DubaiFoodRestaurant ReviewsUAE

FACT Review: Berenjak brings a taste of Persia to Dubai

Experience authentic Iranian flavours in the heart of Dar Wasl.

Berenjak, the acclaimed restaurant founded by Kian Samyani, has made its international debut in Dubai. It’s not often that an upmarket restaurant takes its name from a whimsical source — in this case, it’s the brightly coloured, toasted rice eaten as a snack at funfairs in Iran. The dining experience offers a modern reinterpretation of the classic hole-in-the-wall eateries found in Tehran, uplifting the cuisine and ambience while inviting diners to explore Iran’s rich cultural history.

Having first opened its doors in London’s Soho in 2018, Berenjak quickly gained recognition for its authentic Iranian cuisine, receiving a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019 and maintaining its esteemed status ever since. Berenjak expanded to Borough Market in 2022 before opening in Dubai earlier this month. A restaurant in Sharjah’s Al Jada district is expected in early 2024.

Berenjak Dubai

The design of Berenjak Dubai reflects the warmth and hospitality emblematic of Iranian culture, featuring a fusion of classical Persian patterns and textiles across wall coverings and rugs. The intimate space features seating for 54 guests indoors and a pleasant al fresco terrace. Plus, a private dining room is hidden discretely behind a curtain, accommodating up to 12 diners.

We were hit by the aromas from the open kitchen that seductively wafted throughout the bustling dining room as soon as we entered. At 3pm on a Saturday lunchtime, and mere days after opening, Berenjak is packed. The charming restaurant captures the vibrant atmosphere of Tehran’s kabab houses through loud music, green leather booths, decadent chandeliers, an abundance of foliage and plenty of mirrors. The tiled open kitchen anchors the space, showcasing everything from the kneading of bread to the grilling of meat.

Berenjak Dubai

Elaborate cartography lines the back of the menu, which is broken down into several sections: Noon O Mazeh (mezze), Kababs, Sofreh (side dishes), Khoresht (stews), Makhsoos, and Shireen (desserts). The restaurant focuses on Iranian dishes, specialising in small mezze-style sharing plates and charcoal-grilled kebabs that are ideal for sharing. Try Balal (AED 39), a tempting dish featuring corn, chilli, lime, and chives, or Sibzamini (AED 49), a moreish plate of crispy fried potatoes served with kordi sauce and strained yoghurt. You can also expect plenty of spices, dips, pickles, and abundant fresh herbs, resulting in a fragrant meal where aromatics abound. 

Berenjak’s Dubai menu showcases signature dishes from the London locations, including the silky smooth Black Chickpea Hummus (AED 42) served with fluffy and crisp Taftoon bread (AED 19 per piece), and the fiery Baal E Morgh (AED 48), meaty chicken wings prepared with red pepper paste and lemon. 

The coal-cooked kebabs are Berenjak’s true draw and include the popular Kabab Koobideh (AED 105), comprised of minced lamb shoulder. However, the Jujeh Kabab (AED 96) would be our preference. Here, boneless chicken breast is marinated in an alluring combination of saffron, lemon and yoghurt, infusing the meat with a distinct yellow hue. It’s soft, succulent and juicy. The Shishlik Omani (AED 280) is exclusive to the Dubai menu, featuring succulent lamb chops marinated in dried lime, saffron, and strained yoghurt.

Berenjak Dubai

Four desserts are offered, including Cake E Badoomi (AED 48), a sweet almond sponge served with preserved cherries and a beautifully layered Baklava Ice Cream Sandwich (AED 56). We opted for brown butter Date and Walnut Cookies (AED 28) served with a pot of fragrant Chaee (AED 58).

Berenjak was brought to the UAE by Belhasa Hospitality, which also owns Bachir, Ben’s Cookies, NAC and Table Otto. The restaurant joins homegrown favourites Moonslice Pizza and Reif Japanese Kushiyaki at the popular neighbourhood mall in Dar Wasl. 

Expect a dining experience infused with tradition, innovation and a whole lot of flavour.

GO: Visit for more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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