Bamyan Afghan Restaurant: A Chance Discovery
There are some eateries you chance upon! Luckily I might add. Bamyan Afghan is one such restaurant which is a gem of a place in the otherwise overcrowded Dubai scene. I think it’s one of the restaurants that is not very busy because it has not yet been discovered (although they told me they do a lot of take-away in the Business Bay area).
Let me first be honest! I have never eaten Afghani food before. I don’t know what it is supposed to taste like, look like or smell like. So this review is purely on my aesthetics, personal taste and what I believe should have a mix of Middle Eastern and Asian fusion.
We entered a deserted restaurant on a Saturay afternoon and t took a while to get the attention of the staff that were all holed up in the kitchen for some reason. But once they knew they had diners, we were taken good care of throughout the meal that followed.
We were hungry so we ordered a little more than we should have. We got complimentary fresh Afghani bread with 2 different chutneys and yogurt dip. The bread was fresh and the green chutney got my vote. My companion preferred the bread with yogurt. Eat it anyway you like, the freshness of the bread is what counts.
For starters we ordered the Pekora (deep fried breaded potato or what they call Afghan fries – AED 15). Crispy, delightful in taste I just could not get enough of them. They were simply divine. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is ok with deep fried food. In fact for those cautious of fried food, I would suggest they throw caution to the wind and give in.
For the mains we ordered Qabuli Polaw but we tweaked it to suit our eating dos and don’ts (traditionally this dish would be served as brown basmati rice seasoned with Afghan spices baked with fresh lamb shank topped with raisins and carrots – AED 58. What I changed in this is wanted a Vegetarian version of it – so they got rid of the lamb shank. My dining partner does not eat raisins in his food as a rule of thumb so I asked for it on the side).
In order to make up for the removal of the lamb shank in the Polaw, my partner ordered the Chopon Kabob (Lamb chop brochette marinated with house special spices – AED 62) and a Chicken Korma Challaw (Plain baked white basmati rice served with fresh half chicken leg made with fresh tomatoes, onion mixed with Afghan house spice – AED 36. We asked for this to be made boneless)
We noticed when the food arrived that there was just way too much rice. Every dish comes with rice so I think you need to keep this in mind when you order. And way too much food. The portions are decent and meant for sharing. The Qabuli Polaw was my absolute favourite. My dining partner enjoyed the Chopon Kobob. The chicken was a bit of a disappointment, I thought it would be more flavourful.
But with each bite you felt that the dish was cooked with passion – not one of those Dubai hotel restaurants with a cut-and-paste menu offering.
As you would have guessed, we had no space for dessert.
Location: G52 Executive Towers Bay Avenue, Business Bay. Open from 11am – 11pm. Tel: +971 4 456 1408/ +971 4 456 1409. Metro: Business Bay