I just knew that I would have to eat at the Afghan Horsemen restaurant sometime while I was in Vancouver after hearing my friend Ed's (Kaspian) account of his visit there. It gets embellished a little more every time that I tell it but I'm pretty sure it involved poor Ed reluctantly removing his shoes, a waiter stepping on his foot, and a normally docile 6'5" Canadian stabbing a waiter with his fork (is that accurate Ed?). Lucky for me, I'm not 6'5" and I would be shoeless 365 days a year weather permitting so I was perfectly content to sit in the cushioned area where shoelessness is required. But I made sure I watched my feet when the waiters were around!
Sitting down on the cushioned floor didn't present much of a challenge but I wish I had Hansi's video camera to record all of us trying to get up after being stuffed full of food not to mention a little alcohol. ;-)
Since there was a large group of us, we had almost the whole cushioned area to ourselves although VT ambassador Gerry engaged the table next to him in conversation and I'm pretty sure recruited a few more members for VT.
Favorite Dish: We were seated at tables of three so Gerry, Stephanie and I shared a combo meat/vegetarian platter that had chicken and beef kebabs, pork shoulder, eggplant, fried potatoes and some other vegetables that naturally I didn't eat. Everything was terrific and I left absolutely stuffed.
I was a little leary when Robert (rmdw) said we were coming here for dinner. I warned him that I was quite the fussy eater, but I promised I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Dinner was great! I was able to try something new, and we even dined in traditional Afghan style with low tables, and cushions on the floor (shoes off). A large menu with tons of choices.
Favorite Dish: I had the beef shish kebab, but even the taxi driver raved about the lamb here.
I grew up just 5 blocks from this restaurant but never went until midway through my 42nd year. I am such a fool!! I'm usually quite adventurous in my culinary pursuits but for some reason had never been here before. And the night my friends & I went, we pretty much ended up here by accident. But it was definitely the best "accident" that ever happened to me!!
The restaurant has been operated by an Afghan family since 1974. But we were greeted by the lovely hostess Jill, who is extremely welcoming and kind, though not intrusive. She asked if we wanted to wait for one of the cushioned areas (more authentic) or go to a table right away. We ended up at a table though if it were a more romantic meal then the cushions are a must!
Favorite Dish: The menus are quite diverse but since it was our first time, we opted to get a few platters. All items were great but the lamb was absolutely spectacular!! In fact, one of my friends and I agreed that it was the very best lamb we had ever tasted.
For dessert I opted for the milk pudding and my friends tried an Afghan version of baklava. Both were delicious!
With a bottle of wine, the meal worked out to about $90 + tip for the three of us. So not cheap, but we were sooooooo full. This surely was one of the very best meals I've had in a long time!!
Reservations are recommended.
We picked this restaraunt because we had never tried this style of food before and were interested. Make a reservation to sit in the cushion room- but you may be put on a time limit. Expect dinner to take atleast 1 1/2 hours. You are asked to remove your shoes and sit on cushions against the wall. There are a lot of cultural artifacts to help paint a picture of the land who's you'll be eating.
Favorite Dish: We ordered the Afghan tea, a black tea with cardamon (a nice thing to try if your into trying different teas). Never having eaten this style of food before, we ordered the Afghan Horseman Platter (for two). This came with lamb shishkabobs, chicken breast shishkabobs, some kind of fried potato, eggplant and lamb shoulder. This was delicious and the choice of the proprietor to keep the lights low was a good idea-this way you don't see exactly what your seeing and take a chance! The flavors were not to extreme, unlike what we were expecting. Choose the firni for dessert- "a special milk pudding with cardamon." Its cool, sweet and the sprinkling of cardamon makes it just perfect. Almost too little to share for two!
The Horsemen has two sections...one has the option of sitting at tables or on cushions on a raised platform room. I highly recommend cushions, only wear loose-fitting clothing (no spray-on pants!). The room is tres cool and has swags of fabric hanging from the ceiling and walls...the perfect romantic locale. Go on Friday or Saturday for a late-ish dinner and catch the belly dancer!!
Favorite Dish: Meat on a stick...usually comes with AWESOME greek salad, rice, veggies, etc.
AFGHAN HORSEMEN RESTAURANT: Gavin did the sweetest thing and threw a surprise birthday party for me (with Audrey and Jen's help)...it was perfect! I will never forget that night...and how much effort and love was put into making it unforgettable! The photo is with Randy, Matt, and Roger. Eric is on the right and Duc is on the left.
I LOVE the carpets and the pillows that you just lounge around on. It's a very exotic experience! I'd love to have a room like this one day in my own home...
Favorite Dish: The platters...both the veggie and the meat platters are FANTASTIC!
An extraordinary experience, and fantastic food. This restaurant was Larry's favourite out of all BC trip.
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