6 Porchester Place , London, W2 2BS

SquareMeal Review of Colbeh

The sesame naan cooked in Colbeh’s mosaic-crusted, Iranian bread oven is representative of everything about this tiny, family-run eatery: it’s authentic, delicious & resolutely no-nonsense. Plates of spicy aubergine & walnut yoghurt salad, pickles & show-stopping bread may be served up with a side order of gruff ‘attitude’ – although fans insist that a certain surliness is part of its charm, & that the mixed mezze, the shish kebabs & the lamb stews rich with walnuts & spices make up for any lack of good humour. At weekends, crowds pack in to feast on special ‘green rice’ with dill & broad beans – ‘true Persian comfort food’. The setting is intimate & unpretentious, while approachable prices & a BYO policy (no corkage, but limited to one bottle between two people) enhance its appeal.

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Colbeh is recommended for

Cosy | Traditional

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Marble Arch Tube Station 417m

Paddington Station 598m


Address: 6 Porchester Place , London W2 2BS

Area: Paddington Bayswater

Opening times

Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm

Nearby Landmarks

Premier League & Football League 270m

Odeon Cinema Marble Arch 397m


Telephone: 020 7706 4888


Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Lunch: £21/42 (3 courses)


Food & Drink: 6.8

Service: 1.2

Atmosphere: 3.8

Value: 5.3

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Betty F. 18 May 2013

Unfortunately I feel the need to warn fellow locals or potential customers to stay away from Colbhe in Portchester Place. It's such a shame as it smells delicious when one walks past, however having the food brought to our door was a big mistake. It arrived cold, dry when it should have been tender (lamb koffta) and soggy & limp when it should have been crisp (salad & French fries) and worst of all some of it didn't arrive at all. When I called to complain the staff member asked if I just wanted to add the missing food to the next order or would I like it delivered. As we were very disappointed with the quality (& wouldn't be ordering again anytime soon) we asked for the forgotten items to be delivered straight away. Another 40 minutes passed and I called again to ask where the rest of the food was again!!! This time the staff member was incredibly rude, he said it would take at least another hour and really didn't seem to care that their error caused the problem or have any understanding of customer service. When it finally arrived over 2 hours later than the original order, the delivery driver was sullen, moody and just as rude as his colleagues on the phone in the restaurant.  Please also be aware that the descriptions on the menu are not accurate as what turns up is not what the description leads you to believe you are ordering!! Really has been a huge disappointment, waste of money and a big shame!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Nazenin A. 14 November 2011

I have never come across such blatant rudeness from restaurant staff. I invited an elder scholar to lunch. As we sat down, I should have foreseen what was about to happen when the waiter started complaining about misbehaving customers. The weather was cold and the restaurant practically empty. Yet the staff wanted to seat us in front of the open door. The waiter then insisted we wait until a specific table would be cleaned. We ordered tea with our lunch. We were told that as the kettle was broken, no hot drinks could be served. We asked for “torshi” (chutney), there was none left. I stepped out and bought hot tea from the next door cafe. When I returned he admonished me and told me I could not drink a tea I had bought from another establishment. I accepted his argument even though he said I could use the chutney. Within a couple of minutes, he served a cup of tea to another customer, in plain sight. We asked whether we could also have tea. Angrily he turned down our request and told us that if we are not happy, we should leave. Fearing that we would be served “chelo kebabs” laced with fresh house spits, we left. I wonder whether Colbeh is a genuine restaurant staffed by professionals in the hospitality sector. I genuinely doubt it.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Food fiend platinum reviewer 02 November 2010

I had exactly the same experience as those below – this was my second visit to Colbeh and decided to take a friend because the food is always very nice and it seems to always be full of iranians so must be authentic. We had the Kashk-e Baadenjaan and the yoghurt dishes – and our mains were beautifully tender lamb shish as well as another walnut/lamb stew with pomegranetes. Both were delicious and the flat bread is worth going alone. Service – and i swear its literally one middle aged woman as the rest are very friendly – is appalling. Asked for tap water but ‘they didnt do tap water’ – like the others here, her attitude was such as they were doing us a favour for serving us. The bill also had no breakdown of the dishes so we couldnt be sure it was correct though came to roughly £40 for two so seemed reasonable given the amount of food we had. If you are literally looking for good food regardless of the service, then this is ideal. If you are looking for more atmosphere and want the whole package, then id recommend many of the middle eastern restaurants in the area which have similar standards of food and much more welcoming.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Missy C. 17 August 2009

Decided to take a friend to Colbeh because the food is always very good. Went after work at around 6:30pm and got a table without booking. But less than 30 minutes later the small restaurant started to fill up fast. With no where to wait, people were forced to wait outside on the street. We had an aubergine dip with the traditional bread for starters and then I had a grilled whole baby chicken with rice for the main dish, whilst my friend had a lamb dish for her main. Food was delicious as always, but unfortunately the service didnt match the food. Just a few minutes after we ordered some simple after dinner cakes, they kept ushering us to hurry up since they had people waiting. But we had only been sitting down for just 1 hour! Both the daughter and mother who served us were horrendously rude, almost oblivous to the fact that we were paying customers. They have absolutely no idea what customer service means, and even tried to argue with us when we told them that we were eating as fast as we could for the items we had paid for. I felt utterly embarrassed that I brought someone new to the restaurant for them to have experienced such poor customer service! Will not be going to Colbeh again, and would advise others to steer clear too – there are many other Middle Eastern restaurants in the vicinity which are just as good in and around the Edgware Road area…

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 3.0

laura w. 30 November 2008

Went with friends for a meal after booking. On arrival table not ready, no room to wait in the restaurant and then they tried to seat 6 of us on a table for 4. After finally getting a table big enough for all of us to sit round the food was very good. Overall experience spoilt by poor service and then having other guests waiting for a table standing and making rude comments. Were made to feel a unwelcome and pressured to leave despite good food would not reccommend.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 4.0

Madeleine M. 21 October 2008

Wonderful food, appalling service. So bad I can't go back despite their delightful bread and meats. I booked for 8pm, having promised visiting relatives a wonderful Iranian meal which would be new cuisine for them. I had been here before and experienced bad, disdainful service, but what happened next was beyond my low expectations. We arrived at 8.15 after a late tube to be told that our table wasn't ready, please wait 10 minutes. It was obvious that there was no table for us, the restaurant was full. They hadn't given our table away, they just didn't have one for us. We waited ten minutes, still nothing. We eventually went to the pub nearby for a drink because there is no room to sit or stand if you're not eating. Finally we got a call and were seated with no apology, no sense of remorse, at 8.50. The head waitress insisted on arguing with me about how it wasn't her fault and there was no problem at all from their perspective. Then when it came for the bill, there was absolutely no reduction in price, not even the teas were thrown in for free. When we queried this saying it was highly unusual to be made to wait for 50 minutes and have absolutely no reduction in price, the waitress again argued with me, refusing to accept responsibility. It was infuriating and incredibly rude for my guests. Great food but such a rude attitude simply cannot be rewarded with more custom in my view. If you go, be prepared to wait, for a very long time. Don't book because it means nothing, and be prepared to be treated as though staff are doing you a favour by letting you sit down.