Should we really have bothered to review Noor? Will you really venture to Petchburi’s six lanes of smog belching traffic, trek down a grimy soi with a bleak Indian restaurant alternatively spelled Tid Top or Tip Top, cross a pitch black courtyard and, when faced with a bright fishbowl of neon light and sullen Iranian men, carry right on in? Is kebab such a culinary delight that it makes it all worth it? Or is Noor’s exoticism its only appeal? The décor mixes spray painted faux brick columns, mythological Persian beasts and horrendous oil paintings; and the crowd is almost entirely comprised of burly guys with three-day beards. And just in case things aren’t colorful enough, the staff of smiling ladies, mostly picked from our Southeast Asian neighbors, have a command of Farsi that seems on par with their Thai. This kind of template would get a shrug in some ‘hoods of New York; in Bangkok, it borders on thrilling. Oh, and we do like the food. The menu is longer than the ones available elsewhere, so you can venture beyond the Persian trinity of kebabs (grilled meat), chelow (saffron rice) and baghali polo (rice with herbs and split peas), and order some seafood dishes (fried fish, or grilled shrimp) or a plate of minced meat cooked with rice and vegetables (keema, B170) instead. Unfortunately, the kebabs (all four pages of them), like the chelow kebab mix (chicken, ground beef and beef with saffron rice), are incredibly dry, although the thick tomato and onion soup served alongside helps—a nice touch, as are the pickles, onions and a big bouquet of Thai basil on each table. But despite the dryness, we’re still suckers for the charred, salty flavors of these high-protein dishes, perfect complements to a jug of doogh. Their version of the yogurt drink is pretty watery but goes better with a hearty chelow kebab than overly creamy ones. Is all this sufficient to warrant a trek out to Phetburi Soi 13? Well, maybe not; but if you’re in the area, it’s a lot more fun than anything else around here.
|Address:||Noor, 645/52 Petchaburi Soi between sois 13 and 15, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9:30am-9:30pm|
|Reservation recommended, Parking available|
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