One of our highlights so far has been an invitation to a Persian Barbeque.
My aunt relayed us the contact of the brother of one of her friends, who lives in Auckland. She gave us the address of the shop he ownes and we met him, to deliver greetings. I feared this would end in an awkward talk because we didn’t know each other, yet developed in a nice and friendly chat. We departed with all the best wishes for our travel and the question if we would like to join a Persian Barbeque.

While we had been on Waiheke Mehdi called and asked if Friday would be a good date for the BBQ. We agreed on meeting at his shop on Friday, so he could pick us up and take us to his house.

When we arrived at his shop on Friday we were greeted warmly. We started doing the last errands right away to get the freshest meat and some beers. As soon as we arrived at Mehdis House (or Villa?) we felt like home. Mehdi had already marinated some chicken thighs which he proceeded to skew for a shish-kebab. He also made shish-kebab from lamb rips.

The chicken was delicious, but the lamb was plain gorgeous. I’ve never had such a succulent piece of lamb while having a crisp outside. The recipe is definitively added to my BBQ recipes.
We ate until we couldn’t move any more, just to get told “This was just for starters”.

Fortunately the main dish was served with some pause (in which we were offered several snacks, of which was the most uncommon to me raw cauliflower with humus and different sauces, also very good). We waited until Leyla, Mehdis wife, arrived.

Together we had the main dish, which consisted of jasmine-rice (completely different taste from my “normal” rice), green salad and more meat from the shish-kebab. All the food was delicious as well as our hosts have been kind and generous. We had some more beer and partied way after midnight.
When we were about to leave, Mehdi organized a friend of him who is a Taxi driver to bring us home.

It was an unexpected but welcomed event. We were very happy of having the opportunity to join this BBQ and meet Mehdi and his family. They have been one of the kindest and most wonderful people we’ve met. Thank you very much!


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