Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bites and Nibbles @ Maimana

The medley of snow, rain and ice pellets falling from the sky during rush hour on Thursday afternoon made it impossible to go faster than 20 kilometers /hour. I was really anxious to get home - hubby and I made a date that morning - we will go out for a nice dinner and I promised to be home by 6:30. By the time I reached our drive way it was already 8 PM, I was tired, no more appetite for anything solid (I just want a  glass of Pinot Grigio) and definitely not in the mood to go out anymore. Jayvee on the other hand was excited to try a new restaurant on a small strip just near our place so I gave in and went to MAIMANA.  

When I read the word NAAN on the restaurant's sign, my appetite returned because I thought I am in for spicy Indian Cuisine. I was corrected by the friendly owner Wahlid {who is also a very good photographer - all the pictures on the menu and the framed photos in the restaurants are his}  who welcomed  and informed us that their family is from Maimana, a province in northern Afghanistan, near the Turkmenistan border.
Excited to have my first Afghani food, we sampled the Beef Tikka Kabob and Chicken Tandoori Kabob. The meal came with a fresh garden salad, "plain rice" and naan bread.


The meat (both chicken and beef) were succulent and delicious. I have to say  the chicken tandoori is one of the best (if not the best) I ever had. They call their rice "plain rice" on the menu but plain it was not. It was very good and tasty.  I can have it anytime even on its own. That naan bread was different from the Indian naan - this one was thicker and crustier but delicious as well. It was still hot when they serve it to us which made it more delectable.
After dinner, Wahlid gave us a sample of Ferni for dessert after learning that I love Kheer (Indian rice pudding). Ferni is an Afghani dessert made from milk and rice (or rice starch) flavored with rose water, cardamom and pistachio {the one we had was topped with walnut}. It was very light and silky - just a hint of sweetness and a subtle flavor of cardamom and rose water. A perfect way to end the meal.

As I am writing this, we are already planning my next visit to bring a couple of friends there for lunch. I want to try the Mantoo {steamed dumpling pastry shells filled with onions & ground beef, topped with yellow split peas & served with seasoned yogurt} and Boolani {pan-fried twin pastry shell, filled with leek (green onion) & spiced potatoes, served with yogurt and mint}.
Maimana is a true gem in our neck of the woods!

MAIMANA Naan & Kabab
    279 Kingston Road East
    Ajax, Ontario

Maimana Naan & Kabab Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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