Recently, when asked to come eat Afghan food I admit to being somewhat curious. I hadn’t tried Afghan food before and to be honest wasn’t even sure what it included. Sure, I could just ask Google but how much fun would that be? So, we decided to venture to East Panorama Ridge in Surrey to try Afghan Kabob, an authentic Afghan cuisine restaurant that opened this past October.
Afghan Kabob is located at the corner of an office/retail complex with plenty of free parking (note reserved spots are available after 3pm on weekdays and on weekends). We immediately noticed the warm aromatic smell as we walked in the door and the friendly server led us to our table. The interior had a fresh clean look and all COVID precautions seemed to be in place. The atmosphere was inviting and authentic, from the art décor to the Afghani music playing in the background. We were told they get quite busy on the weekends and get a lot of take-outs.
Looking at the menu, I noticed a decent selection of appetizers, kabobs, platters, mains and sides, dessert and drinks. I was surprised to see they offered several dishes I was familiar with; for example, hummus dip, masala fries, tandoori chicken, chai and even baklava. They also had plenty of vegetarian offerings and large platters catering to families or groups. We tried a variety from their menu that included hummus dip, Afghani kabobs (chicken and beef), baklava, firni pudding and Afghan green tea.
The humus spread was a creamy consistency with the perfect amount of olive oil topping. The warm Afghani bread, served with the dip, was deliciously baked to perfect crispiness. You could actually see the bread being freshly baked in their big stone oven.
The kabob plates came loaded with Afghani rice, a side salad and freshly made Afghani bread. The meat was juicy and tender with just the right amount of seasoning. If you are like me and enjoy salads, I would recommend ordering their special ranch dressing on the side. You also get a lot of tasty Afghani rice, which is like a rice pilaf jeweled with raisins and bits of carrots. At a price of $18.95, it is a good value for a full meal!
Moving on to dessert, the baklava was a little tougher than I expected, but I really really enjoyed the pistachio flavour. The firni pudding was sweet, served chilled and had a strong but pleasing cardamom flavour. I quite enjoyed the Afghan green tea, which had a nice taste/smell of saffron – a perfect way to end our meal.
So what is Afghan food? To me it means meat kabobs, rice and flat bread cooked in a combination of sauces and herbs that will please your senses and taste buds. If you are in the mood to try some, head to Afghan Kabob, a welcoming family friendly restaurant where there is plenty of delicious authentic food to choose from.
Review by Cindy Smith