Had a quite disappointing meal at Bahar, the Afghan place on Coney Island Ave on Sat night. We ordered the two premier rice dishes, Kabuli Pulow and Naranj Pulao. The Kabuli Pulow was not composed - it was just a big mound of brown basmati with lightly sauteed raisins and carrot strips on top and a decent lamb korma served on the side - not layered in- the carrots were not zizzled and caramelized, there were no whole spices, nuts, herbs -
when I mixed the thing together it was satisfying flavorwise but there was no spark to the presentation.
The naranj pulow was did not contain any of the advertised nuts or any spices and was an overly sweetened and somewhat greasy mix of the same brown basmati and orange peels. Pieces of meat were served on the side without any sauce - husband said the meat was tasty, but this was hardly a festive dish.
We also had the kebab sampler - recipient thought some of the meats might have been pre-prepared and reheated for serving. Agains served on a huge mound of basmati , no herbal garnishes
mantu, beef stuffed dumplings, were much to large (no delicacy to this presentation) and very bland - it really needed the yogurt sauce which, by the way lacked any fresh garlic savor. The pumpkin fritters were HUGE and had a very large amoun, really too much, of rich, spiced pumpkin. they tasted very good, especially with the yogurt, but again, they lacked the delicacy of the original - they were very heavy.
The vegetable side included portions of three dishes, spinach, okra and eggplant. Not bad but bland and too much alike - no flavor and spice.
None of the dishes had any herbs or garnish, none had any whole spices evident, or indeed much spicing in flavor. The bottom line is that the food is still quite satisfying in a basic way and good value for money (huge portions) but not worth a visit if you are looking for distinct, delicious afghan food.
Front of house staff was hispanic. I have to wonder whether the cook has moved on to another location or whether the place was sold. It was much better a couple of years ago, when the host was an afghan and it looked like they were set up for major grilled meat production in the back (no more)