My penurous state has meant that I haven't been in a position to indulge myself fully in rediscovering the joys of the Canberran restaurant scene, however that does not mean I have been entirely stuck at home researching old recipes.
In fact, the other day I found a little gem that I thought I really had to share with you.
The Koochi Afghan cafe is in Gungahlin - yes I know for many of my Canberra readers, this is the equivalent of outer Mongolia, and I admit that I was not holding out a great deal of hope to find a decent meal.
But Koochi sparked my curiosity and I decided to give it a go.
The restaurant was quiet (but so was the whole of the area at the time), with only a solo diner and a small family beside myself. I was invited to sit anywhere, and settled myself down in a window seat.
The decor is all very modern, apart from the rather charming ceiling which has wooden beams and is hung with modified kerosine lamps.
I ordered a cup of tea and chose for my lunch Borrani Bonjon - described as pan-fried eggplant, topped with tomatoes, onions and drizzled with yoghurt and dried mint, served with rice.
Now I do love a bit of well prepared aubergine, and as the dish was placed before me I had to admire the colour and presentation - a rich red, swirled with yoghurt. They gave me the dish of aubergine, rice, a yoghurt based dip, and a fresh condiment that they called chutney - but you need to imagine something more like a light chilli dressing.
The scent of my dish was so tempting I took a bite immediately. Oh my. What a glorious balance of sweet and savoury and of delicate spices. It was at that moment that I decided that I had to write this review. That is why the photo I took (which I will post shortly) has a bite out of it.
I didn't quite get to the point of licking the plate, but I can promise you, there was not a morsel left of that dish. The price of this memorable meal? $12 for the dish itself - prices for meals range from 12 to 32 dollars, depending mostly on the meat factor. There is a 32 platter to share for two, which I would like to try next time..
Try it... go on, head out to outer Mongolia and let me know if you love it too!
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