A new takeaway restaurant run by Afghan refugees has brought a taste of Afghanistan to Sydney’s CBD. Kabul Social is the latest project from Plate It Forward, the employment-based social enterprise that previously brought us Enmore’s beloved Sri Lankan restaurant Colombo Social.

Each aspect of the restaurant, from the menu through to the design, has been a collaborative effort between Plate It Forward and a group of female refugees led by Restaurant Manager Swita who arrived in Australia six months ago. Swita is joined by a team ranging in hospitality experience.

“Our hope with Kabul Social is to not only highlight the issues for Afghan people and refugees by bringing forward these voices, but also to encourage people to see how simple it can be to start creating change, and create meaningful impact through something as simple as buying your lunch,” Plate It Forward co-Founder Shaun Christie-David says.

Located in the MetCentre right by Wynyard Station, the venue can host up to 25 diners but takeaway is encouraged. City workers can drop in for a next-level lunch option they can feel good about.

For every meal sold at Kabul Social, Plate It Forward donates two meals to people in need — one meal in Australia and one in Afghanistan, meaning you’re making a real positive impact each time you pick up a Kabul feast.

On the menu, you’ll find three categories of meals. There are dumping filled with your choice of spiced lamb or garlic chive; burgers and wraps; and loaded boxes. If you want to wrap two hands around some fresh house-made Afghan bread, you can choose between charcoal chicken, lamb shoulder, fried eggplant or roast pumpkin. Or, opt for a loaded box. Each box starts with either spiced rice, fries, salad or bread, and is then loaded with your choice of protein and sauces — there’s green or red chilli chutney and Afghan mint yoghurt on hand.

“Plate it Forward is a truly inspiring social enterprise, and the Human Rights Commission was proud to name it last year’s Community Human Rights Champion in our annual Human Rights Awards,” Australian Human Rights Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM said. “We are delighted to see its next incarnation in Kabul Social. The great value of Plate It Forward goes beyond the incredible meals it serves – the organisation provides community and connection, which are such important foundations for refugees seeking to start a new life in Australia.”

Kabul Social is located at Shop 15, MetCentre, 60 Margaret Street, Sydney. It’s open 11am–3pm Monday–Friday.

Images: Kitti Gould