Afghan Salang restaurant
This was my first time eating Afghan food, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Based on geography alone I assumed it would be somewhat similar to Indian/Pakistani and Middle Eastern cuisines.
I wasn’t far off the mark – the menu featured kebabs, spiced rice dishes and plenty of flat bread.
(Also, my camera ran out of battery halfway through dinner, just in case you’re wondering about the sudden drop in photo quality.)
Bolani ($5.90, 8 pieces)
Thin flatbread was layered with potato, capsicum, onion, and fragrant coriander seed. A decent starter.
Chicken kebabs ($22.90, 4 skewers with bread and salad)
Tender, lightly charred chicken was well-seasoned with herbs and spices; thyme was the strongest flavour I noticed. We were intrigued by the oversized, dangerous-looking skewers on which the kebabs were served.
The chicken came with ‘chutney’, which was a fresh, green, herbaceous sauce of coriander leaves, lemon juice and garlic, reminiscent of salsa verde.
Dumplings of spiced lamb mince in wonton-like wrappers were steamed and topped with a tomato-based lentil mixture and the ubiquitous garlic-yoghurt sauce. It was incredibly tasty and moreish. YES, I LIKED A LAMB DISH! Shock, horror. There were enough other flavours there to (mostly) mask that lamby taste that I am not a fan of, although I have to admit that if I try to make these at home I will definitely substitute beef.
Afghan oven kebab ($24.90, includes bread and salad)
Lamb on the bone was sauteed with capsicum and onions. Despite enjoying the previous lamb dish I wasn’t quite prepared to go this far. I’m told it was nice.
Burani bonjon ($19.90)
Spiced, fried eggplant in a tomato-based sauce was topped with (you guessed it) garlic-yoghurt sauce. It was rather tasty despite not being particularly photogenic.
To be fair I’ve never eaten Afghan food before so I don’t have anything to compare with. Obviously I can’t make any claims regarding authenticity, but as the place is run by Afghans and appears to cater mostly to the local community (read: we were definitely the odd patrons out) it’s probably not too bad in that regard. In saying all of that though; the food was incredibly tasty, cooked perfectly and prepared with skill. That’s enough to get the Melbourne Food Snob back through the door.Afghan Salang Restaurant
343 Lonsdale Street