A kebab koobideh please!

The first owner of the Hafez restaurant, located in downtown Geneva, was Iranian. Hence the name, which pays homage to one of Persia’s best-known poets. His wife officiated in the kitchen, with the same delicacy as Hafez’s poems. She transmitted all her know-how to Mr. Jimi who took over the establishment in 1993.

My father – born in Iran – doesn’t look at the menu when we have dinner or lunch at Hafez. He directly orders a Kebab Koobideh: a traditional Iranian skewer cooked over charcoal, usually made of minced meat – often lamb – seasoned with turmeric, onion, and garlic. The recipe differs according to the region hence the difficulty of reproducing it, without mentioning of course perfect cooking so that the meat remains juicy in the mouth. Impossible to do at home (we tried many times on the barbecue, it was catastrophic).

The Koobideh kebab from Chez Hafez is delicious. Served of course with saffron rice to which I invite you to add butter, grilled tomato, and onion. Personally, I like to taste it with Mast-O-Khiarw (I know it’s complicated to pronounce), it’s none other than yogurt, cucumber and mint served with Iranian sesame bread.

Family culinary habits also involve the Oliveh salad and the daily specials, served for lunch or dinner. These daily specials are traditional Iranian stews of great finesse, with spices without being spicy.

For dessert, a Bastani, saffron ice cream, and Faloodeh, a light ice cream made with rice vermicelli, lemon, and rose water.

PS: Forgive me Mr. Jimi for not writing a few words about your restaurant which since 1993 has made my father so happy.

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