Ever tried Afghani cuisine? No? You’ll find it in the most unlikeliest of places – a small cottage in a residential street off the main street of Five Dock

Bamiyan is one of Sydney’s few restaurants serving Afghani food, a cuisine that fuses Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. Think Indian curries and Nepalese dumplings kicked up with influences from China, Turkey, Iran and other regions/areas of the Middle East.
With only eight months under its belt (the restaurant opened in August 2011), Bamiyan has fast become a hit with locals. On a Saturday night, the place is chock-a-block with diners, mostly small tables of couples or friends, dotted with a few larger celebratory groups or families with kids. It’s warm and cosy in here, with Afghani prints and tapestries hanging on yellow ochre walls. Linen tablecloths, folded napkins and wine glasses add a touch of date-night fancy.
Start things off with ashaak dumplings ($11.90) stuffed with a vegetarian filling of gandana, or garlic chives. The olive oil dumplings are almost hidden beneath a liberal drenching of chunky tomato and chickpea sauce, cool drizzles of yoghurt and a heavy dusting of dried mint.
Kadoo bolanee ($9.90) is another house specialty, a soft Afghani flat bread folded around fried pumpkin seasoned with garlic and spices, served with a spicy chutney that has plenty of kick.
Not everything is spicy here, and the chilli scale on the menu will help steer you in either direction. Kabuli pulao ($25.90) is a celebration of one of the cornerstones of Afghani cuisine: rice. It’s a colourful mound of fluffy basmati rice – each grain long and separate – slow-cooked and scattered with plump sultanas, sweet julienned carrots, almonds and a few elusive pieces of tender baked chicken. The aroma of cumin and cardamom is irresistible. It’s a bonus two-in-one dish, with a bowl of mild and creamy chicken korma included on the side.
Afghani cuisine is known for its affection for meat dishes, but the banjan boranee ($13.90) is a vegetarian highlight. Thick slices of eggplant are deep-fried until soft, sweet and sticky. The smoky nutty eggplant is a perfect marriage with the accompanying dousing of tomato sauce and swirls of yoghurt.

Sign up to our monthly food & drink newsletter

First published on . Updated on .

By Helen Yee   |   Photos by Helen Yee   |  

Bamiyan details

175 First Avenue

Five Dock 2046

Telephone 02 9712 7801

Price per person including drinks up to $75.00

Open Mon & Wed 5pm-10pm; Thu to Sun 12 noon-3pm and 5pm-10pm

Bamiyan website

Restaurants near Bamiyan

Cremeria de Luca

95m - Since the closing of Gelateria De Luca in 2009, the third generation of De...

Il Goloso

1553m - This Haberfield eatery offers unpretentious Italian with indoor and outdoor...

Pasticceria Papa

1568m - Pasticceria Papa is home to the famous baked ricotta cheesecake. Yes, that...

Bars & pubs near Bamiyan

Five Dock Hotel

84m -  Cold beers, pool and a dedicated sports bar are three reasons to check...

Illinois Hotel

652m -  Table dancing and a penthouse suite in Five Dock.

The Birkenhead Hotel

2139m - Though the Birkenhead Hotel might not be the most well known thing about...

Other venues near Bamiyan

Civic Theatre

701m - Located right in the heart of the city, this venue hosts some of Newcastle's...

Bootcamps Australia

1021m - Kent Pumpa established Australia's largest outdoor training programme, Boot...

Rodd Island

1231m - Ever strolled along the Bay Run and wondered, “What on Earth is that...

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

© 2007 - 2014 Time Out Group Ltd. All rights reserved. All material on this site is © Time Out.