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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bamiyan, Five Dock

Afghani cuisine at Bamiyan Restaurant, 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.

Ashaak dumplings at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock height=
Ashaak dumplings $11.90

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 Afghani flat bread at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Kadoo bolanee traditional Afghani flat bread stuffed with pumpkin and spices $9.90

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.

Kabuli pallow traditional Afghani rice at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Kabuli pallow $25.90
Traditional Afghani rice served with chicken korma

Not everything is spicy here, and the chilli scale on the menu will help steer you in either direction. Kabuli pallow ($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.

Chicken korma at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Chicken korma

Afghani vegetable pickle at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Afghani vegetable pickle $3.50

Banjan boranee Afghani fried eggplant at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Banjan boranee traditional Afghani dish with fried eggplant $15.90

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.

Lamb kabab daggy at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Lamb kabab daggy $21.90
Lamb back strip cubes marinated and grilled over charcoal, served with naan

Afghani pumpkin naan at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Afghani pumpkin naan $6

Pomegranate drink and dough salted yoghurt drink at Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock
Pomegranate drink $4 and dough salted yoghurt drink $4

Bamiyan Restaurant, Five Dock

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Bamiyan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

175 First Avenue, Five Dock, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9712 7801
Opening hours:

Monday and Wednesday 5pm-10pm
Thursday to Sunday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm

This article appears in the May 2012 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! 

More Time Out Sydney reviews:
Akash Pacific Cuisine, Liverpool (Fiji Indian cuisine) 
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Battambang, Cabramatta (Deep fried pork intestines)
Cyprus Community Club Aphrodite Restaurant (Roast baby goat) 
Dos Senoritas, Gladesville (Mexican street-style tacos) 
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African cuisine)
Everest Kitchen, Marrickville (Nepali cuisine)
Good Kitchen, Hurstville (Hong Kong cafe)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
Kambozza, Parramatta (Burmese cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Mario Tokyo Pizza, Strathfield (Bulgogi Korean pizza)
Misky Cravings, Fairfield (Peruvian cuisine)
Olka Polka Bakery & Deli, Campbelltown (Polish cheesecake and rye bread)
Rhinedorf German Restaurant, Beverly Hills (German pork knuckle)
Sea Sweet, Parramatta (Lebanese sweet kashta cheese burger)

Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Taipei Chef, Artarmon (Taiwanese smoked chicken)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)
13 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/31/2012 12:08:00 am


  • At 5/31/2012 9:42 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Did you say dumplings? Yes, of course you did. They remind me of something the Turks make, with all that yoghurt. It really is a miss-mash of cultural flavours!

  • At 5/31/2012 10:45 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    That first shot is devastating - everything looks freakin' amazing and delicious. I have to get myself over this joint. Mmmm dumplings.

  • At 5/31/2012 1:08 pm, Blogger sugarpuffi said…

    wow i would really want to have some of that eggplant right now!

  • At 5/31/2012 1:31 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Squidgy nasty raisins aside, mmm pumpkin naan and pickles! Oh pickles, pickles, pickles!!

    That is all.


  • At 5/31/2012 2:37 pm, Anonymous Mary @ beyondjelly said…

    Oh! I'm sad that you had the vegetarian dumplings, I find the meat ones here (mantu) much better.

  • At 5/31/2012 3:00 pm, Anonymous Eha said…

    I feel very ignorant at the moment. Have cooked food from all around the area, but this is more than fusion - much of this is truly new and will be filed for later perusal, So interesting; thank you!

  • At 5/31/2012 7:09 pm, Anonymous JasmyneTea said…

    Mmmm, I never thought Afghan food would be so diverse - it looks so good!

  • At 6/02/2012 6:33 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Those Ashak dumplings look sensational - great find Helen (as per usual).

  • At 6/02/2012 7:59 pm, Anonymous The Food Sage said…

    Great write-up Helen. We're moving to Rodd Point in a few weeks, so this place will be within walking distance. I'm really looking forward to trying it. The
    Kadoo bolanee and Afghani pumpkin naan sound wonderful. Thanks for the recommendations.

  • At 6/03/2012 6:07 pm, Anonymous Vivian - vxdollface said…

    the dishes here seem quite interesting, definitely a lot of asian influence

  • At 6/06/2012 5:17 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Great review Helen...it's great to see something different on the dining scene. Everything looks amazing!

  • At 6/13/2012 9:42 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    not impressed by the menu...its a mish mash of indian and afghan dishes. Should be only Afghan. There are many other mouth watering Afghan dishes but there is no mention of them.Dessert menu has all Indian...whatever happened to Firni, Sheer Brinj or Gosh-e-feel.

  • At 1/05/2013 1:09 am, Anonymous Chris said…

    I dined here the other night, the dumplings were the standout we tried both chicken and beef they were so juicy and tender, the portion sizes here are large. Such great value also enjoyed the chicken with cauliflower, truly amazing, will be back.


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