Persian Empire Cafe
Written and translated by Diva
Photos by Andy Lin
138, BaDe Rd, Sec 4, 12F
Hours: Mon/Fri 5 pm-12 am; Sat & Sun 5 pm-2 am
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
One of the first Iranian restaurants in Taiwan, Persian Heaven Restaurant opened a new location on the twelfth floor of the Core Pacific Living Mall. The new venue will be named Persian Empire Restaurant & Lounge and its construction will be completed before the summer is over. When it’s ready to open for business, it will be the very first Middle Eastern inspired nightclub in Taiwan.
Owner Amini first opened Persian Heaven Restaurant on HeJiang Street. Gradually, the restaurant gained a good reputation for its unique Iranian cuisine and nightly belly dance performances. Amini and his son have been living in Taiwan for years now and it shows--they now speak fluent Mandarin. The new venue on the 12th floor of Core Pacific Living Mall just had its soft opening as Persian Empire Cafe, which aimed to get the word out before the formal launch of the Persian Empire Restaurant & Lounge.
Currently Persian Empire Cafe offers food service as well as Hookahs. Owner Amini explained to me that hookahs, or shisha, have been around for more than 300 years in Iran. Its purpose is social--friends can get together to drink tea, chitchat, and relax with a fruit-flavored shisha. With a hookah variety that runs from rather small to more than a meter tall and 20 different flavors, setting up you shisha can be quite a fun experience. Flavors include coffee, strawberry, apple, mint, rose, and grape and each pipe (NT$350) lasts for about an hour.
As far as food goes, the most requested dish at Persian Empire Cafe is Triple Happy Kabab (NT$350). Rarely available in Taiwan, you can enjoy these kebabs in chicken, lamb, or beef. If you have a big appetite and hope to get your money's worth, order the set that comes with salad, Iranian saffron rice, soup, vegetables, and Iranian tea.
For an after-dinner drink, try Iranian tea mixed with a little hard liquor, the outcome is surprisingly pleasant; Iranian Apple Brandy Tea (NT$280) is made with fresh apple juice, brandy, and Iranian tea. The final touch is a cinnamon stick, which adds more depth to the relaxing drink.