Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 15, 2011: Afghan Tasty Food

Update 31/12/2014: Afghan Tasty Food has had a name change - it's now Afghan Valley. The menu and approach seems to be very similar, so this review is probably still quite relevant.

Cindy and I had a date with David Byrne at ACMI on Saturday night and were on the prowl for a tasty post-movie dinner. We'd been working the city's Chinese options fairly hard and wanted something a bit different. Thank goodness then, for tummyrumbles' cracking (and veg-friendly!) review of Afghan Tasty Food. We'd had their other branch recommended to us on our Dandenong post, and looking at the food Mellie ate, it's easy to see why.

From the outside, things didn't look that promising - Afghan Tasty is squeezed in above a horrible looking pokie barn (whose VCGR records show almost $5m a year pouring into their crappy machines!) with just some ugly pink signs in the window to identify it.

The interior is a bit better - with some atmospheric photos on the walls and flowers on the tables, yet there's still a pretty cheap and cheerful vibe going on. When we turned up at around 9pm the place was basically empty (just one other group) so we had our pick of the tables.

We must have subconsciously remembered EG's post while ordering, as we ended up having almost the exact same vegetarian dishes, starting with the Ashak ($20).

This was amazing, made up of weird little dumplings (described as 'pastry' in the menu), stuffed with a delicious leek and coriander filling, and covered in a stunning combination of red beans, yoghurt and a tangy tomato sauce. I could have eaten about four plates of this - a really wonderful dish.

As an accompaniment, we ordered the Orange Palow ($19), a brilliant combination of basmati rice (cooked so that that rice took on an orangey flavour), preserved orange, pistachios and almonds.

This was as good as the Ashak - perfectly cooked rice, loads of delicious orange pieces and some nice crunch from the nuts.

The palows come with a bonus accompaniment - we went with the spinach, which was nicely done - a bit of onion, garlic and chilli to liven up the spinach.

Afghan Tasty was outstanding - everything we tried was cooked to perfection, and the dishes themselves were interesting variations on Indian and Middle-Eastern food - I'm very disappointed I forgot to order the bread and chutney that EG raved about. The only downside was the prices - $20 a dish is at the upper end of what we'd pay for a dinner in a restaurant like this. To be fair though, the quality of the dishes probably did justify it - it really was excellent. I'm dying to try the lunchtime buffet now!

Kudos again to Mellie and EG for their review - we probably wouldn't have tried this place without their great summary of the vego options on offer.

Vegan readers: most everything here is served with yoghurt, so I'm not sure how well they'd provide for you - they were pretty friendly and helpful though, so it mightn't be a bad idea to go in one night and ask them.

Afghan Tasty Food
1st floor, 315 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
9670 7305
entrees/sides ~$2-8, mains ~ $14-20


  1. Thanks for the lovely mention! Yeah, Afghan Tasty Food is a bizarre little place, but with some surprisingly good dishes. My favourite was the rice - I've never quite had such long grains before! It can add up, but one thing is you don't leave there hungry. We got lots of freebies too, but not sure if that was just an "opening special".

  2. You're most welcome, Mellie - we wouldn't have checked this place out if we hadn't seen your post. And it looks like we need to check out the lunch buffet if your plateful is any indication. :-)

  3. i have been there and i loved it, service was great and i got my food really quick , the place was nice and huge

  4. yeah the place is really beautiful and food is tasty its the place u can have really yummy food and have a chat while listening to nice afghani music.