Having just watched a foreign language flick I think most people might be tempted to go on and watch more films from that country or even book a trip to the place. The latter may usually be true for me but when the country we’re talking about is Iran it’s never gonna be that straightforward! I’ve heard great things about Iran actually, especially its people and would like to visit the country one day but for now I’ll have to settle for the next best thing. Having finally got round to watching ’A Separation‘ (2011) I-ran out to get some ethnic cuisine as that’s the kind of persian I am!
One obvious restaurant springs to mind when it comes to Iranian restaurants in Tokyo and thats ‘Zakuro’ at 3-13-2 Nishi-Nippori. Back in 2011 I first went to this place on an evening and slagged it off on here! That was more for my dislike of that kind of entertainment and that is still true but having returned their last year for lunch I decided it was a great place for food which kind of got forgotten about in my original entry. More on the food later.
Now, despite all the film-related stuff here on Tokyo Fox, I really am not a film buff but I do enjoy watching foreign language movies from time to time. ‘A Separation‘ (2011) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 and its beauty lies with the fact that the tension and drama remains throughout without any need to resort the more commonly used gimmicks of western cinema.
It is a sad truth that most people from English-speaking countries just will not watch foreign language films when they go to the cinema or rent a dvd. Having to actually read the subtitles in order to really understand what’s going on is one basic reason why. It’s also been suggested that subtitles require more attention and take away the viewers concentration of the action in part. Movie-goers seem to be ok with small segments of the films they watch being subtitled but it seems at times that it’s only really the film buffs who enjoy good movies whether they are subtitled or not.
The brilliant and very tense ‘Argo‘ (2012) was a three-time Academy Award winner in 2012 and having also re-watched this on dvd the other day, Iran was definitely lurking in the back of my mind somewhere. As a movie locations geek I should add that the bazaar wasn’t really in Iran but was instead the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul which also featured in ‘Skyfall‘ and ‘Taken 2‘ last year.
That links me nicely back to Zakuro which is actually a mix of Iranian and Turkish food as well as also including some Uzbekistani cuisine too. The lunch set is a bargain 1000 yen and includes daily juice, daily kebab, soup, rice, nan, tea, Iran pasta and and a load more dishes which I struggle to recall.
Sitting on Persian rugs which cover the floor your table is also at ground level and fairly quickly fills up as the staff bring you dish after dish as well as a Turkish fez hat!
Having been here a few times now it really can be a bit hit or miss. Every time you go to this place the menu is a little different which is no doubt a good thing but when I took my girlfriend here recently for her maiden visit the service was a little lacking and we did get forgotten about a bit after the initial outlay of dishes given to us which it has to be said is fairly impressive. Its just that on my previous visit I was constantly inundated with extra dishes and other little bite-sized nibbles which are passed round by the waiters.
Funnyman owner Ali is a bit of a character who usually works hard to entertain the diners, particularly the larger groups, and create a communal atmosphere in the place. Sadly, he wasn’t around so much for this recent visit which may be why it wasn’t quite up to scratch. Still, I shall definitely return again one day.