Bilal Afghani Restaurant

Afghan treats in International City 17 Reviews

afghan817_1
© ITP Images

Given Afghanistan’s proximity to Dubai it’s surprising there aren’t more Afghani restaurants floating around. To date we’ve only uncovered two, in Deira and Al Quoz. When I was alerted to a third in International City, named simply Afghan Cuisine, I was intrigued. For those who don’t know, International City is divided into neighbourhoods named after countries. I wondered why the owners of Afghan Cuisine decided to open their restaurant in ‘Russia’ – a choice that seemed, at the very least, unfortunate.

There are times when eating foreign cuisine can be intimidating. I remember a meal I had in a Kenyan restaurant in Deira where, as the only non-African in the room, I was met with an army of pointed stares. As my date found the ladies’ toilet, I tried to slide inconspicuously into a booth. Of course this didn’t work, and the owner promptly approached with menus and eager questions. I thought he would be shocked to find an American in his restaurant, but as it happened I was the one in for a surprise: he opened his mouth to reveal a California drawl.

The owner was eager to please and steered us towards an order of mantu – steamed dumplings stuffed with minced beef and onions and topped with yoghurt and dried mint. These dumplings felt like the kind of comfort food that could only come out of grandma’s kitchen. They were anything but bland, with wisps of mint and coriander giving substance to every bite. We moved onto banjan borani: slices of aubergine cooked in an oily tomato sauce and topped with yoghurt. It tasted excellent, especially when mopped up with doughy mounds of fresh baked bread, but while the flavour was there it hit the stomach like an anvil.

For mains we tried the kofta qorma, a tangy, tomato-based stew that is not to be confused with the cream-based Indian korma. The kofta were juicy, barely cohering meatballs of minced beef, and the marinade, toasty and piquant, gave the same reviving warmth as a winter fireplace. The chopan kebab, made with pieces of lamb on the bone served on top of a pile of rice, was let down slightly by the meat. It was by no means bad, but to excel it should have slid off the bone.

We wanted to order dessert but the owner was out of stock. To his credit this is due to the fact that he makes a fresh batch daily, and the batch he’d made earlier that day had sold out. Though disappointed, we were also slightly relieved as we were already unbearably full. We had feared that, despite its name, Afghan Cuisine would be indistinguishable from the myriad Arabic restaurants in this town. But it wasn’t. It was one of the most unique dining experiences we’d had in a long time and while it might be all the way out in Russia, it is worth the pilgrimage.

The bill (for two)
1x Large bottle water Dhs4
1x Mantu Dhs10
1x Banjan borani Dhs10
1x Bread Dhs2
1x Chopan kebab Dhs20
1x Kofta qorma Dhs15
Total (excluding service) Dhs61

By Daisy Carrington
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: International City, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 422 7922
  • Travel: International City, Russia, V14

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: muhib on 10 Apr ' 13 at 08:45
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Amazing Afghani food !!

Posted by: Billal on 08 May ' 12 at 09:03
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Dears,
I wants to Thank Every one for their nice comments and msgs, i will try to bring more facilities for you and your respected family to get better servinces for you in Future Insha Allah.

Address:
International City
Dubai
Russian V14
Billal Resturant

Posted by: Hamza on 09 May ' 11 at 11:23
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I have to say this restaurant is perfect in every way except the decoration which needs some renewals and the tables as well.Other than that the waiters are super friendly, the management is engaged and fast reactors. I would say it is the best restaurant in international city.

Posted by: Jd Rose on 19 Apr ' 10 at 11:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

After the renovation and change of ownership, the new Afghan Cuisine in International City is a disappointment compared to its predecessor!

There are no more succulent, mouth watering lamb chops or any of those surprisingly delightful mantu's on the menu!

Where can i go now to get some good Afghani Food?

Posted by: Jd Rose on 03 Dec ' 09 at 09:41

Sniff sniff!!! The owner with a 'californian drawl' has sold Afghan Cuisine. I am saddened to see the 'CLOSED - Under Renovation' sign on the doors! Im gonna miss the Chopan Kababs and Mantu!

