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Kandahar Oak Tree Road

1380 Oak Tree Road
Iselin, NJ 08830

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Kandahar Iselin : Delicious Afghani & Turkish Food

When I heard that Lovely Restaurant in Iselin Oak Tree Road had been replaced (the sweets/snacks portion survives) by a Afghani/Turkish restaurant Kandahar, I quickly made time to vist the new place.

Like a lot of Oak Tree Road restaurants, Kandahar will not win any awards for fine ambience.

My Kandahar Order

Kandahar, as the name suggests, offers a variety of Afghani and Turkish food items.

For my dinner, I choose two Chicken dishes and a Lamb item.

My Chicken dishes were Chicken Gyro Shawarma over Pita Roll ($5.00) and Chicken Adana over Afghani Rice ($10.00).

Lamb Shish Kebab over Turkish Rice ($12.00) was my lamb pick.

Here's my take on Afghani entrees I tried at Kandahar on Oak Tree Road:

Tasty Chicken Gyro Shawarma on Pita Roll

Of the three items, the Chicken Gyro was the clear winner in terms of price, value, taste and flavor.

If you are starving, this sandwich can more than satisfy you.

chicken gyro pita
Nice Chicken Gyro Pita
The sandwich consisted of chicken that was on the rotating grill, and very tender and moist, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, white sauce, and hot sauce.

Every bite put us in hog heaven.

One should definitely try the Gyro at this place before going to any of the local sandwich joints.

Lamb Shish Kebab on Turkish Rice

Lamb Kababs were very flavorful, and well done.

The pieces were marinated in exotic Afghani spices for an extended period of time.

And the lamb pieces almost melt in your mouth.

Man, the sheer thought of it has me drooling.

Most other places have lamb that is chewy, not flavorful like this.

lamb over turkish rice
Lamb on Turkish Rice
chicken adana over afghani rice
Chicken Adana on Afghani Rice

Chicken Adana on Afghani Rice

Chicken Adana over Afghani Rice was very delicious and flavorful.

The chicken is placed in skews, and barbequed over a charcoal grill.

They had the right amount of heat, and spices.

The sides consisted of delicious Afghani salad, which was cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and lettuce.

The rice was impeccable, just the way most Afghani restaurants make it, which is achieved by using burnt sugar to coat the rice.

Afghani rice also contained raisins, and a few pieces of other dry fruits.

Kandahar Ambiance

This is a rare restaurant in the entire Iselin/Edison area that has one of the owners behind the counter (older guy in glasses).

Kandahar is a small portion of the entire Lovely Sweets Store, which is still there, but now only carries sweets, and snacks such as Samosas, and Mirchi Wadas.

The overall ambience of the restaurant was mediocre, and you can sit and eat there if you don't mind the activity inside, as well as outside on the street. What I mean is, there are more people coming in to order food to take out than people sitting and eating inside, but that could also be because it is Ramadaan, and most Muslims are fasting.

The second thing that struck me was that one of the owners, who happens to be Afghani was at the grill in the kitchen. The fact that these guys don't have any Mexicans working in the kitchen puts them ahead of the pack. Mastering the nuances of a different cuisine is a hard task if not an impossibility for outsiders.

The portions were generous.

Some things that I am willing to forgive are, a totally dull, and idiotic order taker, who couldn't figure out why three of my credit cards were not working, which was in fact caused because their credit card processor being down, which was not obvious to him. So the man in the kitchen had to come out and tell him.

The sitting area wore a deserted look, but that could be because of the Ramadan festival, but I must say I saw three people take out orders over $50.00. That is brisk business in my book (in a span of 20 minutes).

Kandahar Rating - Go For It

Price Range - Moderate
Food Quality - Home Style
Value - Excellent
Condiments/Plasticware/Paper Towels - More than required (Very Generous)

In an ocean of meaningless, flavorless, and pathetic restaurants, Kandahar is a pleasant respite.

I think the God of good food took pity on starving desis in New Jersey, and sent this restaurant as a blessing to them.

If good, authentic Afghani restaurant is what you are looking for, then Kandahar is your answer.

As for me, I can't wait to return to Kandahar again. - © OakTreeRoad.us

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