Caspian Culture

When Jenny Conlon visited Jan on Northcote Road, she found a lost decadence

In my research, I learned that ‘Jan’ is a Persian term of endearment, literally meaning ‘my dear’, so I took along my own ‘Jan’ for a trip to this Battersea newbie.

The restaurant is inspired by the golden ages of the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Dynasties and we certainly felt as if we’d travelled back in time to a forgotten era of decadence. The interior is a sight to behold, with luxurious gold features, exquisite moody paintings with sophisticated chunky gold frames and teal mosaic tiled walls.

We started off sampling their cocktails. First up, an Arabica Martini. This is a twist on an Espresso Martini, with Cariel Vanilla Vodka, Lebanese Arak, Borghetti coffee liqueur and spiced espresso, which had a rich creamy taste. We also sampled the Fruit-N-Nut Negroni, which was presented with fig and toasted nuts, gin, campari, sweet vermouths and chocolate bitters.

We shared some small plates of baba ganoush and pickled walnut rolls, and sticky sumac chicken wings which were marinated in a pomegranate, honey, sumac and barberry sauce – not too spicy but devilishly moreish. Our third plate was courgette hummus with flatbread recommended by the restaurant manager, Carlos. This was a particular highlight with its Caspian flavours of roasted courgette blended with chickpeas and tahini.

We then moved onto dishes cooked in their charcoal oven, such as Harissa-marinated hanger steak. It came beautifully charcoaled on the outside yet tender and deliciously succulent on the inside. We also opted for the boneless sea bream which tasted so fresh it could just have been caught from the Caspian sea. It was cooked to perfection and served with red onion and barberry salad. We enjoyed both dishes with a raw courgette salad and a whole roast aubergine.

For dessert we opted for the harissa icecream with apricot and saffron. At first this delightful treat tastes like normal ice-cream, but a few seconds later a fusion of sweet and savoury spices explode in your mouth.

A trip to Jan is a trip to another world with food on another level.

78 Northcote Road, SW11 6QL

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