Gormanston Road Store looks like your everyday local take-away, but walking through the doors you realise there is something different here for you to experience!
Kirsten Singleton has bravely taken on Gormanston Road Store so she can provide employment and training to group of Hazara refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan. Here they cook and sell their traditional dishes bringing further diversity to the already multi-cultural Moonah community.
If you’re after chips and a few potato cakes, you can still find them but beside them you can discover a whole new world of flavours, some just as easy to take away like Bolani, a crispy flatbread filled with tender vegetables which could quickly become an addiction for This Girl!
Bolani is mostly always on the menu but their other options change depending on who’s in the kitchen. Some of their offerings are spicy chicken biryani, Qabli Pilau; rice mixed with raisins, carrots and lamb or sometimes chicken, Shami Kebab; spicy Afghani burgers made from beef, lentils and spices, beef kofta with rice and qorma -e-lubia; kidney beans with potato. Follow their Facebook page to keep atop of what’s being served up. Friday and Saturday evenings they generally serve kebob, marinated lamb or chicken grilled over coals on long skewers and served with salad.
They also sell Fresh Afghani fruit juices juce-e-amm (mango with dates, almond meal & coconut cream) juce-e-kelah (banana) juce-e-seab-khales (apple) and juce-e-zaadak (carrot).
The Two Girls called in too late for breakfast one weekend however the cook on at the time made us an amazing Hazara breakfast of tomatoes, eggs and flatbread. Simple ingredients, amazing flavours and not something being served anywhere else.
You can take away or eat in, either on the scattering of tables and chairs or why not take off your shoes and sit on the cushions surrounding the Afghan rug in this traditional yet chilled zone.
The normal take-away menu will remain, Kirsten says they ‘’want to be part of the local community and providing this food is what the local people and employees around the place are looking for’.
They officially launched on 12 Dec 2017 and served up a feast of Afghan delights including a cardamom cake that really packed a fragrant punch of flavours. Some of the men and women in the community performed a traditional dance for us, it was a wonderful introduction to the Hazara culture.
Kirsten became involved with Hazara refugees and asylum seekers over 4 years ago after she visited teenagers at the now closed Pontville Detention Centre, this shop is her way of continuing to support them by providing them with a place for them to feel welcomed and to celebrate their culture.
Things have not been easy for Kirsten as the sole financial backer and she is still struggling to upgrade failing kitchen equipment and re-vamp the out-dated store. If you’d like to support Kirsten, to ensure she can continue to employ and train the six casual staff and potentially increase that number and support the Hazara community, you might want to consider donating to the Go Fund Me page that has just started up.
Gormanston Road Store is open Monday’s to Saturday’s, opening later for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Check out their Facebook page for regular updates of their opening times.