29 January, 2018; Dubai, UAE: Kishmish, Dubai’s first gourmet Afghan street and soul food restaurant, is ready to open its doors to Dubai’s Dar Al Wasl mall in February. The authentic Afghan eatery tells the tale of three patriotic Afghan women with a shared love for food, nostalgia for home, and a mutual dream: to share the riches and comforts of Afghan food with the world. Kishmish is the first gourmet restaurant to bring authentic Afghan street and soul food to Dubai. Kishmish strives to provide a relaxing, enjoyable dining experience in a friendly, family oriented atmosphere.
Iman, Fatima and Homaira have been family friends for generations, whilst they grew up outside of their native land, each of them holds an innate appreciate for their history, rich culture and, of course, their native tongues. Having grown up learning of their culture over traditional Afghan meals, the trio find a unique bond between the cuisine and the celebration of their native cultures. Kishmish is the actualization of their dream, to brings the sights, sound and flavours of the bustling Kabul streets to the world, an education through gastronomical experiences.
Aiming to revive the identity of Afghanistan, Kishmish provides the same tastes and experiences. Capturing the complexity of aromas and tastes to represent a unique fusion of South, West and Central Asian cuisines; bringing them all together in a gastronomic harmony that is a mirror reflection of Afghanistan’s geographical location. Serving great food, great people with a greater purpose.
For more information please visit: http://www.kishmish.ae/ or call +971 (0) 4 349 6665
Based in Dar Al Wasl mall, Jumeirah, Kishmish is a gourmet Afghan eatery that serves up authentic Afghan culinary experiences to the foodies of Dubai. Envisioned by family friends, Fatima, Iman and Homaira, Kishmish tells the tale of three patriotic Afghan women with a shared love for food, nostalgia for home, and a mutual dream: to share the riches and comforts of Afghan food with the world. Serving Afghan soul and street food, Kishmish uses emulates the streets of Kabul with its use of complex spices, authentic flavor profiles and traditional Afghan cooking techniques. The restaurant provides a relaxing, enjoyable dining experience in a friendly, family oriented atmosphere.
- Sunday – Wednesday: 2 pm – 10pm
- Thursday – Saturday: 2 pm – 12 am
- Seating Capacity: 48 pax
- Avg spend per person: AED 110
Contact and Social Media:
- Address: Dar Wasl Mall, Al Wasl Road, Al Safa, Dubai
- Website: http://www.kishmish.ae/
- Facebook: kishmishdubai
- Instagram: @kishmishdubai
The Kishmish Trio – Biography of The Founders
Fatima Rabbani was born in Afghanistan and raised in Pakistan and UAE. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in Journalism and Political Science with a MSC in State, Society and Development from SOAS, London. Although she studied a very different field in her academia, she was always fascinated by how Afghan food has influences from different parts of the world. During her one year as student abroad and living alone, she learnt how to cook and Afghan cuisine was closest to her heart. It’s been her passion ever since and a dream to open an Afghan restaurant which offers the best of her country’s cuisines in a contemporary way.
Fatima loves cooking and inviting people over for meals and says “There’s something about bringing people together around a meal which makes my soul happy.”
Iman Nazemi born and raised in London always dreamt of studying culinary and Fashion, after attending several universities and starting an array of degrees she decided to move Afghanistan. After moving back to Afghanistan she tried to get funding for several projects such as cooking classes for women in the prisons and Etiquette, healthy cooking and hygiene courses for families. Putting all this aside her passion was always cooking, she would cook for her family and friends every chance she had. Hearing over and over again she should start a blog or a youtube channel she decided she wanted to open a restaurant, one that would show people Afghanistan through a different light.
