I am excited about the opening of Shiraz in the beautiful marina section of Faro. I’ve only lived in Faro for 18 months, however, since relocating, there have been three or four openings of sophisticated and interesting restaurants. The food scene is exploding due to an increased number of tourists and a local interest in diverse cuisine. It’s all good for me I’m happy to say (isn’t that what matters?). I asked Mr. Thomas the Chef and owner of Shiraz why he chose this name for his restaurant. Mr. Thomas is what his friends affectionately call him, his full name is Thomas Schurig.
“SHIRAZ is the name of my home town. I was born there 53 years ago and until the mullas occupied the country, I had a good time over there. In memory of that time and because of my affection or better love for Shiraz wine it seemed to me the most appropriate name for my restaurants with Persian cuisine. The food is Iranian although similar plates are served in other countries of Middle East but the taste is different due to spices.”
I have had Mr. Thomas’ food twice, but since Shiraz has not officially opened, I don’t believe it would be fair to critique his dishes. I will say that the only curry I would eat prior to sampling his cuisine, was red curry in Thai dishes; I am now open to other types of curry. I think people unfamiliar with curry tend to lump them all together. The flavor palates of curry are very different.
Some of the dishes on the Shiraz menu you will be treated to when the restaurant opens:
Starters: Chamuça de Legumes (vegetable Chamuça — fried samosa), Chicken Chamuça, and mini wraps of eggplant mousse
Main Dishes (Pratos Principals): Kebabs, Gheyme (Iranian stew), and Ghorme Sabzi (Iranian herb stew). Also, basmati rice, tomatoes, and salad side dishes
Desserts: Doce Iraniano (Iranian candy), Iranian Gelato or Gelado, depending on which country you’re in, Melon with Port Wine, Manga de Algarve (Mango of Algarve)
They’ll be serving Iranian tea and of course they have a full bar.
Shiraz will be opening soon; I will share the date on Facebook. This is my first experience sampling Iranian Cuisine and it has been enlightening. You can’t poo poo what you haven’t tried — well you can, but it’s bad form.
Side note: What we hear from the media and read in the news pertaining to Iranian politics is not the full picture. Persian people are warm, cultured and prideful. This is conveyed in their cuisine. I am pleased to live in a place that embraces Iranians and the richness of their culinary past and present.
I am constantly translating Portuguese (all of my Portuguese mail and email is in Portuguese) and it’s helping me learn the language. I also recommend Memrise, an app for languages, you can try it free. It’s intuitive and fun and very inexpensive. I know Portuguese is in my head because I’m in France and I constantly respond in Portuguese.
Google translator has been a life saver. My friends at the gym have also interpreted many emails for me. Government issued correspondence has been the most difficult to figure out . . . even after it’s been interpreted.
In Toulouse, France this week; look for it next week.