Quick Dish: Chopan Grill
Chopan Grill is an absolute gem in Mississauga that serves authentic halal Afghan, Indian and Pakistani cuisine -- with a heavier focus on Afghani food -- that's located off of Erin Mills Pkwy near the QEW. It had been on my list of places to try for quite some time and I finally had the opportunity to dine there with a friend for a late dinner.
The spacious restaurant's walls are decorated with ethnic art, traditional garments and instruments. There is also an area to dine sitting crossed legged on the floor (a traditional eating-style practiced by numerous Eastern cultures). The tables for this section are set up on an elevated platform so you aren't actually sitting on the floor but are still dining on your buns since there are no chairs. Don't worry, this is only a portion of the restaurant -- the rest of the space offers traditional tables and chairs.
We were greeted by a woman whom I assumed was the owner based on her exceptionally warm greeting. We felt welcomed with open arms; as if it was her home we were dining in. She had asked us if it was our first time at the restaurant, and it was. She then took the time to explain each section of the menu and some of their signature dishes and provided some suggestions on what to order.
What's great about dining with a friend is that you can order a few different dishes to share for a broader understanding of the menu, and we did just that. However, for the purpose of this write up, I am going to focus on only one of the dishes we tried.
The Verdict: We ordered a popular dinner entree called Kadoo Palow which includes tender chunks of lamb over Afghan brown rice served with a side of pumpkin. This is an underwhelming description of this dish and let me tell you, it was delicious. The tender lamb and pumpkin pieces were covered in an appetizing tomato-based sauce and topped with fresh yogurt with a pile of brown Afghan rice to soak up that sauce. My intake of pumpkin has traditionally been in the form of pie and this was my first taste of it in a savory dish. The pumpkin added a nice sweetness and paired really well with the heavier lamb. It's definitely a dish I will order again and try to recreate at home.
What: Kadoo Palow
Wait time: 15 minutes