Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Friday, December 01, 2006

"Aash" restaurant Enghelab Square Tehran

Aash Restaurant, Enghelab Square

Known to all Tehran University students and frequented by artists and bazaar traders alike, this "aash" restaurant is my current favourite spot for lunch in the city.

There are just two versions of the thick soup dish on offer and you get the feeling it's been that way for years. There's aash-e reshteh which is meatless and heavy with beans, pulses, herbs and wheat noodles and a minced meat-rich slop originating from Isfahan that I forget the name of. Both weigh in at a slim 500 Tomans.

The guy at the counter has served so many bowls that he won't even look at you until your money is on the counter. Once you get (or rather your cash gets) his attention he'll fill your bowl and dash kashk (a kind of dairy product something like a super-rich yogurt) and mint sauce over it and hand you half a naan-e barbari (see previous post).

Located on the northeast corner of Enghelab Square. Climb down the stairs and you'll see the two huge vats right in front of you.

Travel Guide to Iran

Guide to Tehran

Books on Iran

Iranian food


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog. I've been interested in Iran for a long time. Never been but very keen to go. What's the situation with Brits getting a visa at the moment? Is it a safe place to take a young child?

tadatanome said...

You can get a one-week tourist visa just by turning up at the airport but for a longer stay you would have to check with the Iranian embassy.

Safety is not a major problem. In Tehran there's no more street crime than any other major city and staying away from the Afghan/Pakistan borders is probably a good idea.

Useful to have a guide or an Iranian contact. A young child wouldn't be a problem in theory but again useful to know someone who would be able to help you find certain essential things that a baby might need. In Tehran especially, almost everything you would find in a Western country is available but it just might not be as easy to find. In other provincial cities you would be forced to do things more Iranian-style. Any specific ideas about what kind of trip you had in mind?

Anonymous said...

I want to visit Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan and Bam (please excuse the spelling). Are you sure UK passport holders get a visa on arrival? Ideally I would like to rent a car but I guess public transport is fine if car rental is out.
There are always images on the TV of Iranians burning British and US flags and chanting "death to the west". Is this reflected in the way people on the street deal with tourists or not a good barometer of public opinion/feeling?
Thanks for the response.

tadatanome said...

You can rest assured that the most common reaction you will get as a British or (suitably apologetic) American tourist in Iran is a very generous and warm welcome. The protests you see on the TV are very much organised affairs involving a hard core of particularly vocal government supporters. You, as an individual, are not at all likely to be taken for a political representative of Britain or the West. At worst, expect to be engaged in some heated conversation or be the butt of taxi drivers' jokes.

I personally would not recommend driving in Iran. Iranian's behaviour on the roads is likely to come as a shock to westerners not least because the concept of "giving way" is largely unknown here.

For visa information best to check with the Iranian Embassy in London.