There's a temptation when doing a bit of this eat-stuff-then-write-about-it thing, to talk about those places that are new and untested at the expense of trusted old-timers. Similarly, a meal at somewhere that is in some sense "special" seems to merit a few hundred words of effort more than one had in a regular haunt. Well, allow what follows to remedy these imbalances, at least for my own part. Thankfully a recently scoffed meal at one of our favourite local eateries was up to the normal standard to allow me to advocate for it thus.
Persian Delight is situated on Stanhope Street, 10 minutes stagger up the hill from St James Park. We used to live just round the corner and downed countless of their bargain chicken and lamb wraps, usually taken out on nights when cooking just seemed like a bit too much effort. Our allotment is a mere lob of a spud's distance away, so on a recent midweek trip to the plot, eating here rather than cooking ourselves gained us valuable extra veg-time.
The charcoal grill is the main attraction. Chicken or lamb in various guises and marinades are quickly cooked over the grill and served simply.
On this occasion I went for the Bakhtiary; lumps of lamb and chicken fillet, marinated in a saffron sauce before being introduced to that grill, served with a mountain of perfectly fluffy rice and some grilled tomatoes that, having actually been cooked through, had some purpose being there. Let's have a close-up of that meat.
Almost needless to say, it was great. Not the most tender and perhaps not the most juicy you'll ever have, but smokey and delicious. Garlic and chilli sauces of a type familiar to anyone who's eaten out at a Lebanese place are on the table, gratis. As indeed was - and this takes things up a notch for me - a shaker full of sumac. I bloody love sumac.
Also included in the entrance fee was a simple but fresh salad, which became much more interesting when doused liberally with a pot of garlic yoghurt, which was an extra quid.
Which, bargainously, was also the price of a pot of stonkingly assertive home-made pickles. The aubergine in particular was a pleasingly puckering affair.
I had a grape juice to drink, Kasia had a Persian tea which, full of cardamom, was delicious. I don't think they have a licence and I'm not sure where they stand on punters bringing their own booze.
The price for all this, including a similar kebab meal for Kasia, was £17. I call that a flat-out bargain. Arguably even better value are their wraps; naan, rolled and baked to order, encases grilled lamb or chicken, with sauce and salad as you please. I don't know of a better £2.80 you can spend on food. As well as the grilled stuff they do specials where, depending on the day of the week, you've the option of a green herb stew, a slow-cooked lamb shank or some other appealing sounding feast. The service was super-cheery, as it pretty much always is.
So there you have it; nothing flash or new, but a strong thumbs up for somewhere I've had food a tonne of times and never once been disappointed. If you live anywhere close, you've probably been, and if you haven't then you really should. If you live further afield you might well want to consider making the trek.
Persian Delight, 280 Stanhope Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5JT
0191 273 3000