Monday, May 6, 2013

Inventive Persian Food at Diva At the Met

Diva at the Met on UrbanspoonDiva at the Met presently offers a 5-course or 7-course "Persian Tasting Menu". If you've ever had Persian food and think you know what it is, you should definitely go. This is NOTHING like Persian food. Yet the ingredients and flavours give it a decidedly Persian / middle-eastern influence.

At this point, it is very dangerous to give too much away because what comes to your table is guaranteed to blow you away. From the starter snacks (complimentary, and do not count toward the courses) to the palate cleanser to the dessert at the end, you will be treated to dishes that have clear flavours which do not smother each other. There is a sense that nothing is without purpose and everything is exquisitely composed.
Plating will delight you with its prettiness, intrigue you with its often hidden-by-layers content, or surprise you with its simplicity or oddness. To show you any pictures here would be to spoil your experience.

When I go to restaurants, I immediately order the weirdest-sounding item because I constantly look for interesting, intriguing, surprising dining experiences. Often you get some sort of trade-off between appearance, taste, and price. Diva at the Met's Hamid Salimian has put together a tasting menu that brings all these elements together. If you're looking for interesting food, if you want a unique culinary experience, you must try this tasting menu. Go NOW because Hamid Salimian is due to leave Diva at the Met to teach at Vancouver Community College. There's no telling for how long the Tasting Menu will be available.

If you absolutely won't go without a teaser -- and know that it may well spoil the surprises that await for you -- here are a couple of blog posts that show some of the invention and innovation that you can expect. Your tasting menu experience will still be different, but hopefully not completely spoiled by these glimpses: We Need More Napkins. Follow Me Foodie.

If you do go, in the worst case you will experience a lovely restaurant in a beautiful hotel, very attentive service by knowledgeable and friendly staff, and maybe a seat looking in on the kitchen where you might see the master himself, Chef Salimian, working alongside everyone else crunching out the plates. If you do the tasting menu, allow yourself a couple of hours at the minimum to. This is unrushed dinner service to savour every bite and enjoy your dinner companions; not out-in-one-hour Dine Out Vancouver turnover.

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