Afghan Kitchen

35 Islington Green , London, N1 8DU

SquareMeal Review of Afghan Kitchen

A calm oasis at the edge of Islington Green, this tiny, tidy restaurant (two tables downstairs & three on the first floor) is decked out with pale walls & blond-wood tables, barely a hint of its eastern origins on display. It’s undeniably cosy (hope for good neighbours), but the food’s just fine. The succinct menu lists four meat & four vegetable dishes – delicately spiced yet richly flavoured curries such as qurma suhzi gosht (lamb with spinach) & banjon borani (aubergines with yoghurt). There’s freshly baked, sesame-studded bread too, as well as Afghan pickles & chutney. No dish costs more than £7. You can sip on green tea for 50p, or a dogh (yoghurt & mint drink) for £1.50, but boozers won’t find a bottle below £18 on the rather uninspired wine list.

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Angel Tube Station 388m

Essex Road Station 720m

Address

Address: 35 Islington Green , London N1 8DU

Area: Islington Barnsbury

Opening times

Tues-Sat 12N-3.30pm 5.30-10.45pm

Nearby Landmarks

The Screen on the Green Cinema 142m

Business Design Centre 202m

Details

Telephone: 020 7359 8019

Cuisine: Afghan Halal

8.5

Food & Drink: 8.8

Service: 8.3

Atmosphere: 7.8

Value: 8.8

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Mimina bronze reviewer 16 June 2012

I adored the Afghan Kitchen. Despite comments from some reviewers about surly staff, we had a charming lady looking after us for the evening who was quite happy with seemingly unendless requests from us for more bread, yoghurt, drinks etc. We ordered nearly everything on the menu (there's only about 8 items ) – daal, succulent lamb with spinach, chicken in yoghurt, Afghan pickles, and wonderful flatbread studded with sesame seeds. The pumpkin with yoghurt was moist, sweet and spicy. Covered with plain yoghurt, it was unlike anything I've tasted before. The rice was that deliciously oily kind that I've normally only experienced in Iranian restaurants. The only thing I would say is that the food took quite a while to arrive, and while I thought the atmosphere was lively it was also a little too intimate – my elbow only just missed mashing our neighbour's curry and we had to carefully stack our dishes on the table every time a new item of food arrived. It was great value too, worth booking an early table as it was quite quiet on a Friday night at 7pm. It was completely full by the time we squeezed past and leapt over other people's tables / belongings in order to leave!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Daniel O. bronze reviewer 08 November 2009

I went to the Afghan Kitchen before a saturday night in Islington on the back of reviews I had read. It did just the job! I'd never had Afghan food before, and was impressed. The owner is an Afghani former Channel 4 camera man who came to England almost 30 years ago. The small menu was refreshing in its simplicity. I had the aubergines in yoghurt, and my friend the lamb. We wanted bread, but the lady (the owner's wife I think) who also does the cooking, said the bread is delivered fresh later in evening, so we had the rice only. The food was simple and tasty. The meal came quickly, and the service friendly and efficient. The food is all prepared in advance, which leads to microwave use, but I didn't mnd that, as it was lovely. I expected the interior to be a bit more ‘rough and ready’ but it was quite modern . As we left, there were people ordering food to take away. Next time I'd love to try the fish stew! If you're in the area, and want a tasty bite, definitely reccommend The Afghan Kitchen for a good value, and novel meal.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

HP gold reviewer 11 July 2009

We finally made it to the Afghan after passing by the window for the last 6 years and always saying we must go. This certainly isn't the place to linger; the communal seating is incredibly cosy and relatively uncomfortable but the food made the experience worthwhile. We ordered three meat and two vegetable dishes between four of us which, alongside the rice and bread, was just about right. Both the fish and pumpkin mains were particularly memorable and most unlike any other curry we have ever had. The bread is quite different too; much harder and more wholesome in texture than Naan. We had to remind the waitress about our Qurma Suhzi Gosht (lamb with spinach) dish and were rewarded with free baklava at the end of the meal for the delay – a nice touch. The lamb dishes were good; reminiscent of Indian-style curries. While the prices and portions are reasonable, the alcohol isn't; expect to pay at least £15 for a bottle of wine.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

FeignedMischief bronze reviewer 14 March 2009

I have lived in Hackney in the last 8 years and have been passing through Islington via the 38 bus route and have always been curious about this quaint restaurant called The Afghan Kitchen just on the corner of Islington Green as it merges with Essex Road. First off, I liked the simplicity of the restaurant with its canteen style wooden table and chairs and how it’s always full everytime I pass by there. A work colleague was due to have a leaving do here last Wednesday and I couldnt make it, then I realised I was going to be in Islington anyway to watch Duet for One at the Almeida with fellow theatre trotters Lynne and Tony, we decided to book seats and try it out for our pre-theatre meal. The excitement to finally dine here stems from the fact that I have never tasted traditional Afghan cuisine before, I have heard quite good praises about this place, and tonight that curiousity will be finally satisfied. I booked the table for 6 pm but knew I wouldn’t get there till 630 pm so on my way texted Lynne my order to save us time waiting for the food to arrive. I ordered their Qurma Suhzi Gosht (lamb with spinach), rice, and Afghan mixed pickles, whilst Tony & Lynne both had the Banjon Borani (aubergines with yoghurt). Service was friendly and lightning quick, our food arrived just as soon as I got there. So how was it then? Decadently delicious! My lamb reminded me of the Indian sag aloo but as I am picky with my sag aloo and only ever orders it in my local Indian take away, this was just as tasty and the lamb very tender. How many ways can you describe the rice. I mean how did they cook the rice, it’s already a meal on its own! Tony and I both couldnt get over it. The portions are generous although their menu is quite limited with just 4 meat and 4 vegetarian dishes but I can say now that I would like to try them all! I had my eye on the Lavand-e-Murgh (chicken in yoghurt) and will also try the highly recommended Sarah’s (kidney beans, chick peas and potatoes cooked with yoghurt). What’s more is that it’s also very reasonably priced, our total bill was only £50 including a bottle of white, and superb cafetiere coffee. Be warned, they only accept cash or cheques but there’s lots of nearby cashpoints. If you happen to be around the area, forgo your usual dining fare and try this little wonder called The Afghan Kitchen, and come back here and tell us all about it!