The restaurant is really lovely. We were seated in the lower section, which felt warm and inviting. The tables all had crisp white tablecloths, wine glasses and folded napkins, which (in my experience) is unusual in a place where you can eat for $25 a head.
|Banjan Boranee - (eggplant)|
Mantu (beef dumplings)
Kachaloo Bolanee (flat bread)
Banjan Boranee (eggplant)
Kabuli Pallow (rice with chicken)
|Mantu (beef dumpling)|
Another new dish for my taste education was the Kachaloo Bolanee, which came out looking quite similar to a quesadilla, was then likened (in texture) to a Chinese shallot pancake, before the consensus at the table landed on a gozleme as the closest comparison, but with potato and spices in the middle.
Other entree dishes, the samosa and the seekh kebabs, were also really good, and were better than similar dishes I've had in Indian restaurants in the area.
Both mains that we ordered were also described on the menu as traditional Afghani fare, and I thought both were wonderful. The rice was full of yummy extras, the best being the slow cooked chicken. Unfortunately there were very few pieces of chicken in the rice, which was something of a letdown considering how good it was! The korma that came as a side with the rice was creamy, with the meat perfectly tender.
The eggplant dish (banjan boranee) was a real surprise. I'm not much of an eggplant eater (other than in Baba ghannouj), mainly because I don't find any eating enjoyment in the outside skin. However, this eggplant (and skin) were so melt-a-licious that I went back for more and more. The tomato and yogurt sauce was a perfect accompaniment to the dish.
The staff were very amiable, and showed great hospitality and pride in their establishment. When the dishes were slow coming out (and they were), the head guy would come and check on the waiting tables. When you go to Bamiyan yourself, be ready to settle in for the evening. The music and atmosphere encourage you slow down and enjoy your meal and conversation, so the leisurely pace at which the food comes out fits the experience.
175 First Ave
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