Parwana Afghan Restaurant had caused me so much grief with 2 failed attempts in trying to land my butt on a seat. From this I learnt a few things:
- Despite saying they are open on Saturday lunch, it is still an iffy gamble. We were left standing outside a closed sign and door yet on a random drive pass on another Saturday it was open.
- Book. For the love of food just book. Firstly to ensure the place is open and secondly you are guaranteed a place for your butt. A duck in on a Tuesday night had left us leaving with the entire place completely booked out.
Demoralized for several months but finally I gathered up the courage to try again which found C and I here for a Sunday dinner. Note that there is a different menu on Sunday and Tuesday with limited choices – the options of the mains consisted of the mantu and the chicken or lamb kebab. Each person is required to purchase one main so I don’t recommend this for big groups. Even for us we struggled to choose a 3rd dish and in the end we didn’t even bother, there wasn’t anything that we wanted.
The mantu consisted of steamed dumplings filled with carrot and sautéed onion served with lamb tomato sauce and garlic yogurt. The dumpling skins were perfect where each bite offered that al dente resistance. Without the sauce the dumplings themselves were quite plain with no flavours shining through.
Mantu – Steamed dumplings stuffed with carrot and sauteed onion with a tomato lamb sauce garnished with paprika and mint ($20)
The chopan kebab was literally a deconstructed yiros – juicy lamb pieces, fresh soft flat bread and refreshing bites from the cucumber and tomato in the green garden salad. The parwana chutney was filled with fresh flavours and a sour lemon zing that went perfectly on the lamb. A piece of naan was hidden at the bottom soaking up all the lamb juices resulting in it tasting just like lamb yum yum!
Chopan Kebab – Grilled marinated lamb kebab with naan, salata and parwana chutney ($25)
Weird combination of ginger and walnut icecream but you know what? It completely worked! Creamy, velvet smooth icecream had a delightful sweetness with a slight burning sensation left at the back of your throat from the ginger. Bits of walnut were mixed into the icecream offering a bit of crunch but it still would have been awesome without it. C actually chose this dish but I ‘helped’ by eating more than 1/3 of it. What a nice person I am ;)
Zanjafil Shiryakh – homemade ginger and walnut icecream ($8)
Falooda, man that rose and milk drink tasted so artificial to the point it was like plastic. The vanilla icecream was NOT icecream but was hard and shardy like ice. I have no way to describe that jelly but when I asked C to eat it, his response:
“I just saw you dry retch from eating it. Why would I want to put that in my mouth?”
Falooda – icecream layered with jelly, basil seeds, milk and rose syrup ($10)
Parwana for me was average with a few alright dishes and a few misses. I’m also not sure the high price tag attached to the food is justified. Sorry for the comparison but I do prefer dirty Asian dumplings ($8 for 15 dumplings) over the mantu and East End Yiros does a mean yiros for $10 compared to the $25 chopan kebab. A lot of hype and praises have been sung about Parwana but it makes me wonder whether this is because it is a unique cuisine in Adelaide?