Last night we tried out a new restaurant in University Heights- Soltan Banoo , which is billed as serving "Eclectic Persian Cuisine". Intrigued we arrived to find a rather inelegant location with half indoor/outdoor seating that reminded me of a beach shack or burger bar. The indoor seating looked decidedly shabby so we chose to eat outside under the canopy, which thankfully was heated by a small gas fire. Nonetheless we had to keep our coats on and never really relaxed throughout the meal.
I'm sad to say that the staff at Soltan Banoo were distinctly unfriendly- somewhat superior with their raw-vegan, herbal tea airs. Being served by a waitress in grungy clothes and a shaved head, whose mind is clearly elsewhere on bigger and better things, does not exactly make for a "special" dining experience.
The menu was certainly interesting- I'm not quite sure it qualifies as eclectic, but there were certainly dishes we had never seen or heard of before in our lives. We started with a cup of Ash Anar- the specialty of the restaurant - a pomegranate soup
with beans, lentils and barley. This was interesting, a refreshing change to find a very new flavor. The soup was very sweet and although we enjoyed it we were very glad to have only ordered cups- a bowl would have been much to much.
For the main course my wife got a raw vegan salad- a mixture of raw vegetables nuts and seeds which she enjoyed- although could have made just as easily, (and perhaps better) at home. I opted for the Chicken Kabob. This was tasty grilled chicken accompanied with a rice dish of cranberries, caramelized orange & carrot rinds, almonds, onions and saffron. The food was good but certainly nothing extraordinary and we were much dismayed when the check came back costing almost as much as we had spent on our fabulous meal at Vagabond. Going out to dinner should be a real treat, you should feel happy and relaxed at the end of the evening- yesterday we felt nothing except slightly disgruntled that we had not had the evening we had hoped for.