Beach, Berry Pulao & Seafood: You Need To Visit Shiraz Art Cafe, Chennai's First Persian Restaurant

    Neelankarai, Chennai


    Touted to be Chennai’s first Persian restaurant, Shiraz Art Cafe comes with authentic food, great ambience and a lovely view of the Neelangarai beach along ECR.

    Chow Down

    Chicken Berry Polo and Grilled Fish

    Sip On

    Guava Barley juice and Shiraz tea

    Winning For...

    Location, location, location. But the food is really good too.


    Lowdown On Ambience

    Right on the beach at Neelangarai, you’ll think you’ve walked into someone’s home here — it’s classy, follows a yellow, white and wooden theme, and is very welcoming. In fact, it is a beach bungalow which has been converted, so expect ceiling to floor windows which give you fine views on the myriad hues of the blues of the waters and sky. There’s a little private area you can book out for parties. When the weather is decent, you can even sit outside on the wicker furniture and watch the sun set.

    Slice Of Middle East

    The menu is dominated by Middle Eastern delights such as hummus, pita bread, polo {which is pulao, mushroom, chicken or lamb}, saffron chicken and ghaimeh, a Persian stew with meat and split beans. The Chicken Berry Polo was our favourite — it actually came with authentic Iranian barberry, also known as Zareshk. The chicken was spicy, succulent and came with a cumin flavour, complementing the bursts of sweetness from the berries rather well. It was also accompanied by fried fenugreek greens and caramelised onions, and a crunchy green salad.

    We also tried the Grilled Fish, expecting a European version of it. But surprisingly, it arrived with herbed rice, and a thick tomato and saffron gravy. The salty seer fish was a refreshing change to the basa one usually gets, and the tangy tomato sauce off-set it nicely.


    Small Additions

    Batter fried prawns were too tempting to ignore, so that was ordered too. It arrived with a thick coating of batter, and the prawns had been flatted slightly — a tasty yet underwhelming dish. What we found most interesting though was the chilled guava and barley juice. It’s rather thick and of a granita consistency, so you may want to scoop it out. On a hot day by the beach, as most days are, it should be made mandatory to drink!


    The prices are fairly steep, with an average of INR 2,000 for two. But you’re also paying for ambience, in addition to food and drink.

      Neelankarai, Chennai