I’m going to start this restaurant review article of Beluga with a story. It was a quiet weeknight when we decided to take a little walk and ended up dining at Beluga Persian in Notting Hill. We sat down and there was a man dining on his own at the table next to us. The man seemed somewhat familiar but we didn’t think of much initially. It was only until the man rose from his seat to leave that we realised that it was Penn Badgley! That’s when my other half blurted, “you’re the guy from You!” Given he was trying to keep a low profile and not expecting to get recognised, he was slightly taken by surprise and simply responded with a smile, ‘yes I am…um enjoy your meal guys!’
Thinking back it seemed like a slightly awkward story, but also a cool one to tell! It turns out he was actually filming You season 4 in London, which explained why he’s there. This has been confirmed with spottings of filming crew setups around nearby areas as well as the actual filming at the Royal Holloway University of London. Anyhow, hope you enjoyed our unexpected little side story and let’s dive back into all things food-related for Beluga Persian!
Beluga: Refined Persian Grill at Notting Hill
Beluga is located along the high street of Notting Hill, only a stone’s throw away from Notting Hill Gate underground station. Walking in, the interior offers a cosy ambience with little specks of colours against the wooden tables & chairs. The restaurant offers an extensive menu featuring a wide range of traditional Persian dishes, with meat grills taking a little bit more spotlight. Though, of course, there are still plenty of vegetarian options on the menu to cater to everyone. It aims to explore the intricacies of spices & flavours in original Persian cuisine and deliver a fine-tuned version of it to Londoners. Furthering my little celebrity-spotting story, the restaurant does seem to attract quite a few big names including Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, as well as some well-known Persian stars.
The Food: What We Ordered
All meats served are halal at Beluga Persian Notting Hill. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
To start, we had the Chicken and Pearl-Barley Soup, which we were positively surprised by how good it was. Each spoonful of the soup sends a wholesomely comforting sensation down your body, making it the perfect warming and hearty dish under the chilly weather. With a squeeze of lime, there was a really sharp zing to the soup, cutting through the richness and offering a little oomph at each sip. All in all, it really hit the spot for us and we really enjoyed it.
Chelo Koobideh (£13.50)
Moving onto the meat grills, I went with the Lamb Koobideh, which is grilled spiced minced lamb served with traditional Persian Tahdig rice and grilled tomato. Not only was the meat really juicy and succulent, but it was also very fresh to taste which means the use of good quality meat and ingredients. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the dish and the accompanying Tahdig has wrapped up the dish tremendously well. If you aren’t familiar with Tahdig, it’s Persian rice with a crispy golden crust. The rice here at Beluga is also layered with sliced potatoes, which adds an extra comforting dimension to the dish. It’s safe to say I’ve enjoyed every aspect of this dish!
Chelo Jujeh (£13.50)
The Chelo Jujeh, i.e marinated chicken fillets, was fairly similar to the above. Though the spices were significantly a lot more subtle and mild in the chicken. The meat was really tender and generally succulent but we would just like to get an extra kick of flavours to really make the dish pop. In other words, the dish was still nice but missing a good punch of flavours to turn it into an outstanding one.
Warm Brownie & Ice Cream (£4.90)
Everything we had at Beluga had been pretty good except for this brownie & ice cream dessert. Unfortunately, this dessert was quite a letdown. Firstly, the brownie wasn’t that amazing and didn’t taste freshly homemade. But the real dealbreaker was the pistachio ice cream and saffron sauce. They both tasted rather artificial and didn’t complement the brownie at all. It’s a shame that the meal didn’t end on a particularly high note but since everything preceding this had been great, it didn’t affect our overall impression.
Mint Mojito (£5.90)
Last but not least, throughout the meal, the other half had been indulging himself with Beluga’s non-alcoholic mint mojitos. These mojitos come in little jugs, blended till thick and frothy, and filled up to the brim. The drink was as refreshing as it looked and the fact that we went on ordering a second one during the meal tells it was a really good one!
Beluga Persian Restaurant Review Summary
Summing up, we generally really enjoyed our meal at Beluga Persian Notting Hill. Aside from the brownies desserts, everything was satisfactory where both flavours and portions had been of good value for money. If you’re around Notting Hill and fancy a hearty Persian meal, it’s worth giving Beluga a go!
Looking for other halal Persian restaurants in London? Check these out too:
- Mahdi Hammersmith
All meats served are halal at Beluga Persian. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate