Tahchinbar serves delicious variations of Iranian rice cakes filled with chicken, lamb, beef and macaroni as well as Persian sides and drinks.
Coming from a combination of two Farsi words "Tah" which means bottom and "Chin" meaning arrange, the main ingredients of rice cakes are rice, yogurt, saffron and eggs.
Tahchinbar has been specializing in these Persian delicacies since 2012 when the first location opened in Iran.
Franchise owner Ali Pourhashemi owns the first Toronto Tahchinbar.
Each one of the tahchins are garnished with lots of barberries. The crispy and slightly golden outer shell has been perfected over the years and saffron provides a subtle sweetness to the savoury dish.
The most common way the rice cakes are prepared is with chicken ($15.69). You can also get one that's filled with chicken and fried eggplant though ($16.99).
Another option is the baghali polo ($17.99). It's topped with crispy shallots and has a bit of a green tinge as the rice is prepared with dill. That's why you might pick up on a slightly citrusy taste that's not found in the others.
Cut into the crispy exterior and you'll find it stuffed with boneless veal shank and beans.
Most unique of all is the makaroni tahdig ($13.99). Spaghetti replaces rice and crispy potato tahdig (which just means it's panfried) stands in the place of the usual barberries.
Ground beef, tomato sauce, mushrooms and green peppers add extra flavour to this one while ketchup is provided on the side in typical Iranian fashion. Surprisingly the ketchup complements the tomato sauce, but then, I'm a die-hard ketchup fan.
Besides the menu that consists mostly of tahchin are five or so side dishes. Mast o khiar ($4.95) is Iran's answer to Greek tzatziki. The creamy yogurt is flavoured with mint, walnuts and a few added spices.
Zeitoon parvardeh ($7.95) is a side of marinated green olives. A combination of walnuts, pomegranate, herbs and spices layer each olive in a thick and flavourful sauce.
There are more Persian drinks on the menu than there are sides and each one is more refreshing than the last. Saffron ($3.69) takes the beloved spice into liquid form. Mixed with lime, lemon and rose flower, it provides an interesting contrast of citrus and floral flavours.
Another favourite refreshment is khiar sekanjabin ($3.69). This one is made with oxymel syrup, an infused honey vinegar, slices of lemon and cucumber.
The Iranian chain Tahchinbar brings a specialized menu of rice cakes to Toronto providing a satisfactory, crispy tahchin in whichever variation suits your fancy.