I recently had a short trip to Adelaide for a couple of days and saw that Parwana restaurant was a local’s favourite. It intrigued me as I’ve never had Afghan food before nor seen those restaurants in Sydney before, so I definitely wanted to give it a go to try something new.
Situated just a short 10 minute drive from the CBD, Parwana is a small and homely restaurant. Many of the dishes on the menu are designed for sharing, so we opted to get a few entrees and mains for our table. One of my friends dining with us is also coincidentally of Afghan descent, so she helped us choose some of the more popular dishes for us to try.
Pekowrah – $9
We started off with the fritters which were super crispy with a soft spiced vegetable filling. It was served with a chutney which was very spicy with sour undertones (think a chutney combined with a vinaigrette) and it provided amazing punches of flavour.
Chukayih – $12
The other entree we chose was the trio of dips (they tasted like chickpea, pea and cucumber/mint) served with naan bread. The dips were served cold and were refreshing, but the flavours weren’t particularly strong and were a bit hard to distinguish.
Mantu – $20
Onto the mains, the steamed dumplings sounded particularly interesting, especially as “Mantu” sounds very similar to dumplings in both the Chinese and Korean languages. When brought out, the dumplings definitely were Asian inspired in appearance, with the exception of the mince sauce and garlic yoghurt. The dumplings were made well but I wasn’t too sure about the mince sauce as it tasted too much like bolognaise and I don’t think the two paired very well. My Afghan friend also commented that the sauce tasted strange and were unlike how her family makes them.
Kabuli Palaw – $18
For some carbs, we got the long-grain rice which was topped with caramelised carrots, sultanas, slivered almonds and pistachios. The rice has a loose consistency and acted as a great base for the eggplant dish we ordered. Aside from that, it definitely had enough flavour to stand on its own, with lots of texture as well. I particularly liked the sultanas scattered throughout which provided a rich sweetness with every bite.
Banjaan Borani – $14
One of the table’s favourite was definitely the eggplant, which is served in a tomato sauce, topped with garlic yoghurt and fresh mint. It was super soft and creamy and I can see why it’s one of Parwana’s signature dishes.
Du Pyaza – $25
Our last dish for the dish was a plate of lamb served with naan bread, salad and chutney. The lamb was tender and flavoursome, and went extremely well with the chutney (the same one from the fritters dish). The naan bread tied it all together, and this dish was once again a hit with the table.
It may have been my very first time eating Afghan food but it definitely won’t be my last. I absolutely loved the fragrant herbs and spices apparent in the cooking and I’ll have to hunt down some Afghan restaurants back home in Sydney to visit! Definitely a highly recommended restaurant to go to if you’re down in Adelaide.
Parwana Afghan Restaurant
124B Henley Beach Rd, Torrensville SA 5031
Ph: (08) 8443 9001