Casual Afghan restaurant on Bank near Lisgar.

Afghani Kabob Express
Foods from Afghani Kabob Express

2013 Feb 1
I went back this week, and had the non-kebabs.

Bolani was the potato and green onion - this thing is as big as half a small pizza! Plus eggplant qorma (I found nothing styrofoamy about it), and a half-plate of Mantu which was big enough, thank you. With the two pieces of flavourful flatbread, I was completely stuffed, for a total with tax of $16. I really should tip like a restaurant, because they bring your food to your table after ordering, and because I want to support them more.

Textures were quite pleasing, and tastes mixed together in a way that made me smile at every bite. Though the qorma had an oily sheen, it did not taste or feel oily to me, and gave no digestion problem (I'm prone to acid reflux with really greasy foods). It's not super-fancy, but quality ingredients and good preparations always win over the taste buds.

The spice level was not absent, but not a major problem; however, I did not feel I needed to dip anything in the hot sauce they provided on the side, it was spicy enough - the very flavourful kind.

One thing I must mention: both the mantu and qorma were served with a generous drizzle of cream or yogurt on top of each; if lactose intolerant, you can ask that it not have any when ordering.

It's starting to get more popular, but it neeeds a boost to survive amongst the sea of shawarmas. And I'd really like for it to survive, considering the delicious alternatives it gives.

2013 Jan 10
Went there tonight with a friend. It was near-empty, but we weren't pressured, and got our questions asked on the various kebab differences. I had the Trio - chicken, beef chunks and beef patty, all freshly cooked on the sword-style flat skewers. Served on delicious long-grain rice with standard salad.

The chicken was moist and quite delicious, and the beef also very flavourful. I wonder if they cook the beef chunks anything else than well-done, as it gets really chewy - but they may be forced to do so.

I've had something of this style in Montreal before, and this place blows it out of the water; clean, obviously fresh ingredients, good cooking surface and quick service. My trio came with a chicken qorma which they forgot to serve, but they happily made it to go when I reminded them - I was so stuffed I could not eat another bite. The best part? they put it in a microwaveable container with a solid sealed top (transporting it slightly off the horizontal for five blocks made no spill). Bonus points, and I get lunch for tomorrow!

A very reasonable price point, especially for Bank. This is nothing like the shawarma places, and an excellent and very different taste. The smell alone when entering is enticing. Do try it!

EDIT The chicken qorma was darn tasty too! Carried a bit of heat, but far more flavour. Spooned the whole thing, once the 6-7 large pieces of chicken were finished.

2012 Dec 9
Stopped dead in our tracks upon seeing this new addition to Centertown. Mr. Blueberrypie spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and was pretty excited about the prospect of good Afghan food being readily available in Ottawa.

I may have had better, higher-end Afghan food in other cities (and countries), but I think this place definitely delivered. Prices were pretty fair, and portions were solid. Excellent quick bite, lunch, or take out choice.

That being said, they do need to work out some service issues and get a system in place (and ideally a bit less bickering behind the counter-while entertaining is also a bit awkward). Still, is a super casual spot so expectations shouldn't be too high on the service front anyways and we will definitely be going back.

Here is what we had:

Kabuli rice: Delicious rice with raisins and carrots.

Sabzi Quorma: Spinach curry, flavourful, describing as spinachy is a bit of a misnomer but really is damn spinachy.

Eggplant Quorma: Tasty and fresh, tomato-based eggplant curry (albeit with a few bits of eggplant styrofoam here and there).

Potato Quorma: Nice, light, kind of stewed potato curry.

Bolani: Spinach and Leek(also had potato), stuffed fried bread, was good if a but greasy (as is the nature of the dish).

Yogurt: Flavoured with dried mint and cucumber, very thick and creamy and an absolute must-order.

Mantou: Afghan dumplings stuffed with beef, great reviews from the Mr.

Lamb Kebob: Excellent reviews from the Mr. on the Kebob, well flavoured and authentic.

Afghan Naan: Chewy and good.

Wish List: Vegetarian Mantou (I know, not traditional but I have had them before and they are so good!), Pumpkin dishes, homemade hot sauce...