a first date but it is a great place for a large group of friends looking for an inexpensive fun meal and the menu is varied and extensive enough to keep all (even vegetarians) but the fussiest eaters happy.
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