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Published January 7th 2016
Learn about new cultures and cuisines at Kilburn
Prospect Road, Kilburn
A 10 - 15 minute drive north of the centre of the city of Adelaide will bring you to one of our inner northern suburbs, Kilburn, originally named "Little Chicago" but eventually changed to Kilburn, named after a London suburb.
Kilburn traditionally grew as a result of the development of the railways in the area and the Islington Railyards and Workshop provided employment opportunities which in turn led to a growth in housing. Another major employer was British Tube Mills which for many years produced tubular steel.
The Housing Trust built numerous homes around Kilburn and Blair Athol, providing affordable accommodation for many families.
Today there are still many traditional housing trust homes, however newer housing developments are gradually replacing these, transforming the suburb and making it almost unrecognisable from its former self.
As soon as you arrive in Kilburn and adjacent suburbs such as Blair Athol, you can't help but think you have been transported to an exotic location with its eclectic mix of Afghan, Asian and African grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and other businesses.
The population has changed over the years with an influx of migrants from Iran, Afghanistan, India, Africa and other parts of Asia, including Vietnam and Cambodia.
If you are looking to spice up your cooking with a dabble in different cuisines, then a visit to one of the approximately seven grocery stores on Prospect Road, Kilburn and Blair Athol is a must.
Specialising in Indian, Pakistani, Afghan and Iranian ingredients, there is something for everyone. Most of the ingredients are either fully imported or in some cases, produced locally with the expertise of people who have an intimate knowledge of the varying cuisines.
The grocery stores tend to not only stock food items but also kitchen utensils, pots, pans, kettles, and even the traditional hookahs, which are mainly glass based instruments for vapourising tobacco.
I even found some selling materials including silk in rolls on a stand.
Adelaide these days has an ever growing palate for different cuisines and this part of Adelaide boasts Kebab houses, Uyghur cuisine as well as Vietnamese.
One such restaurant specialising in char-grilled kebabs is the Ghan Kebab House, which also offers a good range of high quality foods including Lamb and Zafrani rice, Mashawyat Mazdat, which are mixed kebabs, Shami or Lamb Mince and Chawal Cholay (Rice with Chick peas).
Uyghur cuisine is characterised by mutton, beef, chicken, goose, fruit and vegetables. One of the common dishes is Lengmen, which is a noodle dish, the noodles being hand-made from flour, water and salt. They are then served topped with stir-fry meat and vegetables offering tantalising flavours to the taste buds.
Another popular Uyghur dish is Polu, which is carrots and mutton or chicken fried in oil with onion with the addition of rice and water, the whole dish then being steamed. It can be topped with raisins and dried apricots to add that ultimate finish.
Walking past one of the Afghan bakeries enhances your sense of smell with the wonderful flat Middle Eastern breads which are soft and tasty.
Most of the butchers specialise in Halal meats for those who are particular about the way livestock is killed and prepared. Traditionally this form of meat preparation is highly linked to religious beliefs.
The melting pot of people from varying cultures adds an interesting attraction to the area and more and more businesses are being established along this part of Prospect Road, with many showing signs in at least two languages, whether it be Iranian, Afghan, Vietnamese etc.
Whether you enjoy trying the various cafes and cuisines or whether you have the desire to conjure up an exotic dish or two at home, Kilburn is one place where you will encounter a different world right on our own doorstep.
Back in the 1960's I lived in this area and in those days,it was not a very attractive area and had little in the way of shops.After reading your article ,it may be worth taking a stroll again and see what is on offer.Prospect Road which connects has come along really well over recent years and has become a place worth visiting.
Both the lively outgrowth of activity in Kilburn, and the more sedate in Prospect, reachable directly by the G10 bus down from Flinders-Marion-City-Blair Athol.
No less than two Uighur restaurants, several Afghan bakeries, much more await in Kilburn.