If you have read my posts about the mess halls in Afghanistan, you will know that the food is horrible, penitentiary inmates get better food and would be suing and winning if they got the swill they serve here. Some FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) actually have restaurants. On FOB Ghazni, we have the Oasis Restaurant, run by an Indian. It is damn good and a place to go when you (often) just can’t bear to subject yourself to the mess hall.

Four Maudies – recommended

The only way you will ever eat here is if you have some reason to be on FOB Ghazni. Afghanistan is not quite the tourist destination of choice for Americans unless you want to be on Al Jezerra TV getting your head cut off. I have to admit that I was disappointed that this is not an Afghan restaurant, but the food makes up for that. Owned by an Indian, Afghan food often has similar spices like curries, so maybe there are some minor similarities. Since the main customer base is American and Polish troops and civilians, they have a varied menu.

Oasis Restaurant
Oasis Restaurant

There is pizza, Indian curries, some Chinese type dishes, wraps with and without meat, a couple types of nan bread, rice, Tandoor chicken and a huge sizzling dish of meat and veggies similar to fajitas that a lot of people liked, but I never tried. My only real complaint was the meat choices were chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, and beef in a couple of things. No frigging lamb, mutton or goat in a province with thousands of sheep and goats. Or even any substantial beef dishes. I asked the owner about that and he said no one would buy it. I beg to differ, he did say they sometimes cook those meats for themselves, but they never had any when I was there. I think they were probably getting the meat from the mess hall, in any case, at least they cooked it properly.

The interior was spartan and reminded me of the mom and pop small strip mall Chinese restaurants back home. Plastic table clothes and chairs, very simple, but I wasn’t there for the ambiance, I was there to escape the disgusting mess hall food and savor something actually edible.

The first dish I tried was crispy Thai chicken. It was fried chicken chunks with a coating sprinkled with sesame seeds and a thin vinegar sauce with cilantro on the side. This was my least favorite dish, the meat was tasty but a bit bland and dry (I have never been a chicken fan, anyway) and the sauce did little to help it. I had this with cheese nan, which was excellent. I tried the wraps, which were chicken, a sauce and some lettuce and perhaps other veggies wrapped in a nan bread. Reminded me of a gyro and they were very good and inexpensive. I never ordered the fries, I always had the garlic and butter nan or butter and cheese nan. The mess hall never had real butter, must be too expensive or against one of the Army’s millions of stupid rules, and a total affront to anyone who loves food, but the Oasis used real butter and ghee. The Oasis fries were way better than the mess hall, but not that good. Plus fries don’t go with anything on the menu. Yet Americans will eat fries with anything, so they were a big seller. Sure, I’ll have fries and ketchup with my curry. I think not.

Next I tried Butter curry. Strange name to me, but the description said it was a traditional Indian curry. OK, I love curry, let’s give it a try. I ordered garlic and butter nan instead of rice to go with it. I asked for spicy. Due to American tastes they always ask how spicy you want it. I wanted mine how it is supposed to be made. It was not overly impressive when it arrived, a dark brown sauce, lots of it, with small chunks of chicken. That was it. The garlic and butter nan was fresh and piping hot and was delicious. The sauce was unbelievable. Yes, it was spicy, but oh, oh so good. I would have been perfectly happy with a bowl of sauce and nan only. The chicken was good, moist and tasty and it added some texture. This became my mainstay when I came here. I’d eat this simple dish anywhere.

Once, a friend ordered the pizza and gave me some. You could get a variety of non-pork toppings, including pineapple, salami, mushrooms, corn, extra cheese, etc. I’m not sure why, but Europeans and others put corn on pizza – not me. I first had corn on a pizza was at a Turkish place in Frankfurt, Germany and it wasn’t very good. It is only recently that Europeans have even started eating corn. When I lived in Germany years ago, corn was animal feed, period. Actually, the donner kabob at that Frankfurt restaurant was terrible, too. I hare wasting a meal when traveling, there is so much good food to try.

In any case, he didn’t get corn on his, he had a tomato based sauce, cheese and pepperoni. I expected the pizza to be nan with pizza ingredients, No so. It was pizza type dough that was rather thin, as I like it, and cooked nicely. The sauce and toppings were good. While not a New York pizza, it was very good. The cheese was unusual and I’ve seen it before, but can’t remember what it is called. It is coarser than mozzarella and has more flavor. I actually prefer it to mozzarella.

