A Persian New Year Celebration With Shabestan Singapore

Published - 12 March 2021, Friday
  • Nowruz

 Celebrated since the 11th century, Nowruz is the Persian New Year which marks the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nowruz - which will be celebrated on Sunday 21 March over two seating, one at 5:30pm and the second, a little later for the grown ups at 8:15pm - means “New Day” and is a celebration of new beginnings by wishing prosperity and welcoming the future while shedding away the past. Persians use this time to cleanse their homes and of course, it involves lots of food.

The Persian cuisine is famous for its delicious grilled meats and Shabestan grills all their kebabs over fire following authentic Persian cooking techniques. Priced at $96 per person and $46 for children, Shabestan has curated a spread of 18 dishes for guests to have a festive meal. 

The 18 dishes includes Feta Cheese and Pomegranate, Shirazi Salad, Hummus, Muhamara, Borani Esfanaj, Lamb Kubideh, Chicken Masti, Tekeh Masti, Prawn and Fish Kebabs served with Sabzi Polo and Salad, Baklava and Sholezard.

Popular Nowruz dishes served at Shabestan include Ash Reshth, Dolma, Sabzi Polo and Koresh-e-Fesenjan Ba Ordak.  Executive Chef Hany has created a special dish for Nowruz 2021 at Shabestan which is  called “Ghalieh Mahi” that is made with coriander, fenugreek, onions, tomatoes, turmeric, garlic and tamarind and he has added a “Leg of Lamb” Carving Station for guests to indulge in. 

Make your reservations online via https://www.shabestan.sg/experience. 


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RATED 7.5 / 8

This is the time to be heading down to Shabestan, a fine dining Persian restaurant which has held high acclaim for the seven or more years it has been in existence.

It is the time Persians celebrate Nowruz, the first day of Spring.  With green delights to depict the onset of this big celebration, this time of year is all about food.

The celebration of new beginnings on 21st March will have you leaving the past in the past to usher in prosperity and a new future. Be prepared to eat in true Turkish style with more than 18 dishes served up, for a mere $96 per person.

Having tried Persian food once before at a private dining experience, I was excited at the prospect of having the famous Koresh-E-Fesenjan Ba Ordak - Caspian style braised duck in pomegranate and walnut sauce, served with Persian rice.

It was the highlight of my experience then and true to form it hit the spot yet again. Served with a sister dish was another amazing highlight Ghalieh Mahi - Southern Iran's tamarind fish stew. Sea bass with coriander, fenugreek, onions, tomatoes, turmeric and garlic.

Chef Hany made his entrance to explain how ingredients were flown in from Iran. No chance of replicating that one, I thought laughingly. Being a meat lover I gorged on the Royal Platter which boasted kebabs of lamb, chicken, prawn & fish beautifully marinated and grilled served with a vegetarian rice and salad.

This would have been dinner for me on a normal night but hey we were celebrating Nowruz @ Shabestan so what the heck? I have to say starters are usually what I look forward to in any restaurant as the small portions and varieties on display are appealing to a food adventurer like me.   

Like any fine restaurant we were greeted by an amuse bouche of Feta Cheese & Pomegranate that was followed by a soup Ash Reshth. A tasty combination of Persian noodles, beans, parsley, cilantro, spinach, herbs and kashk this is a not-to-be-missed entrée.

Coming from a person who is not enamoured by soups I found the combination of tastes to be immensely satisfying. The thought of how reasonably priced this entire fare was, kept crossing my mind. Such high quality and quantity too.

The most typical fare, the mezze platter arrived. Be sure to try the spinach Borani Esfanaj as it was the most unique treat on the platter. Of course my favourite Muhamara, a red pepper dip you should head for as most diners love it and I guarantee it is the first dip to diminish.

No meal is complete until some amount of dessert is consumed so I tried a bit of the famous Persian Saffron Rice Pudding, Sholehzard and saffron ice cream which was so subtle in taste, a perfect end to the smorgasbord of dishes we tried.

I was told that the Persian black tea with fresh mint was a good digestive so down the hatch it went, giving me a feeling that I needed help after this very naughty evening of treats. Not sure if it was the tea or the reduced sugar in meals, I felt good walking out of Shabestan.

A great Persian meal if you are in search for one…..


RATED 8 / 8

“A meal fit for a King.” This is how my dining companion described our Nowruz dinner experience at Shabestan, and she was spot on!

Nowruz is the Persian New Year and Shabestan has curated a delectable festive menu to celebrate, including 18 mouthwatering dishes.

We started our dining experience with a Feta Cheese and Pomegranate starter and Shirazi Salad. The crispness of all the different flavours was the perfect way to warm up our palettes before moving on to the Ash Reshth soup.

You may be thinking, “Soup in Singapore?” But this soup is bursting with full bodied flavours and interesting textures including a tasty combination of Persian noodles, beans, spinach and kashk. You don’t want to skip this dish!

A mezze platter is always something to look forward to when enjoying Middle Eastern food and I especially enjoyed Shabestan’s, which included the most delicious Muhamara.

Despite our bellies starting to fill our appetites continued to grow as we were presented with the spectacular Royal Platter. This incredibly generous platter included Lamb Kubideh, Chicken Masti, Tekeh Masti, Prawn & Fish Kebab served with Sabzi Polo and Side Salad. Shabestan are renown for their kebabs, and oh my….each one was ‘melt in your mouth’ material.

Speaking of ‘melt in your mouth,’ the two standout main dishes for me were Koresh-E-Fesenjan Ba Ordak – a Caspian style braised duck in pomegranate and walnut sauce, served with Persian rice. All my dining companions raved about this dish and I’m still dreaming of it as I type!

The second standout dish was the Ghalieh Mahi – a Southern Iranian tamarind fish stew which consisted of sea bass with coriander, fenugreek, onions, tomatoes, turmeric and garlic was a flavour combination that I had never experienced and I could have made this my entire meal!

When you go and experience Executive Chef Hany’s Nowruz feast, my word of advice is to pace yourself, because the dishes just keep getting better and better as your Persian experience unfolds.

If you’re feeling a little tired of Singapore and you desire an exotic experience midweek, or come the weekend, allow yourself to be whisked away to Persia and go and celebrate Nowruz at Shabestan. The wonderful and warm staff will take good care of you and your belly will thank you!

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