Sinbad restaurant in Tehran


Sinbad restaurant in Tehran
by Esfand Aashena

Another nice restaurant that I had the opportunity to visit was Sinbad restaurant in Tehran at the corner of Pahlavi street (now Vali Asr) and Takht Jamshid street (now Taleghani) in the heart of Tehran.  It is in the basement of a hotel and the sign at the front door says "Parsa Hotel & Sinbad's Ship Restaurant."

They call it a ship restaurant because the decor is ship inspired with ship and port paraphernalia such as large ropes, anchors, buoys, waiters in white shirts and pants and waves painted on mirrors around the walls.  Overall you could see that they had spent some money to achieve nice decor and ambiance.  The price was about 40,000 Toman including gratuity which was about $24 at the time's exchange rate, cheaper than Daloon Deraz restaurant which I blogged about earlier.

The food is buffet style for salads and pasta salads which has a lot of Persian flavors and very tasty.  I liked it so much I had a lot!  I also wasn't sure if there would be dinner later so after two trips to the salad bar I was almost full and then when it came to dinner I ordered rainbow trout.  The dinner menu is like other restaurants with live programs, streak, fish (white fish in season, rainbow trout or ozoon boroon in season which is sturgeon) and kabobs.  Steaks and fish or other "exotic" dishes are served with "special sauces" which are ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise or when they try to be fancy, thousand island!  Still very nice side dishes of specialty Persian fried potatoes!

After dinner or while dinner depending on when you arrive, they have live music played by a guy named Afshin or Shahrokh (I think) who said he was from the old radio and TV and knew or played with entertainers like Shahrokh, Shahram, Darius and others.  I didn't recognize him and he played piano and electric org synthesizer.  Also, when he entered the restaurant they'd play loud music and then he'd go around and say hi to everyone as if he knew them since childhood!  Motherfucker came behind me and slapped me hard on my shoulders!  WTF!  It was really hard!

Anyway, he then went on and played the famous classic songs of 70s from various singers and even accepted suggestions.  For me it was very nostalgic and I liked it a lot.  So much so that I forgave him for slapping me so hard on the shoulders with no warning!  The restaurant was packed specially for a midweek Tuesday night, they told me it is like this every night.  One could only imagine what it'd be on weekends Wednesday or Thursday nights. 

You could see people really enjoying themselves and itching to get up and dance but they couldn't so they had to dance while "seating on their asses"!  Very cruel!  Kids were also running around which was again worrisome because they were accidents waiting to happen with Waiters running around as well with trays of hot teas.  They had to announce in the loudspeakers that kids shouldn't run around!  One other note there was an employee at the entrance to the restroom area directing traffic!  You go there and you go there!  I seldom see clean bathrooms in Iran but this one was clean, small but clean.

Once he played several songs he then said there is a young artist who plays Daf and while Daf has been played with many musical instruments it has seldom, if ever, been played with piano.  So here is a special treat for us and give-it-up-for-OMID!  hooorraaaay!

Omid was his name (I think) in the photo blog and he was awesome, really awesome.  Daf is a loud musical instrument and is very popular in Iran and in many parties that you go to someone plays it.  It's a little bit uncomfortable to hear it played at a home party because it is loud and you fear the morality police will barge in and ruin it but it was nice to see it played in the restaurant because it was not only very comfortable but as you can see they had also attached a michrophone which made it that much louder.  Nice! The Piano duo was very nice and made it an enjoyable and memorable night.  People had birthday parties and anniversaries that night as well.

Their program ended at midnight and while I was expecting the crowd to cheer for an encore they ended it with playing the song ey Iran and everybody stood up in respect.  That was an additional point that I liked to see that song playing and people caring.  All and all it was a very nice night and plenty of taxi waiting outside to take us back home.


more from Esfand Aashena
Mohammad Ala

Thanks for this blog.

by Mohammad Ala on

In a group, I enjoyed going to this place too.

Esfand Aashena

Faramarz jaan I fumbled the salad bars!

by Esfand Aashena on

You can make as many trips to the salad bars and also use new plates, same as we do here.  I found them to have more variety and geared towards Persian tastes.  

Yes the salad bars are pretty good but not all fancier restaurants have them, many have full menus but it appears they are popular in places like these where there is live music.

I actually fumbled the salad bars in both places mostly because we went there for the live music first and foremost.  Didn't really think about the food that much, but since the food was good I got confused!

They also have nice deserts after dinner at the salad bar which includes jellos, creme caramel (Flan), ice cream and sweets all with Persian likings.  I was so full that I couldn't eat anymore but I forced myself some jello and Flan!

Basically you need to pace yourself and hol nazani!  Just take your time and enjoy both the dinner and the live entertainment.  If you're young you can also enjoy the opposite sex on neighboring tables with smiles, winks and nods! 

Everything is sacred


Esfand Jaan

by Faramarz on



Thanks for your restaurant reviews in Tehran.

It looks like salad bars are big in Tehran, especially in fancier establishments. Can you make as many trips to the salad bar as you want? Also, do they keep taking your old plates away, or do you have to use the same plate?