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!