Rumoured (well, more like advertised by the maître’d) to be among Sheikh Mohammad’s favourites, Shabestan offers sophisticated Persian dining in the shadowy seclusion of Deira’s Creekside SAS Radisson. The faded, by Dubai’s standards, grandeur of this hotel contributes to the impression that Shabestan (meaning underground space) is about class rather than just brass. Most nights there’s entertainment in the form of unobtrusive oud strumming and gong wobbling; food flavours are similarly delicate and the service is immaculate, with just the right amount of time left between the issue of variations on the house staple: steaming portions of rice and meat. The mutton, stewed in a clay oven, is a favourite, as are the cute baby chickens. It’s all surprisingly light on the pocket, as well as the stomach, and the vermicelli and rosewater dessert is enough to make you nostalgic for Iran, even if you’ve never been.