Nawabo se Kababo tak: Al Afadil reintroduces the mouth watering Chicken pasanda in unique nawabi style
Kabab- The very mention of the word fills the mouth with water. Simply put, a kabab is any grilled meat dish, which is eaten either with rice or bread, or just on its own with a few dips.
Al Afadhil first opened on Dubai Creek in 1979 and moved several times before settling in its current location in Al Wahda, Sharjah. This restaurant is known for 3 things: It’s killer Lucknawi kabab; perhaps the world’s best lassi; and parathas. The thin, flat, pasty-at-bottom-crunchy-at-top kababs are served with onions and tamarind chutney (also made at the restaurant). And you have no option but to wash it all down with Canada Dry Lemon Soda, as this must perhaps be the only restaurant in the country that only stocks Canada Dry Lemon Soda, and no other carbonated drinks.
One of the specialities is “galouti kebab” that takes about 14 hours to prepare. The dish has its roots in the historic royal kitchens of Lucknow and consists of tenderised, soft lamb mixed with spices, slow-cooked and served with a tamarind chutney that is a family secret.
Recently they have introduced a new dish in the menu with such a nawabi style of serving called Chicken Pasanda. The presentation of the dish is totally in the style of mughals with the use of sword. The customers are saying “Ek aur Talwar le aao” This dish costs only Dh19.
Al Afadhil (it loosely translates as “generous”) moved from its first location in Dubai to Sharjah’s Bank Street in the 1980s. Bank Street has since been restored to a heritage area known as the Heart of Sharjah but it was here where the restaurant made its name. Scores of workers in offices and banks there came in droves in search of a taste of home.
A second branch opened in Dubai’s Karama in 2014 which is now the most popular of the two.
Al Afdhil restaurant was founded by Mr Syed Jafar Husain. Mr Husain left his job in sales and opened a small restaurant named Al Afadhil dedicated to the traditional food of his home city. He never hired a chef and made the food himself. He died in 2018 but his legacy is being carried on by his two sons, Mohammed, 30, and Mustafa, 27.
It has become renowned among generations from Lucknow and, to this day, has only a handful of items on the menu.
The one thing you feel after eating at this joint is the food tastes like home. It is a small and unassuming place but the quality of the food is very high.