Parwana Afghan Restaurant
Wasn’t planning to go feeding tonight, but the failure of my groceries to be delivered today has left me ravenous and deranged.
I’m at the end of Urbanspoon’s fancy ($$$) and super-fancy ($$$$) restaurants, so I’ve picked out a place from the top of the $$ category for tonight.
Traditional drink made with rose syrup and basil seeds.
Outside of Turkish delight, rose isn’t a flavour I’ve experienced before. This drink is extremely strong. Like strong rose cordial. The basil seeds and their gelatinous coating add a strange texture here. I pour in some filtered water, to dilute the madness. This drink is just too potent for consumption with food.
Aged long-grain rice, topped with candied orange peelings, slivered almonds, and pistachios.
I’ve also ordered banjaan borani. This is Parwana’s signature dish. I’m not sure if this or the rice is the main dish. It’s eggplant slices, simmered in a fresh tomato sauce, topped with garlic yoghurt dressing and finished with fresh mint.
The rice here has the distinct taste of saffron, and is itself, nice rice. However, its various other components, like flecks of onion or green vegetable, have no real effect on its taste. The occasional sliver of orange peel pops up, but that seems slightly unusual for rice, and it’s obviously not evenly mixed throughout the dish.
Imagine soft, cooked eggplant, with some mild yoghurt on top. That’s exactly what this is. It doesn’t really have any texture, and tastes exactly as you’d expect. It’s just soft, mild, uninteresting vegetable filling.
Traditional Afghan apple jam, served with almond and cardamom ice cream.
The jam here is half a stewed apple. It’s been sprinkled with cardamom, and not much sugar. I don’t mind ice cream with stewed apple, but the strange cardamom taste that pervades this dish is just a bit too unfamiliar and un-desserty.