Given the long links between Afghanistan and Australia its surprising there aren't more good Afghan restaurants around. Most experiences around town (in this case Adelaide) of food passed off as Afghan comes from a fairly typical kebab shop. On the other hand Parwana - which translates as 'Butterfly' - is a family run café/restaurant providing unfamiliar and unexpected combinations of flavours and textures that should be both a neighbourhood favourite and somewhere to take visitors in search of something different.
Ashak are leek dumplings with lamb and yoghurt-mint sauces. Quite strongly flavoured, the leek flavour easily came through the lamb sauce, in comparison with most dumplings where the emphasis would be on the meat rather than the vegetable component.
Basmati Rice with chicken pieces, topped with caramelised carrot, sultanas, slivered almond and pistachio. Again, unusual with its emphasis definitely on the rice and toppings rather than the chicken pieces embedded within it.
While alright, both my brother and I thought this wasn't as good as the other dishes. This could have been because it was more familiar so we were a bit tougher in assessing it. Slightly chewy and a little dry, it didn't have the same interesting combination of textures or flavours. A couple of extra pieces of naan would also have been appreciated.
Rose flavoured ice cream combined with pistachio slivers. Very good. While the other dishes provided strong flavours, this ice cream was much more delicate with the slivers of nuts breaking up its creamy texture and making it a more interesting dish. Undoubtedly my favourite of the night.
Ice cream with saffron jelly, rose syrup and basil seeds. My brother thought this was the best dish of the night and better than the sheeryakh. In fact, I missed out on this one because he scoffed the lot while I was still trying my dessert!
Ambience - 7.5
Service - 7
Food - 7.5
Price - 7
Almost all Asian restaurants in Australia are either East Asian or Indian. With its friendly service, simple and not overly crowded eating space and unusual flavour combinations, Parwana provides a reminder of the enormity and variety of Asia and its cuisines.
124b Henley Beach Road
Torrensville SA 5031
Ph: (08) 8443 9001