Last weekend we were invited to the relatively new House of Kabob to check out their restaurant and try some authentic, homemade Persian cuisine. House of Kabob is conveniently located on Sparkman Drive just north of UAH and opened on February 1st. This is Huntsville’s only Persian restaurant. In fact, you might even need to drive as far as Nashville to find anything like it; even then, there are no promises it will be as great as House of Kabob. We’re very lucky, Huntsville.
We were greeted by the sweetest lady, owner/chef and long time Huntsville resident Azita Jiani, who welcomed us to her “home” and sat down with us to explain the menu and history of House of Kabob. I cannot stress enough how true the term “homemade” is here. Every aspect of this restaurant is made literally by hand. Azita and Melonie make everything as you order it in the kitchen which is visible from your table. We told them we wanted to try the dishes prepared in the most authentic, no substitutions way. This made them very happy.
Azita started by bringing us her barley soup made with Halal chicken, barley, carrots and cilantro. I really couldn’t think of a more fitting dish to enjoy on a fall Sunday afternoon. Like most of the dishes made here, the barley soup is a time-consuming process. Judging by how great this soup was, we knew good things were in store for us.
House of Kabob serves items like Maast-o khair, which combines whole milk yogurt, cucumbers and spices to create a fresh, creamy dish. You will also find several varieties of torshee here (pickled vegetables), all of which are you guessed it-homemade. Both of these are an excellent accompaniment to what we had next, the kabob Bakhtiari.
For our main dish, we had the number 1: lamb and chicken with saffron rice and added an extra kobideh (kabob). Azita really takes pride in the fact that all ingredients are high quality and goes to great lengths to make sure standards are met and exceeded. There are no corners cut here. The portions are plentiful, and Allen finished every last bit of rice. They even “adopted” him into their Iranian family; they were that impressed 🙂 The lamb and beef were my favorite, and I couldn’t get over how much flavor they had. Want to see how Azita makes these amazing kabobs? Watch her video here and prepare to be wowed. The saffron rice alone is worth a trip to this restaurant. This stuff puts any rice I’ve ever made to shame.
Salad Shirazi, which is named after a city in southern Iran, pairs perfectly with any meal at House of Kabob. I could eat this salad everyday! It’s the right mix of juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and red onion, and a hint of citrus that comes together to create this delectable salad.
Sholeh zard, similar to rice pudding, was a real treat at the end of our visit. Unlike rice pudding, sholeh zard is made with rosewater in place of milk so it is a great option for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant. With a slightly sweet taste and some crunch from the slivered almonds and pistachios, this is a great guilt-free dessert! Again, this dish is very time-consuming to prepare with just the rice alone having to soak for 4-5 hours.
Little touches throughout the restaurant really add to the “homey” feel, as well as Azita who truly made us feel like we were dining at home with mom. When you visit, be sure to look for the painting hanging on the wall near the kitchen. Ask them about it as well as the teapot over by the beverage table 🙂
House of Kabob is located at 1212 Sparkman Dr NW, Huntsville, Alabama 35816 and is open Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-3pm. Dine in or take out (256) 489-9202.