I also tried their “regular” Chicken curry and it was in a light sauce with more garlic. It was quite good, but I still like the butter curry better. Let’s see, what else? I think that is about it, I liked the butter curry so much. They had some Chinese dishes, such as sesame chicken, but I wasn’t sure they would get those right. All in all, a good restaurant and a great one considering where it is. I just wish they had had lamb or goat curries.

And to all those afraid to eat there because it might not have been sanitary, I never got sick. I also had no desire to see the kitchen of the mess hall, how they freeze and refreeze stuff, or find out how long the frying oil gets used. If you were going to get sick from the food, it would be at the mess hall and I did a few times. Not exactly an A+ Health Department rating (assuming the inspector isn’t on the take), but people happy to eat at the mess hall were afraid to go near the restaurant. Some people can’t be helped.


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10 Comments on Oasis Restaurant, FOB Ghazni, Afghanistan – Review

  1. [...] Afghanistan, there was an excellent restaurant (see my review http://cookingwithlittlebuddy.com/?p=1380) at FOB Ghazni. In Balad, Iraq, in 2004 and 2005, there was a Pizza Hut, Burger King and Subway. [...]

  2. Chad says:

    See, you’re making me miss 6Pazzi on COB Adder. ;-) While the food varies from tasty to great, the hookah bar there was the best I’ve ever had the opportunity to frequent.

  3. ScottyOx says:

    The first thing anyone should try when they eat at the Oasis is a chicken sizzler. It ranges from unbearably spicy to mild based on your taste. You also have your choice of fried rice or french fries as a side. This is a chilly based recipe that taste delicious, especially as an alternative to the DFAC.

    My next favorite dish is the chilly chicken pizza. It’s basically a sizzler on dough cooked nicely in a clay oven. I have been here for almost 12 months now, and I eat one of these pizzas every week.

  4. scott says:

    someone over there please find out how to make a hooka noodle sizzler or a chicken sizzler. i was there in 2011 and want to make it here. that stuff was awesome.

  5. Ghazni Midget says:

    I was there from July 2010-11, big fan of Oasis. Crispy Thai chicken, chicken sizzler, chicken naan, and potato naan were my usual orders.

    Anyone remember the kebab stand from the bazaar that came to the FOB twice a week?? That stuff was the shit, guy stopped coming around in the spring of 2011 unfortunately (it also seemed to destroy all the other businesses at the bazaar, most people went for the kebabs and might patronize the other businesses while waiting).

  6. Virgil says:

    I heard that the kebab stand was closed for sanitary reasons. Who knows, it was already closed when I got there. I would have loved to try it and heard people saying they wish it were back.

  7. Flo Jay says:

    I am here at Ghazni and the Oasis is the best. I arrived in 2010 and heard from a co worker that is is the place to be, so once a week our small group of friends head there and enjoy a Great Meal at a very good price. I have tasted everything on the menu and have never gotten sick. The place is closing soon as the FOB is closing and I am truely going to miss the Oasis. The spicy beef wrap is by far my fav. with Fries that soak up the spicy oil from the wrap…HUMMMM GOOOD!.

  8. Virgil says:

    I was there during part of the same time you were, 2011. I was wondering if they were going to close FOB Ghazni. I went to every COP and firebase in Ghazni Province and heard that all or most are closed. What are all the Afghan shopkeepers going to do? I guess they knew it would end one day. Stay safe!

  9. Tim says:

    Its interesting that the soldiers eat steak, shrimp, lobster, meatloaf, chicken, pizza, hot dogs, burgers, along with fresh fruit, salads, and eggs and still complain. Millions of dollars of funds are spent monthly and lives lost and they would still complain about the 12th salad dressing that the DFAC would run out of. The amount of theft and abuse of food and beverages by personnel would make taxpayers sick. I would hear people complain about the conditions and food to make people feel sorry for them, than go get a massage and drink energy drinks all day after a game of volleyball. The Oasis and kebab stand would never pass any type of health inspection, as well as attempting to identify some of the stuff they serve. Oh well another billion here or there… time for a coffee latte.

  10. Tim says:

    Its interesting that the mess hall was so bad!! Didn’t have real butter or good fries!! LOL Your a clown, is this site a joke or what??

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