A bit over a year after The Taliban took over Kabul, a new Sydney social enterprise cafe opened called Kabul Social. The CBD venue is located on the ground level of the MetCentre and celebrates the food, stories, culture, and people of Afghanistan.
It's the new venue from the Plate It Forward team (who are also behind Colombo Social), who have employed and trained Afghan refugees. The restaurant is managed by Swita, who came to Australia from Afghanistan just six months prior to Kabul Social's opening. She leads a predominantly female team who underwent a month-long training program via Plate It Forward, and who are the driving force behind the venue.
Not only that but, for every meal purchased at Kabul Social, the team donate two meals—one to disadvantaged communities in Sydney and the other to families in Afghanistan through not-for-profit Mahboba's Promise.
"Our hope with Kabul Social is to not only highlight the issues of Afghan people and refugees by bringing forward these voices, but also encourage people to see how simple it can be to start creating change, and create meaningful impact through something as simple as buying your lunch," says Kaboul Social Founder and Plate It Forward Co-Founder Shaun Christie-David.
The small, vibrant blue-hued diner is mostly geared for takeaway, with 25 seats available for those who wish to dine in. The colourway pays homage to the Afghanistan capital and its stunning blue buildings, while gold finishings and tiled tabletops are a nod to traditional Afghan fabrics and textiles.
Dishes include fresh, handmade mantu (spiced lamb dumplings) and aushak (garlic chive dumplings) topped with tomato and lentil sauce and mint yoghurt; chicken or vegetarian kabuli "burgers", which are more like a gyros with made-to-order Afghan bread made by the venue's "Chief of Bread" Yakut; and sides such as crinkle cut fries, spiced mung bean rice, and an onion, tomato and cucumber salad. You can also opt to build your own "Loaded Box" with your choice of base, protein, and sauces.
Image credit: Kitti Gould