It’s convoluted, callously cruel and entirely self-serving, but my stance on British foreign policy is developing into an aggressively expansionist posture. Look it: In the last 15 years we’ve invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, generating a huge refugee population some of whom made their way to London to open delicious restaurants. So here’s what we do: Double down on trident and start lobbing some of those babies around; re-institute conscription and increase the size of the army tenfold (I’d be the first to join up of course, but I have a bad back); start invading Japan, Argentina, Tuscany, Paris and a restaurant in Barcelona I like. The humanitarian cost would be catastrophic. World peace would be set back 100 years. Britain would surely succumb to UN-sanctioned counter-attacks from the US, Russia and Bella Italia (note the lacklustre cuisines) and be splintered into occupied fragments of countries. But for 15 minutes the hostelries of London would be the envy of the world. War correspondents would flock to our shores to eye-witness report the finest sushi, penne puttanesca, sirloin steak and foie gras on the planet. A vote for Del Monte is a vote for the tastiest all-out annihilation.
This is all by way of saying I like Afghan/Afghani/Afghanistani cuisine. Myself, Mrs Del Monte, S.I.L. Horse, Filly and Bat headed to Afghan Kitchen having booked a table before – booking is important as it gets very busy. There are 5 tables in the whole place and it is clean and cosy with a cheerfully simple menu, excellent service and pleasant environs. I did not look at all foolish by asking for the real Afghan/Afghani/Afghanistani dishes (all of them) and in the short wait for the meals to arrive I was unsurprised to not be able to enjoy a tall, cool Afghan/Afghani/Afghanistani beer as there was none on the menu.
The lamb and spinach was terrific – not really very different from saag, but tasty and succulent. I’m always amazed how restaurants disappear the metallic bitterness from spinach. I suspect sorcery. The lamb and potato dish had both in large quantities, also tasty. Taking first prize was chicken in yoghurt which sounds like something your infant baby might concoct with a miscontrolled flick of its spork, but was tangy and minty and defended fiercely by those clever enough to order it. I’ll be going back to order some more of that minty yoghurt chicken. £87 for 6 people, including booze and 10% service charge.
35 Islington Green
020 7359 8019