Sun-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight
6 at 28th St.
$9.95 - $17.95
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
8th St. to 60th St., FDR Dr. to Fifth Ave.
Named for the city in which two ancient, massive limestone statues of the Buddha were infamously destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, Bamiyan represents a welcome respite from the Chinese and Indian restaurants that populate this neighborhood, sandwiched between Curry Hill and Murray Hill. The typical Afghani charcoal-grilled kebobs are adequately and competently represented, with the addition of a few exotic kebab choices, such as tender filet mignon and Cornish Game Hen. But even more dramatic surprises await those who are willing to experiment: Aushak, dumplings stuffed with scallions, and Mantoo, meat dumplings topped with yogurt and red kidney beans are worth a try for novelty's sake, but skip the Asheh Keshida, thick, chewy, homemade pasta, made unnecessarily rich with yogurt and an excess of butter. Fesenjan, boneless chicken with pomegranate and walnuts, is tasty, though a tad overwhelmed by a thick, sweet tangy sauce. Sweet and savory spices combine to produce the delicate flavors of Bouranee Kadu, sautéed and baked squash drizzled with garlic-mint yogurt, and Shireen Palow, saffron rice with orange peel, almonds, and pistachios. The mood inside is low-key: couples and families get cozy against embroidered Afghani throw pillows by the wrap-around windows.Recommended Dishes
Bouranee kadu, $6.95; shireen palow, $16.95