I recently started a new job and went to a business dinner with my colleagues for the first time. We went to Mamnoon, an upscale restaurant serving modern takes on Middle Eastern cuisines. We ordered a several dishes to share. I was most excited about the samkeh harra, a whole roasted branzino.
When our server brought the fish to the table, I asked if anyone else wanted the head. My co-workers demurred and then looked on (possibly in horror) as I happily dismantled the fish head and ate it–including the fish eyes. (The best part!)
I’m sure it was not a pretty sight, and maybe I should have chosen something I could have consumed more elegantly, but that fish head was good! Cheek meat is some of the best on a fish.
The next night, I had dinner at the Thai-Laotian restaurant Viengthong. This time I was with friends, and we also ordered a whole fish. It was fried and topped with chilis. I think I may have had to fight my friend Mahnaz for the head.