MOSHEN: GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS
I have to admit to feeling a little odd this weekend.
It’s that time of year again when publishers come in from all corners of the globe and take over West London for the LIBF, after Frankfurt, the most important trade fair in the publishing business.
And, for the first time in twenty odd years, I wont be among them. Not that this is a bad thing. I have moved on to what someone once described as ‘ the next stage of the journey” but, when I passed Earls Court last night, I still had the urge to run up to a random Icelander and say “ I can have the books FOB Hong Kong port by the end of May”
A lot of my friends from the business are in town and, when one of them suggested an early supper on Sunday near her Earls Court hotel, I thought of Moshen, a small,well thought of Iranian joint on The Warwick Road.
This was only my third visit to Moshen. The previous two had been good and excellent respectively. This wasn’t. It was a grave disappointment.
Known for the quality of its grilled meats, none of that came through in this dispiriting Sunday supper.
The pani sabzi salad of herbs, radishes and feta cheese was fine and cleansing as it should be. The bread was good as it always is and we used it to spoon up a decent yoghurt sauce. We had also ordered a plate of Ox tongue to begin with, but it never arrived so I can’t tell you how good they would have been or not. When we reminded them, they offered to get them right away, but by then we hade our kebabs in front of us and there was little point.
Ah, the kebabs. The standard by which any place like this should be judged. Last visits, fresh, clean grilling, alive with juices and the zing of spice and lemon.
Tonight? Dry, stringy and overcooked lacking in any spark or sign of skilled grilling. Chenjeh Kebabs (lamb) were tough as old boots and required more chewing that my reconstructed ganshers were capable of. Jujeh Kebab ( chicken, in this case on the bone) was little better and we struggled to finish it which says something when you know my feelings towards all things grilled.
It is certainly cheap enough coming to £35 for two including a tip for charming service and a large jug of refreshing Doog to wash things down. But, in the end it is the meat that matters and it would have to be a lot better than on this showing to get me travelling across town again without matters publishing to persuade me.