If you love meat, look no further than Mehran. They offer numerous dishes with chicken, goat, lamb, seafood or beef as the star attraction. In addition, the liberal cuts of meat are tender and juicy. But if you are a vegetarian, do not lose heart. There are more than 10 vegetarian entrées on the menu.
I arrived in the afternoon, mourning that fact that I could not make it for the dinner hour. I soon learned it is possible to dine at Mehran anytime and still get the same incredible food and service. I sampled four entrées, many sides and three desserts, all for one low lunch buffet price.
The Lamb Karahi is fantastic. Large, tender pieces of meat are delicately cooked in spices with ginger, garlic and tomatoes. My accompanying friend could not get enough of the tender strips of ginger that had been cooked low and slow into delightful submission. If you are in the mood for meatless fare, the Channa Masala is sure to please. The potato and garbanzo bean dish is lovingly cooked in a mildly spicy sauce. The Fried Fish is equally delicious. Sizeable pieces of light, flaky fish are dredged in yummy sauce and fried to a crisp golden brown.
Normally, rice dishes are not necessarily noteworthy, but you must try one of the Zafron Biryanees (saffron-spiced basmati rice dishes). The Goat Biryani is amazing enough to be a meal itself. As with the entrées, the meat or vegetable that you choose comes in bountiful proportions and is cooked to tender perfection. The allure of the golden tint in the soft, fluffy rice is attractive and entices the eater to continue against their will. Raita, the yogurt-based salad dressing is so delicious, you will want to put it on everything from Aloo to Zafron
And as if all that is not enough, there are six tempting desserts listed on the menu with more available. The Gulab Jamun (fried milk balls), reminiscent of pancake balls comes dipped in syrup. The Sivayyan (long, skinny noodles with raisins in a lightly sweetened milk sauce) and Fruit Custard (fruit chunks bathed in thin custard) are wonderful because the sweetness is added to compliment the flavors of each ingredient, but is not overpowering. To finish it off, throw some sugared fennel and cardamom seeds down your throat for fun.
Many times, spicy restaurant food is just that…spicy. The great thing about Mehran is the spices compliment the dishes, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to stand on their own. The room is open and spacious and you are met with warm smiles as you enter the door. Be sure to drop your business card in the cup for free food and check out their website at http://mehransantaclara.com/index.html. Also, keep Mehran in mind for your next catering event of 50 or more…they deliver.
Mehran Restaurant and Catering
1855 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Entrées range from $6.99 – $11.99
Note: All reviews are conducted anonymously and are typically based on one visit. The Santa Clara Weekly pays for all meals. For comments, questions or suggestions, email April Jones at AprilJanetJones@yahoo.com