Kabul Afghan Cuisine

Written by on March 15, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(kabulrestaurant.com) – Wallingford
How I heard of this place: I first went to Kabul about eight years ago when a bunch of friends were meeting up there for dinner. I remember being less than impressed with the food. But the last two times I’ve gone over the past several months, I have greatly enjoyed the entrees ordered.
Type of cuisine: Cuisine of Afghanistan’s ancient city of Kabul, which “lay at the crossroads of trade between India and Central Asia, where for centuries, merchants, conquerors and explorers passed through, leaving their cultural influences behind, along with the finest delicacies from across the Asian continent”.
Ambiance: Dim lighting, simple.
What I ordered: There were two of us at dinner last night, both of whom were fasting all day (no food or drink between the hours of sunrise and sunset), so we started with water. The ash, a traditional soup with noodles, yogurt, kidney beans and chickpeas, flavored with dill, turmeric and mint was our starter ($4.50). It feels so good to break the fast with a warm, simple soup. For dinner, I ordered the kebab murgh: a tender fillet of chicken marinated overnight in yogurt, turmeric, garlic and a touch of cayenne pepper ($16). My dining companion opted for the seekh kebab: chunks of beef fillet marinated in a blend of ground coriander, garlic and freshly ground black pepper ($17.50). For just one dollar more we were able to add a side portion of badenjan borani: eggplant sauteed and simmered in a lightly spiced tomato-based sauce, served on a bed of yogurt garlic sauce, sprinkled with dried mint.
What I loved: I loved most everything! The ash was a perfect starter, warm, light, fragrant and fresh-tasting. The chicken was beautifully marinated and served alongside a large portion of rice, topped with a sprinkling of raisins and julienned carrots. The flavor of the chicken was gorgeous and a dish which I would order again at the drop of a hat.
Why I loved it: I loved that Kabul was open on Monday (which many local restaurants are not) and that the food was tasty and satisfying. I also loved that there was no pressure to get us to leave the restaurant after we had eaten, nor were we rushed through our meal. We were able to sit for three hours, enjoying conversation, food, coffee…and even had the opportunity to chat with the owner (who was casually engaging in conversation with his friend at a near-by table) before leaving the premises. The staff were friendly and helpful without needing to pull up a chair (with the number of times they visited the table to ask if we were okay).
Cost: low to mid range ($10-$20 for vegetarian and animal-protein options)

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