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Afghan Valley Restaurant

Home > Melbourne > Lunch | Family
by Owen Chow (subscribe)
"If you are truly passionate about something, then there is no other way to live than pursuing and growing while fully engaged in your love."
Published June 24th 2013
The streets are uniform in Melbourne, pavements measured straight down a line of shops that stretch into endless colourful corridors. We'd been looking for a vegetarian restaurant for so long we were starting to recognise street names.

We halted mid stride before an innocuous looking entrance to what is the Afghan Valley Restaurant.
Hey, do you want Afghan food? They've got a lunch deal for ten bucks." I asked.
Yeah it sounds vaguely vegetarian." My buddy replied and we climbed the stairs.

The interior is spacious, with bare white walls punctuated with small decorations. Framed photographs of Middle Eastern scenes and strings of carved camels do little to disguise the skyscrapers in the windows.

Spacious is another word for empty. There was another table and they seemed as awkward at seeing other people as we were. The quiet was broken by muttered conversation and the clinking of cutlery until our dishes arrived.

I ordered a dish of Kabuli Pulao with Chicken Korma, which is the traditional dish in Afghanistan. Long grained rice, still misting with heat, heavy with hearty aroma- nothing distinctive except for the promise of rich food, arrived promptly.

Raisins and sliced carrots freckle the hillside of rice, with a pot of creamy, spicy chicken playing as a minor attraction. My friend's dish mirrored mine, except his pot oozed with lentils.

We end up sitting, gazing at the walls, in no hurry to be anywhere. The portions really are generous, and the normal prices do justify quality dishes, from what I could see on the other table.

As it were, I was travelling, on a student's budget and was very satisfied considering I was driven to accommodate my friend's veganism. We freaked out when we saw there were table cloths, which does make us sound like barbarians but we're not averse to cleanliness, just daylight robbery. We assured ourselves we could always sneak out if the items on the menu were equivalent to a week of our living expenses. Thankfully, they weren't. I wasn't in the mood for running.

Tucked away behind glass doors and gold detailing is a comparatively homey eatery, which will satisfy with a range of delicious, filling dishes for those who don't have an aversion for plastic tablecloths. Unless you're allergic. Which sucks.
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Why? Generous Afghan food at a good price
When: 11a.m. to 11p.m. Monday-Sunday
Phone: 03 9670 7305
Where: Level 1, 315 Elizabeth Street Melbourne Victoria 3000
Cost: $20-$40
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