Parwana Afghan Kitchen

124B Henley Beach Rd
Torrensville, SA 5031

Parwana Afghan Kitchen is gorgeous. Walking into it feels like stepping into another world, where the days are hot and dusty, but refuge can be sought in shaded courtyards, sipping on rose-flavoured drinks as the fountains burble. The no bars held approach to the décor feels homely rather than contrived; the colour block walls in ochre and fairy-floss pink, and the hypnotically patterned floors are especially gorgeous. And to eat? Enormous portions of middle-eastern soul food, layered with spices that betray the hours of labour that went into each dish. Service is the only thing on the ordinary side, but all up, it’s an absolutely stellar experience, and a no-brainer if you’re looking to impress someone from out of town.

Rating: 13.5/20 – food with soul.
Hot tip: if you order too much, they’ll happily offer to pack the rest of your food to-go. and the portions here are lorge.

Mantu ($23)

The Mantu ($23) make an excellent start, the translucent skins filled with a rustic mixture of spiced carrots and celery, topped with a contrastingly rich lamb sauce reminiscent of middle-eastern bolognese, and a healthy drizzle of yoghurt.

Karayee Morgh ($28)

Chicken is usually the boring order, but not here. The Karayee Morgh ($28) is a gorgeous, spice-laden thing, heavy with ginger and coriander, and so succulent that it shreds itself into the sauce. It’s a hefty meal for one with the accompanying salad and naan, but add some extra carbs and it becomes a main for two.

Kabuli Palaw ($9.5, half serve)

Speaking of carbs, make sure to splurge on the Kabuli Palaw ($9.5, half serve) – a fragrant pilaf of fluffy long-grain rice, redolent with cinnamon and cardamom, tossed with sultanas and sweetened carrots, and the occasional crunch of slivered almonds. It’ll add a pop to whatever sauce you spoon on top.

Halwah ($17)

Desserts are simple, but the Halwah ($17) is unmissable. The rustic semolina pudding, warm with saffron and soaked in syrup, is layered with a beautiful vanilla and cardamom ice ream that is smooth, rich, and refreshing all at once.

Rose Sharbat ($6)

And to drink, they’ve got a few classic Afghan bevvies, but it’s hard to go past the Rose Sharbat ($6) – a tasty and traditional concoction of rose syrup and basil seeds. And call me childish, but part of me was disappointed that the drink wasn’t dyed bright pink.

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