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Published December 13th 2012
Simply Irresistible Skewered Delights
Afghan cuisine has got to top it all as one of the most pleasing exotic looking food to the Western palate. When I think of Afghan food, what comes immediately to my mind is mouthwatering charcoal grilled kababs, colourful rice dishes and irresistible flat bread. In Adelaide, Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kabab House in West Hindmarsh offers all of this.
The last time I tasted kababs was at Lawash Bakery. There is no doubt the flat bread there is simply one of the best in Adelaide. However, a dear Arab friend recommended that I should in fact try Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kabab House for a meal that would leave me wanting more. He highlighted that without fail I should sample the chicken kabab and rice there. As we usually share the same sentiments on what defines good food, I had to trust him on this matter.
So I made my way to busy South Road until I came across Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal House. There was a parking lot in front which made it all very convenient.
From the outside, Afghan Cuisine looked like any ordinary takeaway shop. It is not a place that would immediately attract you unless you were out for a culinary adventure or you were recommended the place by someone. A few tables and chairs outside the Kabab House cater for those who prefer eating outside. With such heavy traffic, including rumbling trucks plying along busy South Road, this was not an option for me. I much prefer the quieter and cooler indoor dining area.
The inside of the Kabab House has a nice homely atmosphere. Decor is simple with vinyl tablecloths and comfortable, upholstered, red fabric chairs. On each table are the ordinary salt and pepper shakers. However, you will also find sumac shakers which will impart a lovely lemony taste to your meat.
As the aroma of tasty charcoal grilled meat wafted through the air, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. One of the chefs stood in front of the charcoal grill to cook the kababs. Another was preparing the side salads for impending orders. Everything was running in a very neat and orderly fashion. There was a sense of purpose and direction.
I took a look at the menu which was displayed on a large board above the charcoal stove. Pictures of the various dishes aided my choice and I decided on the mix kabab with kabuli rice and salad. I remembered my friend saying that the chicken kabab was the one to go for but I just could not resist this plate as it offered three different kababs available at Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kabab House: chicken, lamb and lamb mince.
As the kababs are cooked to order, it can take a little while for the meal to be ready. Whilst I waited for my lunch I noticed a steady stream of customers coming in. Couples, groups of friends, family with children and individuals dining by themselves made this a fairly busy little kabab house.
My eyes lighted up with delight when my plate of kababs with the kabuli rice and salad arrived. It looked so inviting but I was not sure whether I could finish it. It was a fairly large serve.
All the three different kababs were tender and delicious. They were well well marinated and each had its own distinctive aroma and flavour. The meat can be dipped into either the yoghurt or tomato chilli sauce that comes with the meal. The slightly tangy chilli sauce was pretty sensational in its own right and reminded me of the chilli sauce at Ricky's Kitchen in the city.
I had to agree that my friend was not kidding about the chicken kababs and rice. They were outstanding. The chicken was extremely succulent and full of flavour. Rice dishes reign supreme in Afghan cuisine and the kabuli rice was no exception. With raisins and julienned carrots, this rice with its aromatic spices made a wonderful accompaniment to the kababs. As you can guess, I had no trouble finishing my meal despite my initial observation that it would be too much for me to handle!
Although Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kabab House specialises in kababs, their limited menu also features other dishes like Afghani steamed dumplings which are filled with spiced onions and topped with yoghurt and mince lamb sauce. These are available only on Fridays and weekends. For vegetarians there is the option of Bolani - a pan fried flat bread filled with vegetables. You will find leeks as the filling at Kabab House. A small variety of Middle Eastern sweets like baklava is also available. It is with certainty that I will be trying some of these other items on their menu soon.
I was informed that Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kabab House had some of the best kebabs in Adelaide. I could not agree more. They can even cater at your next function. When you visit Afghan Cuisine and Charcoal Kabab House, I hope you will get bowled over as it did me.