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Afghan Cuisine introduces flavors of Middle East to Renton
Encouraged by the success of Seattle’s Kabul Afghan Cuisine, a father and son team are bringing delectable delights of Afghan food to Renton, with a new restaurant.
Father Aliahmad Ibrahimi and son “Toby” Tabish Ibrahimi opened Afghan Cuisine on Bronson Way S. in June.
Locals seem to be enjoying the savory dishes, as the restaurant is frequented by Boeing workers and local Middle Easterners living in Renton.
“It’s been really good; people are really supportive,” said Toby Ibrahimi. “People like the food a lot; people are treating us well. We’ve got the Boeing (crowd). Our prices are really reasonable, our portions are big, so people are happy.”
So what does Afghan food taste like?
“Our food’s not spicy; our food’s not bland either,” he said. “It has a lot of flavor to it.”
When asked if it’s comparable to Indian food at all, Toby Ibrahimi said Afghan is more like Greek or Mediterranean food than Indian food. It has a nice texture, he said.
Afghan Cuisine’s menu features Qabuli Pallow, one of the most well-known dishes from Afghanistan. It’s marinated lamb shank, cooked slowly with brown basmati rice and topped with raisins and julienned carrots.
Aliahmad is the main chef and has cooked in Europe and the San Francisco, Bay Area.
“People really love his lamb, it falls right off the bone,” said his son. “Also the rice that comes with the lamb is really amazing.”
The menu also features kabobs and mantoos, which are handmade dumplings, filled with ground beef and onions and topped with dry mint and yogurt. Afghan Cuisine’s curries don’t use curry powder; they let the dish simmer to create the curry. And no monosodium glutamate or MSG is used in the dishes, according to Toby Ibrahimi.
For Vegetarians, he stresses the care the restaurants takes with preparing those dishes as well. All of the utensils, equipment and storage for vegetarian meals is kept separate from the utensils and storage for the meat dishes.
Aliahmad Ibrahimi is originally from Afghanistan and Toby was born in Germany and has yet to visit the country. Toby has heard and learned all about the country known for it’s hospitality growing up.
“Our main goal is to educate people about Afghanistan because all you see is about war,” Toby Ibrahimi said. “But Afghanistan was such a peaceful country,” he said referring to the era before the Soviet Union invaded in 1979.
“I really want to tell people about Afghanistan and how beautiful it is,” said Toby Ibrahimi.