Zarak: Inside Vancouver's must-try modern Afghan restaurant
Zarak first opened its doors near the end of 2021, and if you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, we urge you to do so.
We popped in recently to devour some deliciousness for ourselves and let us tell you a pro tip: come hungry and bring friends.
The menu here is packed with family recipes (aka “mum’s recipes” as owners call them) that incorporate traditional Afghan flavours and ingredients.
Brought to us by the talented folks behind Surrey’s celebrated eatery Afghan Kitchen, the newer concept launched at 2102 Main Street and has been bumping ever since.
While the food is probably what gets people to the doors, Zarak has put a great emphasis on creating a truly Insta-worthy cocktail program here as well.
Start off your dinner with creations such as the cotton candy-topped Strawberry Bârân or the spirit-forward Kite Negroni and you won’t regret it.
For small plates, we opted for the Bolani, flatbread filled with potato and house spices, as well as the Shor Nakood, a traditional salad from Afghanistan.
Afghan dumplings had to make it to our table, obviously. We tried a selection of morsels with a variety of fillings like spiced beef, leek, scallion, and spinach, and spicy cabbage, carrot, bean sprout, chilli, and lubya combo too.
The show-stopper of the spread was evidently the lamb shank, which arrived with kachaloo and salata.
If there’s one thing we need to come back regularly for, though, it’s dessert.
Three words: Mum’s Secret Cake. Made with tres leches, cocoa, and seasonal fruit, this treat is best paired with Shir Yakh (Afghan ice cream).
This combo is unreal and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since we put the spoon down. It’s a need, not a want.
Zarak is open for dinner service Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10:30 pm. It also offers weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Address: 2102 Main Street, Vancouver