Afghan Rahimi’s is a unique and opulent traditional Afghan restaurant, nestled in the heart of Dandenong.
Afghani flavours are not the most commonly found in Australia, but Baryalai describes them as rich but modest and the perfect example of cross-cultural cuisines.
“To be honest, Afghan food is getting more and more popular, not specifically in the south-east of Melbourne, but Australia-wide.
“I get customers internationally from Malaysia, Europe, Singapore etc booking electronically online before they arrive here, the majority of our customers are not local customers, they do not live in Dandenong, they travel from far and wide.”
Afghan food, as a cuisine is very fresh and not at all spicy the way some people imagine.
“Afghani food typically uses lots of fresh ingredients like tomatoes, peas, onions, coriander, celery, all fresh ingredients.
“We do use a bit of cumin powder and cardamom powder, but apart from these it is all fresh I use over 200kg of fresh tomatoes a week. We crush it, cook it and even use it raw!” Says Baryalai.
Trading Plates sampled a number of dishes in a banquet style meal. Delicious meatballs in a rich tomato puree with fresh peas, Afhgani rice, chicken skewers char-grilled and juicy, flavoursome, tender grilled eggplant doused in skim yoghurt and gravy, lentil dahl, and most importantly, the steamed dumplings.
“They are very healthy. You cannot find one dish on our menu with fat and oil, it is very light food, which is one of the reasons we are busy.”
The dumplings were not only our favourite dish on the menu but they are also the favourite of Baryalai and Masterchef food critic, Matt Preston, who helped Baryalai serve the popular dish at the 2014 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
“Matt Preston did his first review of them was in 2001, it is a steam cooked dish, no oil at all, lots of good flavours, natural with skim yoghurt topping, it is my favourite,” says Baryalai .
23 – 29 Walker St Dandenong,