In incredibly good news for everyone in Sydney right now, Kabul Social, a brand new social impact and (seriously) delectable Afghan eatery, has just opened its doors in Sydney's CBD.
Sydneysiders, trust us. Your weekly working lunch just hit new, intergalactically excellent heights.
This bright blue-hued casual diner is tucked away on the ground floor of the MetCentre, fitted out with richly embroidered seats inspired by Afghan wedding outfits and the royal blue colours of Kabul, this takeaway joint is run by an all-female team of Afghan refugees, with this cast of passionate and community-driven women having been in Australia for as little as two months.
Part of Time Out’s futureshaper Shaun Christie-David’s PlateItForward initiative, Kabul Social joins Sydney stalwart, Colombo Social as another bastion of incredible social impact dining, training and employing new Afghan refugees arrivals in Sydney, whilst also following an incredible ‘giving squared’ model, with every meal sold in the Sydney store automatically donating one meal to a family in need in Afghanistan through Sydney and Afghanistan-based charity, Mahboba's Promise, and another to local Afghan communities starting to settle into new lives in Australia.
Essentially: this is a takeaway lunch that you can feel bloody good about.
Peddling traditional Afghan food in takeaway and dine-in form, punters will be lucky enough to try a number of the women’s own family recipes. You can expect juicy handmade dumplings stuffed with garlic and chives (ausak) or spiced lamb (mantu), that come saturated in a delightfully spiced tomato and lentil sauce, as well as a wonderfully garlicky mint yoghurt. There are also the cheeky Kabuli burgers, wrapped in the thin, crispy and perfectly handmade traditional Afghan bread that is made hot to order by Yakut, Kabul Social’s resident bread queen.
This street food can be eaten on its own, or used to wrap up your choice of either charcoal chicken, slow-cooked lamb, eggplant or pumpkin with hot chips and a green chilli or red pepper chutney. You can also snag yourself a build-your-own lunchbox, stuffed with delicately spiced steamed rice known as mash palaw, along with chicken and lamb shoulder, customising it as you wish.
Roya, Kabul Social’s HR Manager, arrived in Australia from Afghanistan in December 2021. Roya, amongst a whole plethora of other tertiary qualifications, had a masters in Gender Studies In Afghanistan, and a Bachelors in Business Administration, but she knew she wanted to work, something that became particularly more pertinent to her after the Taliban returned last year.
When the Taliban came, she said, “We lost everything. There was nothing left.” She fled, and, after being thrown around throughout Australia, she finally settled in Sydney.
“I was looking to work, and to study”, she says, on her arrival. “But then, Shaun called me, and asked if I wanted to work with him.”
Roya says that she loves the underpinning philosophy of giving two meals out for the price of one, with providing for, and championing for her community – both in Australia, and back in Afghanistan being something that is of paramount importance to her, as well as all the other incredible women running the joint.
For them all, Kabul Social is a tangible way through which they can work to protect and bolster themselves, and their people.
Now, in good news for Sydneysiders everywhere, we have the chance to come along for the ride too.