“Off-the-beaten-track” is a commonly used phrase when it comes to travel writing. While, “tourist trap” places are often shunned by travellers because it is gimmicky, tacky, overrated and usually overpriced. Then comes the debate about tourist VS travellers etc etc etc.
But this post isn’t going to be one of them, we won’t be going into any persuasive writing piece about what is right or wrong. We just want to share our experiences at what some might call a “tourist trap” while others might call a fun experience. (We are the latter, in case you were wondering).
There we were in Lucerne, and the weather turned UGLY. The winds were blowing, the grey clouds were looming and the raindrops were appearing. And our stomachs were growling because it was lunchtime.
Scurrying through the streets in not enough layers with temperatures in the low teens. We desperately wanted to find somewhere to eat. Like a sign sent from… somewhere, we turn the corner and feast our eyes on Stadtkellar; a traditional Swiss restaurant with a four-course meal and a cultural show about to start. See? It was meant to be!
As we walk in, we were the only patrons under the age of 40 and we were the only two that were not there as part of a tour group – we were entering willingly 😉
Our first course was a Swiss cheese fondue followed by a garden salad. Our main was the choice between strips of veal in mushroom sauce or a homemade sausage, both came with a side of rosti. To wind up the feast, we were served a neringue with applesauce and strawberry ice cream.
The food was delicious, might we add. Especially the fondue…. we usually try to avoid eating too much bread, but in this instance… the basket was emptied VERY quickly!
While we satisfied our bellies with some traditional Swiss food, we were entertained with folk music, yodelling, alphorn blowing, flag throwing and cowbells. All of these performed by an ensemble of 6.
Much to our amazement, one of the performers was particularly talented – he was able to make music from slapping the backs of two wooden spoons together which we’ve seen before. What had us in awe was how he produced music from what looked like a double-handled tree saw …
And percussion music with a wooden broomstick.
Of course, we couldn’t forget the random cow that was released into the audience towards the end. We are still scratching our heads over the purpose of this….
It was a fabulous way for us to hide from the rain and the cold winds for a couple of hours so we weren’t complaining.
Are you an “off-the-beaten-track” type of person? Or would you give restaurants like these a go?
Feel free to leave us a comment.
We figured that we would not be able to try the cuisine in Afghanistan anytime soon, so we went for the next best thing: we ate at an Afghan Restaurant in Sydney. And the food is simply scrumptious.
The flavours are influenced by countries close by, probably most notably India and there are elements of China, possibly due to connections via the Silk Road back in the day.
To start we ordered our drinks, one cherry lassi and one salted lassi. The salted lassi (also referred to as Doogh) is a savoury yoghurt drink with cucumber and mint tossed through it. It definitely has a unique yet refreshing taste and is less heavier than the typical mango lassi. The cherry lassi was sweet and tasted almost like a cherry juice but creamier.
For entree, we ordered a mixed platter for two (it could easily have fed 4 people) – it included 2 meat and 2 vegetarian options.
(1) Afghani potato flat bread with chopped onion shallots, coriander and spices, served with yoghurt sauce
(2) Vegetarian dumplings topped with a bolognese sauce – it felt almost like a Chinese dish fused with an Italian dish. There is an option that is a purely vegetarian (i.e. no bolognese sauce)
(3) Beef dumplings also served with a bolognese sauce.
(4) Seekh kabab – lamb mince charcoal grilled, served with a spicy chutney.
For our main, we shared a chicken dish, Chicken Karahi, which was ever so fragrant with spices, cooked in a tomato-base sauce with onion and capsicum. The sauce had some “kick” & we were glad to have ordered the lassi 🙂 With every mouthful, the chicken was so moist, tender and full of flavour.
Accompanying the chicken dish was naan bread. We ordered orange pallow rice as an addition. The rice had an orange flavour and the cardamom through it was very pronounced.
The waiter (who we suspect is also the owner) is a very friendly man and is always obliging when we have eaten here. He will always advise if he thinks we have ordered too much or can recommend dishes worth trying, especially during your first visit.
We are by no means food critics nor are we turning into foodies but considering our blog is about our travels, this particular trip was a culinary one for our taste buds! We were pretty sure our attempts to avoid gluten, failed here as well as our attempts to cut back on meat…
Bamiyan Restaurant is located in Five Dock, about 10 km from Sydney centre. We would recommend anyone in Sydney or visiting Sydney should consider giving it a go 🙂