I love surprises. I love food. I love food-related surprises. So, mystery dinners with friends are pretty much the best thing ever.

Our rules:

  • Keep the location a secret as long as you can.
  • Choose somewhere interesting and delicious.
  • Make sure we can still afford to eat for the rest of the week.

I was the first to choose the mystery meal (typical Alana deciding to be in charge), so we headed to a place that’s been on the to-do list for a while… Parwana Afghan Kitchen.

Parwana feels like you’ve walked into a home, as though every dish has just been made in the family kitchen. The crockery is beautiful. Mismatched intricate patterns that go hand in hand with the colours of the food. It’s noisy with chatter. There’s trinkets, photos, lamps on the walls. It’s aromatic. It’s intimate. All your senses are engaged.

To be 100% honest (and ignorant) I didn’t really know what Afghan cuisine was, but I figured there would be lots of spices and yummy-ness, and there was. Oh my gosh, those dumplings. Just melt in your mouth deliciousness.

The rice dish pictured above was my favourite. It’s Kabuli Palaw – rice with caramelised carrots, sultanas, slivered almonds and pistachios. The red lentil dahl was incredible and the Mantu dumplings deserve a second mention – so yummy. Their herb and chilli chutney packed a punch and you can never go wrong with naan bread. Every mouthful was so full of flavour. As an extra bonus, the menu is also really vego friendly.

It’s food that designed to share, which I love. It fits with the ethos of the place – welcoming, connected, together. (Just try not to fight over who gets the last dumpling)

I had Rose Sherbet to drink – a traditional Afghan drink made with rose syrup and infused with basil seeds. Tastes like you’re drinking Turkish delight. It’s delicious, but if you’re after something a little more alcoholic, you’ll need to BYO.

All up, Parwana is a wonderful, warm experience, it’s nourishing, flavoursome food and it’s well priced – about $80 to fill three bellies.

If you want more Parwana in your life, the Afghan Kitchen on Henley Beach Road is only one part. They’ve also got Kutchi Deli Parwana on Ebenezer Place in the city which serves Afghan street style food and Shirni Parwana in Felixstow for your sweet tooth.

Oh, side note: their website makes me very happy. It’s pretty, it scrolls, it’s easy to use and it features stunning photographs. Everything looks amazing. So much colour. Go look at it. And then go eat delicious Afghan food.
Related posts: Review: Jamie’s Italian