Going out to dinner in Kabul is an unpleasant experience with dim, empty streets and too many over-gunned check points so arriving at any restaurant is pleasant once through the security. Gandamak is well known and after a few minutes in the garden I appreciated the difference between an English garden and an Eastern one. In the East the garden is private and walled, for relaxing in, enjoying the shade of the trees, surrounded by flowers and often water; ideal for eating or for maidens to wander as they do in Indian miniatures depicting them. The typical English restaurant garden is a converted car park behind the pub with heavy, ugly tables and hard benches. Gardens in England are to be looked at from a distance or worked in.
In Kabul no one goes anywhere for quality food, least of all Gandamak with its Flashman associations which are a jolly reminder of England’s dismal history with Afghanistan. He was a macho womaniser little interested in fine dining. He was trained in an English public school to eat what was in front of him or face a beating. Later in life eating is what one did between drinking bouts, so he would have enjoyed Gandamak
Best plates in our group were the pizzas, normally the dullest of dishes and the local crispy chapli kebab with hot minty sauce. Typically for the country, there were few women diners, so perhaps the Flashman theme is appropriate, even if in conflict with their pleasant and civilised garden restaurant.
If you own or manage Gandamack Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.