Thirty something girl, originally from Sydney but Brisbane is home now. Eats, drinks, socialises, watches art-house, studies the stars, and loves music. I'm a professional copywriter and editor. Hearts writing things.
Published May 8th 2016
Village-style food innovation
You may be familiar with Afghan biscuits and Afghan rugs, but how many of you actually know what Afghan cuisine is? If you don't, give yourself an education this weekend by savouring the delights of Bamiyan Restaurant at Camp Hill an authentic, family-run eatery that's ever popular with the locals and a definite crowd pleaser.
The cuisine originates from Afghanistan a relatively poor country that was founded in 2200BC and served as an important historical trade route between the East and West. For this reason it has been heavily influenced by the flavours of Iran, India and Mongolia. Although it's very homely, village-style food, what's refreshing to see is just how inventive folk from poverty-stricken areas can be in creating tantalising dishes from basic cooking methods and fairly modest ingredients. By cleverly infusing meals with add-ons like yoghurt, chutneys, spices, herbs, dried fruit and nuts, it takes them to a whole new level.
While Bamiyan does a roaring eat-in trade on the weekend (and often during the week), it's regularly frequented by locals just nipping in to pick up a delicious takeaway. The menu comprises an interesting selection of meat and veggie dishes, with a variety of side dishes thrown into the mix. For carnivores there are plenty of options containing red or white meat, either cubed or minced and charcoaled to perfection in the form of signature kebabs, or slow-roasted with love to create delicious, melt-in-your-mouth curries. Herbivores won't starve either with the variety of tasty vegetarian concoctions on offer, utilising ingredients such as eggplant, chickpeas, kidney beans, yellow lentils and spinach.
As far as favourite dishes go, mine are the Mantu beef dumplings ($14.90), Chicken Kurooti ($18.90), Banjan Boranee ($16.90) and Kabuli rice (price varies).
Mantu beef dumplings contain spiced minced meat and onion delicately wrapped in pasta parcels and topped with a delicious yoghurt sauce. Chicken Kurooti is diced chicken massaged with yoghurt and a blend of moreish spices then served in a cream sauce. Banjan Boranee is fried eggplant cooked in a homestyle tomato gravy, covered with yoghurt and garnished with coriander ( and is hearty enough to satisfy this self-confessed meat fiend even as a dish all on its own). Kabuli rice is traditional rice that is flavoured with cumin powder and cardamon, then topped with julienne caramelised carrots, sultanas and almonds seriously it's the bomb!
The restaurant itself is very inviting with bright red feature walls adorned with a few traditional artefacts, and different table configurations suited to cosy couplings, family groups and modest-sized banquets.
Since discovering this restaurant, I've added the phone number to my 'favourite' contacts list and the takeaway menu is permanently affixed to my fridge. I've also taken many an unassuming friend there for a meal and the usual feedback is: 'Who would have thought this food would be so delicious?!' Whenever those friends are in my neighbourhood now the question on their lips is, 'Keen for Bamiyan tonight?'
My hubby and I go here regularly - both eat-in and takeaway. I too can vouch for the food - it's truly delicious. It's quite difficult to describe the flavours - I always say it's a cross between Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine but the flavours are very unique. The naan bread is enormous - one is enough for 2 people. They don't have any desserts on the menu but that doesn't bother us. The prices are very reasonable and it's BYO so it makes for an inexpensive evening out. Looking at those photos Yvette has made me hungry. This may be tomorrow night's dinner. Yummm!
To read about what this restaurant serves set my mouth watering. I live a long way from Camp Hill but will make it a point to pay my respects to the wonderful Afghans who have chosen to live here, and to pay my respects for all that they have lost. And to remember the Buddhas of Bamiyan.