NEW: Kamdesh Afghan Kabab House (Downtown Oakland) - Anyone?
Read on Yelp that Kamdesh Afghan Kabab House is now open in Downtown Oakland. Anyone try it yet?
Kamdesh Afghan Kabab House
346 14th St (between Webster & Harrison)
We went today. Good, not great. I had a ground chicken kebab, which came with cumin flavored rice. Jing had a lamb shank which came with rice and raisins. The chicken was nicely cooked and flavored. Lamb was a little stringy and not as good as I've had elsewhere. The yogurt drink with mint was very good. The Afghan nan was re-heated and barely edible. I work fairly close, and I'll probably give them another shot, but I don't think it's woth going out of your way for.
re: Martin Strell
Funny - I just opened an office a block away and have eaten there twice and loved it. But I live in Napa where there are practically no ethnic restaurants so maybe it the fact that it is new to me.
I have had the lamb shank and thought it was fall-off-the-bone tender and rich and I liked the raisins and carrots with the rice.
Another day I had two appetizers: the eggplant with yogurt and the meat dumplings with peas and corn. I didn't try the bread as I'm doing the (mostly) carb-free diet, but I enjoyed both and found them too much food for me for a lunch and finished them off for dinner.
re: Martin Strell
Martin pretty much nails it.
The lamb is so-so. The chicken is better but was frighteningly undercooked the second time I tried it. the Afghani naan is very Wonder Bread-esque. I like the salad that comes with but can't remember right now what's in it.
I was hoping it would be better.
After eating there three times, I have to disagree. I've had the beef tikka (chunks) and the beef kubideh (ground) and both were delicious, especially with the addicting green sauce they have on the tables. The tikka came a perfect medium rare (as ordered) and all the kebabs come with a grilled half tomato. Normally a grilled tomato would hardly be worth mentioning, but they do something wonderful to that tomato! I wasn't crazy about the brown rice (which I think may actually be white rice cooked a some kind of brown broth), but the white rice has that lovely basmati flavor and is a great foil for that green sauce and the sumac that they also have on each table.
I also thought it was very good. The lamb shank was fall-off-the-bone tender, the eggplant borani well seasoned. I thought the brown basmati (which was definitely brown rice, not white) was cooked perfectly: tender with a bit of chew, and fluffy, separate grains. The bolani (potato-stuffed bread) was good, with a nice, savory filling, though not flaky and paratha-like as I've had at other restaurants - sounds like a better bet than the plain naan.
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I've been once and I ordered the Mantoo ($5.95, dumplings filled with ground beef, onions and seasonings, topped with a special yoghurt sauce and sauteed veggies) and Afghani Wrap ($7.50, choice of chicken or beef wrapped in Afghani Naan with a special yoghurt sauce) with chicken.
I was interested the similarity in names of the Mantoo and the Korean dumplings called mandu and some investigation found that both originated from Turkish Manti dumplings and spread across Asia via Turkish migration. These look to be popular as I watched a woman hand-make these the whole time I was there filling more than one large sheet pan.
The mantoo come in a serving of five topped with the yogurt sauce, a small amount of tomato-y sauce and some veggies. The dumplings are delicious with a nicely spiced meat filling. The yogurt sauce had dill and was also very good. The veggies looked and tasted like they were from a bag of frozen vegetables.
The Afghani Wrap is filled with chicken, yogurt sauce, and a veggie mix of cubed cucumber and a smattering of tomato. The chicken was tender and moist with nice char marks and flavor from the grill and the marinade.
The minty green sauce on the table made a good addition to the wrap.