#104 12888 80th Avenue, Surrey
Once again, it's that time of the month again, I mean blogger dinner that is. Since I was the one who brought up the topic of trying Afghan food, the torch has been passed down to me again. The reason I chose this restaurant was because a LONG time ago, a reader took the time out to email me a list of his/her favorite restaurants, and this was one of them. At the time, I still resided in Coquitlam, thus making Surrey seems like a light year away, in reality it's really just across the bridge (I am saying this now, since I live here hehe).
Anyways, as much as I tried, there was only 3 bloggers in attendance: Eatingclub Vancouver, I'm Only Here for the Food, and Sherman's Food Adventures. I am blaming on the good summer weather we are finally having, or maybe it's just me :P.
Having no idea where the restaurant was, and only googled it once, it took R and I forever to find this place, good thing we left early. The restaurant is located at the back side of a commercial square in an industrial area. We almost drove right out of there, not knowing there was a backside. The restaurant was very nice and chic, but at the same time, they had 2 traditional booths, where you will have to sit cross leg to dine. However I think you will have to reserve ahead of time for these.T and J wanted to try there Cardamon green tea. One pot will set you back $5. The tea was alright, it was light and mostly tasted of green tea.
Although only 3 bloggers in attendance, but in reality we had 7 people in total. So we decided to order one chef kebab combo, and then added some appetizers and other dish. The combo came with a basket of baked naan. They were whole wheat type, but I was not a fan of it. As it was rather coarse and dry. We were also given 2 type of sauces. One is the yogurt and other seems to be a combination of cucumber and cilantro. Our first appetizer was the Bolani ($2.49). I really liked the crispy/flakey outer shell. The inside was stuffed with potato and spices, and the whole dish just worked.
We ordered all the available appetizer, which was just 3 in total. The 2nd and 3rd are both dumpling type: Ashak and Mantu($3.49/each). The Ashak is essential a Chinese chive dumpling with meat sauce on top, and the Mantu is the same, except the stuffing is meat based. Neither appetizer appealed to me, as I prefer the Chinese dumpling over these.
We also ordered one of these signature dishes: Qabeli Pallow ($12.95). It is braised beef shank hidden beneath Afghan basmati rice with raisin and carrot and side of the day. Although the star should be the rice with beef shank, but sadly it wasn't. The rice was dry, and the beef shank was very gamey. At first I thought it was lamb, until someone pointed out that it was actually beef. The side dish on the other hand, I loved. It was a heavily spiced and slightly spicy eggplant dish.
At least, the Kebab combo ($89.95) which consisted of:
4 Tekka kebabs: chunk of beef tenderloin - the beef was a bit dry and quite chewy
3 Chaplee kebabs: ground marinated beef with herb - this patty had a strong cilantro taste and was spicy. It was really dry around the edges.
4 Shami kebabs: ground beef with chili pepper, onion and garlic - this had lots of spice, but it all worked, this would be the one I liked most out of the 3 beef kebabs we had
4 Chicken kebabs: tandoori chicken - the chicken was quite good, as it was tender and moist
3 Chopan kebabs: Lamb with bone - the lamb chops were okay, it was rather tough to chew and a little gamey
Overall, I thought the food was good, but it's not really worthy a drive all the way out to Surrey, if you are not in the area already. The restaurant definitely had a nice ambiance, and they also seems to have a huge party room where you can rent. Other than the restaurant, they also run a catering business. Once again, it's another blogger dinner where the company played a big part that made it fun and worthwhile. :)