Little Venice may not sound like the first place you’d look for great Persian cooking.
But tucked down the cobbled mews of Warwick Place is Kateh, a warm, welcoming spot thrumming with flavour and atmosphere.
You’ll step into what feels like a homely, relatively no-frills affair, with simple tables and chairs, dinky glass lighting fixtures and plastered walls with the texture of a lemon meringue pie topping. Smartly dressed waiters weave from table to table bearing fragrant dishes and carafes of low-intervention wine.
The dishes here are all freshly made with organic ingredients, and have won Kateh a Michelin Bib Gourmand (the star’s less stuffy cousin that’s awarded to more relaxed restaurants). Starters range from the baby stuffed calamari with walnut and pomegranate reduction and smoked Japanese aubergines with tomato and garlic, to the more quintessentially Persian – like kofteh sabzi (meat balls made with minced beef, split peas and Persian sour plums) or the jigar (pan-fried chicken livers with balsamic vinegar).
Separated into traditional stews and chargrilled dishes, the generous mains are best kept all to yourself. The stews are nearly all served alongside a helping of some of London’s most pillowy and fragrant saffron rice, and include khoresht bamieh (lamb stew with okra and potatoes); ghormeh sabzi (beef loin with kidney beans and dried lime); and baghala ghatogh (broad bean stew topped with a poached egg). On the smokier side are the minced veal skewers; sirloin steak served with a dollop of Turkish yoghurt; and lamb kebabs marinated in pomegranate juice.
The elegant plating, efficient service and lively atmosphere make Kateh a spot for a special occasion…
…even if that’s just rejoicing in a Tuesday evening.
NOTE: Kateh is open daily for dinner, plus lunch on weekends from noon. Booking ahead is very much advised as it gets busy – make your reservation here.
Kateh | 5 Warwick Place, W9 2PX
Looking for a nightcap spot? Head down the road to The Hero of Maida