Persian Peacock, Cape Town CBD
13:00 - 19:00 Mon to Fri Saturday & Sunday Bookings Only
Price Range (p/p)
Medium | R100 - R300
In the middle of the Cape Town CBD in a most nondescript part of town, through the most nondescript doorway, you may be transported via wormhole to a world of rich tapestry, ancient culture, saffron, khoresh and kebab.
That’s what it felt like walking into this cosy restaurant on a weekday afternoon. Persian Peacock had been on my radar since January this year, but once Covid hit, a visit simply became impossible. They re-opened for sit down in July and I decided to visit them in August during a family trip to Cape Town.
The restaurant is not big and can seat maybe 20 people but the plush interior is an unexpected surprise from the rather plain facade on the outside. A large print of a peacock displaying the full fan of its plumage dominates one wall. The other walls painted in deep rich hues of blue give you the feel of being in a luxurious cave. Teal accents on the furniture and décor bring the peacock theme to life. A couch and coffee table are set before a cosy fireplace for a casual meal or perhaps just coffee.
The Persian Peacock is a family business. They are from Iran and have been in the catering business for some time as Relish and Savour and have had a Persian food stall at the Lourensford market. Their venture into the restaurant business came just before Covid hit so being able to open for sit-down trade again has come as a huge blessing for them.
We were presented with a short and succint menu. 5 Signature Persian dishes and about 10 other dishes ranging from, shawarma to vegetarian middle eastern style meze, to burgers, lamb and steak. There is no kiddies menu so we opted for a lamb burger for Taufeeq and were recommended the house favourite, the Tamahawk. 800g beef sirloin on the bone served with pickled beetroot, (not the store bought variety), tabbouleh and naan. This would take close to an hour to prepare so we had a vegetarian meze platter to start with.
While we waited I explored a second room that led off the main space. It was set up as a cosy games room. Comfy chairs and boardgames adorned the intimate space where you could enjoy your meal or drinks with a small group. It’s a great option for a private function.
Zulfi chose to start with a Persian tea which was served with Persian dates covered with coconut. A tasting board of pickled veg, olives and yoghurt was brought to the table so we could sample the flavours. The veg meze included tasty hummus, Mirza Gasemi, a smoked aubergine dip with tomatoes and garlic, stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh and naan. An authentic start to the meal, which we drew out for a while as we waited for the Tamahawk. Zulfi did not enjoy the tabbouleh but I loved the minty salad scooped up with the hummus and naan. Taufeeq’s burger came with all the trimmings most of which we had to remove for his 7-year-old palate. The lamb and the garlic sauce on the burger along with the crisp and chunky fries were a definite winner.
The Tamahawk arrived and was set down with flair on a wooden board between us. 800g of succulent meat done just right. We had asked for medium to well, and Chef Ali came out himself to check if the doneness was to our satisfaction. It was we exclaimed around mouthfuls of the tender beef. The flavour was not quite as expected. I had expected a more middle eastern slant with the flavours of zaatar and cumin perhaps coming through. Instead, it had a sweet bbq flavour. Rather close to the flavours in popular steakhouses. Still, it was quite enjoyable, though next time I will try one of the signature dishes instead.
Service was good, and the host friendly while explaining the ins and outs of Iranian food. There were no desserts on the menu, which they said they will be developing soon and the lack of a kids menu makes it not the ideal place to go with kids. As an intimate night out with an authentic and upmarket vibe it is a great choice in the city.