Homaira was born nine months prior to the Soviet invasion when her family was exiled in the UK, her life as she knew it began in London. They lived in London but behind closed doors, the décor of the house, sense of hospitality and delicate aromas wafting from the kitchen never failed to remind her of her roots. One particular thing eternally etched in Homaira’s memory are the Afghan meals her grandmother would prepare for the grandchildren on return from a trip. What better way to express ones love than by preparing heartfelt meals, especially in the case where their cuisine kept them tied to their country. Homaira naturally ended up studying International Relations at University of Huron and volunteered at Afghan Aid. Through Kishmish’s food, she wants to show the Afghanistan they know and love.
The Coming Together
Iman, Fatima and Homaira have been family friends for generations. Growing up abroad, they were taught about their history, rich culture and of course learnt their native tongues. Lunch and dinner were always family time where they would sit and hear stories of a pre-soviet Afghanistan over traditional recipes from back home. As they grew up they started to go back from time to time to see the homeland they had grown up hearing about. It was nothing like the stories, it was grey, broken and one could smell the sadness in the air, this is what remained of what once was a beautiful country. Walking down the streets of Kabul something seemed familiar, the street food was exactly how they imagined it would be. The bakery’s selling piles of freshly baked bread in the tandoor, the different types of street food with the empty jif bottles now reused as a salt shaker. Yesterday’s newspapers absorbing the oil from the freshly fried pekoras (Afghan tempuras) and masala Fries.
Iman, Fatima and Homaira sat one evening as they often did came to the conclusion that there aren’t any Afghan restaurants in Dubai, at least not like the Afghan food they knew. There was nowhere they could take their friends to show off their cuisine and realized there was a niche in the market for a good trendy Afghan restaurant. After weeks of discussing and talking about the concept, Kishmish was born. It was almost as if it was written for them to start their journey together as they had generations before and make one of their biggest dreams come to life.
Kishmish, کشمش: The Dari term for raisin; a partially dried grape. Kishmish, کشمش: An integral ingredient of Afghan cuisine. You will find it sprinkled on our rice, embedded in our pastries, and subtly flavouring our yoghurts.
Kishmish, کشمش: Dubai’s first gourmet Afghan street and soul food restaurant. A tale of three patriotic Afghan women with a shared love for food, nostalgia for home, and a mutual dream: to share the riches and comforts of Afghan food.
On any typical day, along the bustling banks of Kabul River, you find hundreds of food carts and small, unpretentious local eateries. The offerings look as unassuming, but, the complexity of aromas and tastes represent a unique fusion of South, West and Central Asian cuisines, all coming together in a gastronomic harmony that is a mirror reflection of Afghanistan’s geographical location at the crossroad of the ancient Silk Road and thousands of years of invasions.
The Afghan street food is made of basic, natural and organic meats, vegetables and legumes, but is rendered sumptuous by millennia-long cooking techniques, delicate herbs and mouth-teasing spices that can be traced back to an array of influences. From Alexander’s Hellenistic civilization to the Mauryans of the Subcontinent, the Persian Sassanids, the Ummayad Arabs, the Mongols of the Central Asian Steppes, each has left its culinary mark on the dishes that we serve at Kishmish.
Afghan cuisine is a melting pot of the regions gastronomic delicacies. Spices from India; be it chilies, masala, or peppers. Greens introduced through Iran; coriander, mint, sabzi. Mongolian influences are evident too, in the form of dumplings and noodles. Entwine all these flavours and a unique Afghan cuisine is born; Kishmish shares it all.
From using an Afghan tandoor (a cylindrical makeshift oven) to heat our beloved Naan bread, the smell of our mixed spices, to the comfort a bowl of Shur-Nakhut provides at the end of a long day, Kishmish is about sharing and celebrating Afghanistan through our food.
Our mission is to revive the identity of Afghanistan by taking people on a journey through the homes and streets of our country through the flavors, comforts and aromas of our food.
Kishmish strives to provide a relaxing, enjoyable dining experience in a friendly, family oriented atmosphere. Serving great food, great people with a greater purpose.
Kishmish is open from 10am until 10pm daily
- Dar Wasl Mall, Dubai UAE
- Reservations: 04 3496665, www.kishmish.ae