Saturday, August 25, 2012
Kabaul (Elsternwick) 08/2012
I rarely look at them but letter box drops of pizza outlets, cafe's and restaurants must work or they would stop. Kabaul left one in our friends, Neil and Dorothy's letter box and they invited us to join them there. Little did we suspect that a couple of days later they would be offering a heavily discounted meal through OurDeal.
This is a fairly comfortable airy establishment, especially if you are near the door. Major decoration is alternating huge modern paintings interspersed with Afghani rugs hanging on the wall. There are also a few hookahs on the bar.
We got to trying a good range of their dishes staring with three dips. I found them disappointing on two counts, flavour, bland or too sharp and they were the same as the sauces provided with the main courses! Things improved rapidly from then on. Our waitress was very anxious to please and loved hearing us heap praise on the food. firstname.lastname@example.orgService was good, without having to wait too long for dishes. Warm Turkish style bread seemed to be in endless supply and mains could be eaten with either bread or rice. We had three more entrees. Ashauk was chives wrapped in a soft pastry topped with lentils and yoghurt. I think we all enjoyed it. I certainly did. Another entree, bolani, which is excellent on a winters night was a grilled flat bread with a potato filling. Our last entree was bodinjan borani, eggplant with a tomato and herb dressing. the eggplant was excellent but the combination with tomato is not to every ones liking. The mains were particularly good. Lamb dopiaza, slow cooked shoulder was meltingly tender and came with a small salad. Mantoo, which is an entree, but could be a main, is another really friendly dish consisting of steamed dumplings filled with a lamb mince, onion, coriander, (not too much) and cumin. The dumplings are topped with lentils,tomato sauce and a drizzle of garlic flavoured yoghurt sauce. It's hard not to love this dish.
Kebabs, chicken or beef, are available every where. These were presented as large pieces of meat on flat skewers with rice and a small salad. They were lightly cooked, as we requested, and both tender and extremely tasty. We also had a couple of their classic desserts, a variation of a sticky date pudding which was more like a date cake, and a strange sweet flavoured with rose water and served up as a set of medallions. Not much to my taste.We ended up paying about $50/head for a very decent meal, fair value even without a discount voucher.