Afghan Shaheen, 231 Hampshire Road, Sunshine.
The success of Afghan Master Kebab in Sunshine has seemingly inspired others to try their luck with likeminded eateries.
Further afield, in Fooscray, Kebab Surra has made its mark.
In Sunshine, it appears there will be three new kids on the block.
One, already open, is situated in the food court at Sunshine Plaza and yet to be investigated.
Another, on the wider bit of Hampshire Road, still has newspapered windows.
Afghan Shaheen is up and running on the narrower part of Hampshire, heading towards the station.
It’s done out in cheerful cafe style with ornate and shiny furniture.
It’s an Afghani eatery with a few twists thrown in.
You’ll find the chargrilled meats that are the principal reason of the much-love for the already established places.
As well, though, the menu (see below) features a longish list of straight-up Indian dishes and even an Indo-Chinese section.
Additionally, Afghan Shaheen is big on baking.
One display contains a glistening range of Indian-style sweet treats that go for $18 a kilogram.
Another cabinet displays many biscuits that look just like Italian-style biscotti.
I’m told, however, that they really are Afghani!
Rest assured, though, they contain heaps of butter.
They sell for a terrific $16 a kilogram – I’m surprised how many I get for $7.
A bowl namakpura (top photograph) – cumin-seasoned strips of deep-fried pastry – are brought without being ordered.
Playing the same sort of teasing role as papadums, they’re yummy.
Lamb kebab ($13.99) has superb chargrilled meat of high quality – the de-skewered chunks shown here are only half of what is served.
The bread is good but unlike either regular naan or the more chewy, crusty bread delivered at Afghan Master Kebab or Kebab Surra.
What I first mistakenly take to be some kind of soup turns out to be an excellent mint dipping sauce – a vinegary version of the pale green version often served.
It’s piquant and delicious.
Curry and rice for $13.99 doesn’t sound like such a crash-hot deal but qabuli palaw is excellent.
The same, good bread.
The same salad bits
Fluffy white rice studded with moist currants and festooned with cooked, tender and sweet carrot strands.
The lamb “qorma” itself is mildly spiced but as deep in flavour as it is deep in brown.
The lamb is of the same high quality and tenderness as found in the kebab serving.
With its many bits and pieces, this $15 dish could easily suffice as a meal for two.