Afghan Kitchen

I’m somewhat annoyed at myself that I have lived in London for 8 years and only now discovered this incredible restaurant overlooking Islington Green.

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The unassuming Afghan Kitchen is only too easy to walk right past, there are no signs outside and it looks very small and simple within, however if you did walk by, you’d be missing out on arguably one of the best meals in London. As I’ve never been to Afghanistan, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the food, but it is mindblowingly tasty!

I started off by ordering ‘dogh’ – a yoghurt and mint drink, expecting it to be a little like Turkish ayran. I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually finish it, it was a little too strange for me – a mix of yoghurt with mint and finely chopped cucumber. I’d liken it to blended raita. They also serve deliciously sweet fresh carrot juice and orange juice (which I would recommend instead!)

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There are only 8 dishes on the menu – 3 meat, 1 fish and 4 vegetarian and I somehow managed to order 3 along with freshly made Afghani bread (only available in the evening).

Qurma-e-Mahi: this fish stew is perfectly spiced to allow all the flavour of the fish and the rich, tangy tomato to shine while still delivering a sharp hot after kick – my favourite type of dish! The soft white fish was perfectly cooked and accompanied by soft new potatoes.

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Qurma-e-Gosht: this was definitely the star of the evening. A warming, tasty stew with pieces of tender lamb that fell apart gently and soft potatoes, stewed to crumbliness. I would sincerely recommend going to this restaurant just for this dish! I know for sure I’ll be returning for it very very soon.

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Banjon Borani: the final dish we ordered was a soft, stewed plate of Aubergines drizzled with a tart yoghurt and served with a light tomato sauce, mint and garlic. While it was really tasty, if I had to sacrifice one dish it would probably be the aubergine, as next time I’d really like to try some of the other veggie dishes such as the Moong Dall.

The restaurant itself is truly charming with it’s large pot plants, big shared wooden tables and simple decor. It really does feel like you’re sitting in someone kitchen as a guest, although I’d give a word of warning that though the service is good, you won’t be likely to get any smiles from anyone working here! Regardless it’s a wonderful place and there were quite a few first dates taking place while I was there. Quite successfully too I might add!

Apologies for the poor photos, dimmed lighting and an iPhone don’t make the best combination! Dishes cost £6.50 – £7.50 each and the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. I would suggest ringing up to book on advance as this little place gets very busy – apparently everyone but me knows about it!

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