Update 11/5/13: Kabul is closed for moving.
In a word: Not just good for Middle Eastern food, good food period.
The 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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nichole'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.