I hope the new restaurant can live up to his predecessor...

Posted by: Shahbaz M.Khan on 29 Oct ' 09 at 11:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

First of all would like to thank the owners of this awesome restaurant for their hospitality, service and commitment. I invited my colleagues for lunch party, after pre-arranging with the owners. They committed to provide us with nice & tasty Afghani traditional dishes with good enough quantity which will surely be a memorable experience! And trust me guys, it was definitely a memorable experience. For most of my colleagues who belonged to different nationalities this was the first experience of having Afghani food to which they were reluctant in the beginning but after they had this food they didn't stop talking about it and will remember for a long time. Thanks to every member of AFGHAN CUISINE Restaurant. Keep it up guys! May Allah(swt) bless you with more success & prosperity!

Posted by: Jd Rose on 07 Oct ' 09 at 06:16
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I do take aways or home delivery twice a week. The food, as I would describe is as 'wholesome' and gives a feeling of 'home cooked'. The mantu (Dumplings) is quite refreshing and builds one's appetite for the main course! The grills are very very tender and juicy. I especially love the lamb!!! The rice on its own is yummy. Simply mouth watering...

And after a very satisfying meal, try their black tea!

hmmm... i think im gonna order there tonight...


Posted by: Ahmed on 06 Sep ' 09 at 10:18

I would like to go this resturant any body guide exact location, as i am new to Dubai. I know upto Dargon Mart.

Posted by: zunaira on 02 Sep ' 09 at 14:29
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I frequently go there or order from them food is amazing specially their afghani pulao its something to die for..plus the prices are very reasonable..do visit them & try their ramadan buffet its worth the money..only 30 AED...

Posted by: Ashwin Fernandes on 29 Aug ' 09 at 14:55
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

2nd visit to this restaurant wasnt very good, not happy with the mutton karayi as it was all boney.. however the price is really reasonable.

Posted by: Heba Hashem on 29 Aug ' 09 at 07:00

Brilliant review, thanks for showing us more of the ' real side of dubai'. The restaurant is cheap, and your description was very encouraging. Plus it's not located in Madinat Jumeirah! wow. lol Cant wait to check it out and will post again afterwards.

Posted by: Shetty on 28 Aug ' 09 at 18:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great food and real good value for money, kofta curry(meat ball curry) with rice and mantu was really good and filling :)

Posted by: marla on 26 Aug ' 09 at 11:44

WOW!!!!!!!! Food is GReat.....and the owner is a very friendly person who is willing to serve your needs.
The cost is excellent.......I would recommend this place for anyone ....just sit back and enjoy a homecooked meal. From my experience all their food is freshly made on site and is done with in minutes of your request...so ..really worth trying them out.
Enjoy ....Afghan food as never before and get hooked...: )

Posted by: Ashwin Fernandes on 24 Aug ' 09 at 14:13
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great Afghani food... i tried it for the first time and loved it... great food and great people there... i would go back.

Posted by: John on 24 Aug ' 09 at 07:48
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great Restaurant and delicious home cooked meals. I went here for Iftar yesterday and their buffet was only AED 30. Amazing value and great food. Would definitely go back again...

Posted by: Rissa on 20 Aug ' 09 at 08:42
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My boyfriend and I loved this restaurant. The owner is super friendly and the food is unreal! Thinking about the mantu makes my mouth water. All food is homemade and fresh which we very much appreciate. We read the Time Out Dubai review then drove a distance to get there with high hopes...we were not disappointed! We are big food lovers and have eaten at many places in Dubai from high end hotels to down to earth restaurants/cafes. We without a doubt go back here...probably sooner rather than later! I'm extremely impressed...this is the first time I have found a restaurant worthy of taking the time to write a review.

Posted by: Ali on 19 Aug ' 09 at 18:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

great food man................

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