My friend had recently come back from studying in Japan for a visit, and a small group of us decided to get together for dinner for nostalgia's sake. Oh. And to eat ourselves silly with the excuse that it was for my birthday. heh.
We had reserved the tables in the pillows/floor area. I apologize ahead of time for the poor quality of the pictures. It was very difficult to get good photos in the poor lighting, and I didn't want to disturb others with a flash;
I didn't expect the pillows to be so comfy. I'm a "sit-cross-legged-and-completely-improper" sort of girl, so this was great. : ) I was also surprised at how clean (or at least from what I could see in the dark lighting...) the room was.
My buddies gave me some gifts as well. If anyone knows Anythony Bourdain at all, this should be interesting. The book below was an art book from Japan exhibiting contemporary art.
Anyways, as for the food, we ordered Potato Boulany --Whole wheat crust stuffed with mashed potatoes, onions & green onions, pan fried & served with Chaka (sour cream & yogurt) ($7.50) to start off. It wasn't as exciting as I had imagined, but it was solid none the less. Could have been a little more crispy, but not bad. There was a rather thin amount of stuffing though, and without the onions and green onions, it definitely would have lacked flavour.
We also decided to share the "Horsemen's special platter" -- ($49.95) Meat & Veggie Platter with Humus & Sabzi Mast, Salad with Feta, and Whole Wheat Pita Bread. The main dish includes Boneless Chicken Breast Shish Kebab, Lamb Shish Kebab, Lamb Shoulder, Baked Rice, Baked Eggplant, Dolmah (cabbage roll), Pakawra, & Chaka
The appie that came first was standard. We enjoyed it, but nothing much to speak of. Perhpaps the dips were a little oily, but we liked it all the same.
The platter however, was excellent. I apoligize for not getting a better picture, but we wanted to dig in. The pakora's around the side were a little chewier than I expected, but that the same time had a nice outer crunch. A note though, if you are eating this platter, try to get the pakora's eaten first. If you wait too long they become soggy/soft, and are not as pleasant to eat.
The rice was a little dry, so I tried to avoid that, but the kebobs were surprisingly well done. I usually don't enjoy kebobs because they end up being dried out (especially chicken), but they did a good job here. The lamb was literally fall apart wonderful. The eggplant was wonderfully flavourful.
The only aspect I rather disliked was feeling jipped on the cabbage rolls. Not that they were terrible... Just that it seemed like it was a steamed piece of cabbage holding a little bit of dry rice.. No taste otherwise, not even with the sauce (the blob of red sauce you see in the photo).
Because my eating partners had notified the waitress that it was my birthday, they came by after with a free baklava. Mm~! I was actually very surprised, as the waitress actually came in singing "Happy Birthday". Nice touch. The service was suburb throughout the night, and the water glasses were kept full. This was during peak dinner hours as well, so compliments to our waitress. : )
And as for the baklava, I honestly wasn't expecting to like it, but I was wrong. Just the right amount of sweet for me, with crunchy pistachio to give a good contrast of texture beside the delicate phyllo dough. Very much enjoyed.
Our night at the Afghan Horsemen was a great success. Although I'm not sure how well the other dishes fair, I do love the platters. Perhaps a little bit pricey, but hey. I didn't pay ; D.
The Afghan Horsemen:
- Solid, albeit a little pricey and questionable value
- Very well cooked meats
- Excellent friendly service
- Kept glasses full
- Rooms are a little dark
- Surprisingly clean
- Wonderful decor