Malta’s First Afghani Restaurant Has Landed In Ħamrun And It's Ethnic Perfection
Naan bread like no other
Safi Abdul Haq and Hameed Rehaman moved to Malta from Afghanistan in January and quickly noticed there were no restaurants offering cuisine from their home country. So they opened one: the very first Afghan restaurant in Malta.
Those who’ve tried Afghan Natural’s lamb curry know it’s like treating your taste buds to a festival of spices. And there's a lot more where that came from.
Afghan Natural Food in Ħamrun has only been operating since April, but it's already made huge waves with its carefully prepared ethnic cuisine. Menu items may look familiar to your typical local kebab shop - with lamb kebabs, lamb and chicken curry, naan bread and chicken tikka – but rest assured, this restaurant's approach to satisfying customers couldn’t be further from standard.
Safi and Hameed personally conduct diligent ingredient-quality control to ensure all food prepared for their customers is as fresh as possible. They refuse to display their meats in temperamental display coolers – as most other Middle-Eastern restaurants do – so they don’t compromise any of their meticulously marinated meats.
The result? A restaurant which looks somewhat bare from the outside, with food that is bursting with spices and fresh flavour. That’s a fair trade in our book.
Afghan Natural’s popularity has been growing rapidly – all through word of mouth. Some of Malta’s top chefs and restaurateurs have been known to stop by to observe Safi’s artistic approach to cooking his ethnic dishes using a traditional clay Afghan tandoor. Many of Malta’s top chefs have since become regulars.
“We’re the first Afghan restaurant in Malta – and when we decided to open a traditional Afghan restaurant here, some people said, ‘No, no…just make it a Turkish restaurant like all of the others…’ We wouldn’t do that though,” Hameed said.
“We wanted to share real Afghan food, and real Afghan culture with the people of Malta. We want to show people what our culture is really all about. And sharing our food is a great way to do that. So our sign out front proudly says Afghan. Natural. Food.”
"We want to show people what our culture is really all about. And sharing our food is a great way to do that."
Safi chimed in from beside the tandoor where he was preparing fresh naan bread: “And 'natural' is just as important. All fresh and natural foods with homeopathic properties. You feel good as you eat it, and you feel great after.”
After trying some of their most highly recommended dishes – the lamb curry and lamb kebab - Lovin Malta realised Afghan Natural had lived up to the grassroots-hype. Safi was absolutely right, the food not only tasted significantly fresher than similar items you might find at a Turkish restaurant, but there was no grease-induced food-coma afterwards.
Safi cooks his meats twice in order to remove all fat – which also helps customers with the guilt factor of eating out.
Being able to watch Safi throughout his entire traditional cooking process helped tremendously as well. You can taste the concentration and care he pours into each and every individual order.
Your only regret will be not having visited Afghan Natural Food sooner, we promise you.