I had never been to a Persian restaurant before, so Darchin was a first for me. I'd expected a very casual atmosphere, so I was a bit surprised to walk into a dimly lit, simple yet elegant dining room.

We were given a complimentary plate of flatbread to start with a generous sample of 2 dips: Mast-o-Moo-seer and Mast-o-khiar. The white dip on the left is the Mast-o-Moo-seer which is a mixture of yogurt and shallots. I liked this more than the other one because it's slightly richer with a fuller flavour. The Mast-o-khiar is the speckled dip on the right with cucumber and dried mint mixed in yogurt. This dip is more refreshing with a light minty taste.

We ordered 2 entrees to share between 3 people as we were told the portions were quite large. I wasn't interested in the stews, so I ordered the Zereshk-polo ba morgh ($13.95). That apparently means chicken leg cooked with tomato and served with rice. The rice was nicely presented in the shape of a pyramid. I loved the rice because it was delicious with dried berries called zereshk (or barberries) that tasted like cranberries! Zereshk-polo is barberry cooked with rice, so does that mean ba morgh is chicken leg? Anyway the rice was just wonderful, and the chicken meat literally came off the bone when I pressed my fork into it lightly. I had planned on cutting off the meat with a knife, but that wasn't necessary at all! Despite coming off the bone so easily, the texture of the meat was very tender and not in the least bit mushy.

For the 2nd entree, we decided to try a kebab dish. We wanted a variety, so we got the Soltani ($19.95) with one skewer of thin layer steak and one skewer of ground beef. We thought the steak would taste better, but we all liked the ground beef more because it had a lot more flavour from the spices.

Our server recommended the Faloodeh ($4.50) for dessert if we wanted an authentic Persian experience. The Faloodeh is a Persian sorbet made with frozen vermicelli noodles in rose water and lime juice. That didn't sound too appealing to us and we were feeling rather unadventurous, so we got the baklava ($4.95) instead. It was not bad, just a typical sweet pastry.

We had a great dinner with good food, friendly service and nice ambiance.

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