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Kabul

Update 11/5/13: Kabul is closed for moving.

In a word: Not just good for Middle Eastern food, good food period.

Kabul RestaurantThe specs: #0292
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Dane101, Yelp, Badger Herald, Krik's Picks, the Culinary Adventures of Jahboh and Tossy, What's Cookin' and Other Musings, Eating the World, 77 Square, Making it in Madison, QSC, recipe for mashawa soup at JSOnline, Kabul Afghanistan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Latest Kabul news and reviews

JM ate the lamb kabobs with a lemonade.
John ate the duck strudel.
Nichole ate the Tunisian spinach stew with Afghan tea.
The bill was $41, or $13.67/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Kabul an A-; John gave Kabul an A (see our grading rubric).

There is a certain rush starting each letter of the alphabet because we know that the end is just that much closer now.  Kabul, with its storied history on State and warm authentic feel, we hoped would propel us into this letter with verve.

Salad

A fairly typical green salad with better-than-average house dressing started off the meal. We could have opted for the lentil soup for starters, too. There was also a bread basket with several pieces of soft flatbread that we could dress with oil or the red or green chili sauces on our table. As usual, the green was hotter than the red.

Lamb kabob

JM's lamb kabob was great, just plain great. The lamb was tender, and the veggies good. Rice on the side came in two colors, yellow and white, both fluffy and buttery. But it was the yogurt sauce that stole the show - it was subtle and creamy.  This is critical because JM pretty much dislikes all yogurt sauces.  It may not be the most authentic, but it certainly is the tastiest.

Duck strudel

John was blown away by the duck strudel, mostly because of the dish's conception more than this specific execution. It was an unexpectedly delicious, perfect meal of contrasts. The pastry crust surrounding roast duck, mushrooms, and rice made the texture both crunchy and tender. The sweet and sour raspberry sauce was awesome. He loved the meal, and thought it was a shame that it's only on the specials menu. Maybe they'll add it to the usual offerings someday.

Spinach stewNichole's spinach stew was the least photogenic of the dishes, that's for sure. It had a heat that built slowly over the course of a few bites, but was easily cut by a forkful of rice. Overall, it was a passable dish, if boring compared to her companions'. What she really liked most was the Afghan tea - it was strong and spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon and the like, and came with a dish of white sugar cubes and brown sugar lumps that served as a pre-dinner sweet. Refills on the tea were a plus, too.

The Ks have a lot to live up to if this is the first in line.

Comments

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My parents insist on visiting Kabul almost every time they're in town (which is only like three times a year so that's not too bad).

Hmmm. Chicken curry! Eat the sauce with a spoon. :-)

This used to be one of my regular haunts. It's been too long! Now I'll have to get back there ASAP!

Too bad you missed the lentil soup. The salad is decent (I believe it's a cucumber curry dressing, no?) but the soup is beyond excellent.

Nearly every time I go here I end up ordering the Koftachalow (Afghani-style meatballs), despite telling myself I'm going to try something new. For some reason I just can't pass them up. Mmmmmm...

House dressing is delicious - cucumber, curry, yogurt...the soup is ultimate comfort food, with lamb, beef, chicken, red beans, chick peas, rich, spicy broth, and a dollop of yogurt sauce. I usually just do soup, salad, and the flatbread - there are three delicious chutneys on the table to enjoy with it.

Kabul holds a very special place in our hearts. It's where my wife had her culinary epiphany. I kept trying to get her to try something (anything) other than her one dish at her one standby restaurant. Finally, after sufficient badgering, she signed off on a Kabul run. It helped that I promised to order a dish that I was 99% sure she’d like, and thus we could trade if she guessed wrong. Every single dish was a home run. She’d never had such flavors before. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, it changed her life. Hard not to love a place that could change lives with a plate (or two) of food.

Sometimes, their vegetarian couscous is the only thing that can get me through a cold night at the library.

I've had several things on the menu and love them, but the Moroccan Lemon Chicken and a bowl of Mashawa soup are my standbys. Especially when it's cold outside! I even found a recipe for mashawa to make at home here in Milwaukee. I have to hit Kabul whenever I'm in Madison!

Definitely worth coming to Madtown for. My favorite is definitely Qabuli Murgh(not sure of the spelling), chicken with spicy red sauce, carrots, raisins, and saffron rice. I wish you could buy their red chili sauce; I'd put it on everything!

I can vouch for the authenticity of the authentic Afghan chef at Kabul. And the 'flatbread' is really called nan. Now I'm craving Kabul!

One of my favorite restaurants in town. Love the chicken curry, humus plate, lamb kabob. Everything I have eaten here is spectacular. But you gotta love garlic!

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