Update 31/12/2015 - Lana is now called Persian Paradise
Surely I’ve already written about every single kebab restaurant on City Road?
Despite the fact I’ve featured KBS, Lilo’s, Shaam Nights, La Shish, Mezza Luna, Troy, Aladdin, Mezza House and Oz Urfa, there’s still a few I’m yet to cover…
Lana, a Persian restaurant, is one of City Road’s more recent additions, having opened in May last year.
The first thing which strikes you about Lana is their unique interior…
Water trough and fountain in the window? Check.
Straw-covered and pebble-dashed walls adorned with traditional dress? All present and correct.
It all sounds a bit bizarre or even bazaar. But, the overall effect is actually rather charming.
Alongside an interesting selection of mezze for starters and kebabs for mains, Lana also serve daily changing specials. Monday’s special, steamed rice mixed with pistachios and barberries served with braised chicken, sounded particularly interesting.
To start, hummus (£3.50) was rich with tahini yet tempered with a good twist of lemon.
Kashke Bademjan (£3.50) was another epic Middle Eastern aubergine dip to add to the collection. Slow cooked aubergines were mixed with yoghurt and crushed walnuts, sautéed chopped mint and Persian whey. A little less oil would have improved the dish but this was seriously good stuff.
Bread (£1 each) was up there with the very best – Lilo’s if you’re asking. Cloud light, soft and crisp in places, and baked into a cute heart shape.
A jug of mango juice was ridiculously generous for £4 and pretty as a picture with its matching earthenware cups.
Salade Fasi (£3.50) was a super fresh combination of lightly-dressed lettuce, cucumber, carrot, tomato, creamy feta and crunchy walnuts. It was missing the advertised olives and beetroot but I’m not complaining.
Onto the mains and it’ll be no surprise to you that I stuck to a familiar favourite – Joojeh aka chicken shish (£7.50).
Tender chicken (not quite as juicy as Mowlana’s) was accompanied by a well charred tomato, a mixed salad and a Snowdon-esque mountain of buttery rice. Pots of pokey chilli sauce and a minty yoghurt-mayo completed a very tasty dish.
Mrs G ordered Sunday’s daily special - Baqhali polo (£10) – an unfeasibly tender lamb shank accompanied by an Everest-like peak of fragrant rice flecked with dill and soft broad beans.
An accompanying bowl of sauce/soup rich with lamb juices and tomato added an extra dimension to the plate.
Lana's food is fresh, good value, hearty and has heaps of flavour. If you’re looking for another Middle Eastern restaurant to try then Lana is well worth a visit.
Address - Lana, 82 City Road, Cardiff, CF24 3DD
Telephone - 029 2049 7417