Hurray for Afghan Food in Oakland

My book club recently read Khaled Hosseini’s book “And The Mountains Echoed” which partially takes place in Afghanistan. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we didn’t have to travel to get Afghani food for our meeting place. Kamdesh Afghan Kabob House located at 14th Street and Harrison near Oakland Chinatown opened about two years ago. Although I walked by it a lot because it is near my workplace, I didn’t think much of it because it replaced a very mediocre Korean restaurant.

I became really excited about eating at Kamdesh after reading the yelp reviews. Our party shared some mantoo, which are Afghan dumplings filled with ground beef, onions and seasonings, topped with yoghurt sauce and sautéed vegetables. They were fantastic.
It was fun to watch one of the cooks wrap them with lots of love. It reminded me a lot of how Chinese wontons are made.
Each of us ordered our own lunch plates. One of my friends and I agreed to split two plates. She ordered the eggplant borani which is eggplant with garlic and onions topped with a zesty yoghurt sauce, which came with basmati rice. The eggplant was completely tender and bursting with flavor.
I could not go to a “Kabob House” and not have some kabobs, so I ordered the chicken thigh kabobs. They were charbroiled to perfection and came with a grilled tomato and basmati rice. The kabobs were juicy and delicious. I was quite happy.
To tell the truth, I rarely ever think of eating Afghan food, but I think Kamdesh will soon be added to my repertoire.