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“Fish and Chips and Tartar Sauce”
Review of DFAC Cambridge

Dining options: Breakfast, Buffet
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Buffet
Reviewed 25 March 2013

Went to Cambridge DFAC recently after a good 20 minute walk from camp and then stood in line for fish and chips. This is a DFAC or a Dining Facility so it is best to lower your expectation of flavor, variety, and other factors. The server gave me two battered and deep fried pieces of fish, some chips (French fries for everyone else) and a good serving of decent tartar sauce. It was one of the most decent meals I had in KAF. The fish was fried well and not soggy and the tartar sauce (freshly made?) did not come out from the frustrating little plastic packets at the condiment area.

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2  Thank ilych
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 11 of 11 reviews

Reviewed 2 October 2012

Cambridge Lines DFAC is quite possibly the worst, not only in KAF, but in the whole of Afghanistan. It is allegedly "British cuisine" but the closest it really manages is a roast on Sundays, the odd pie/pasty/sausage roll and the fish and chips on a Friday. Even then, the fish tends to be a strip of some unnamed sea creature, encased in a breadcrumb sarcophagus that is at least 30% concrete. Eating this is not only a challenge to the plastic cutlery, but also to basic human survival instincts.
The generation of the menus must be done by some ancient cryptic runes. I can confidently say that I've never heard of half of the dishes that are served up. Other dishes such as Vegetable Pie, Chilli Mac and Calamari Rings are available with great regularity. Yes, real British staples that we built the empire on... There is usually a pasta choice available with a white and red sauce. These pasta sauces usually have different names but they all seem to taste similarly awful. How hard can it be to make a basic pasta sauce? There is also a curry bar which is good if you love a dish with no more than 5% meat content. Yes, there are very many chunks but they're all bone, sinew, beak and claw. If you get a real chunk of meat, buy a lottery ticket as the sun is shining upon you that day.
There definitely is a great art in producing a variety of meals, three times a day and never even accidentally creating a good one. This takes true dedication to the art. Although the purchasing of very choice ingredients does help.
Breakfast is usually a fairly safe bet. At Cambridge you can get an omelette or fried eggs to order, which is actually ok. For the rest of the choices, you could have a cooked breakfast with the mystery sausages. The best way to describe their taste would be "grey". They seem to look the part and the texture is almost there but you get the feeling that they're made of a slightly gelatinous, compressed wet cardboard. There are cereals available which, to be fair, they can't mess up but long gone are the Quaker instant porridge sachets, replaced by a tasteless white goo sitting on the servery. Even after adding a large squirt of syrup, it still tasted like a hundred tiny demons were eating my soul with every mouthful.
On a plus point, there are fresh rolls and sliced bread available. The sandwich/salad area tends to have some kind of sliced cheese and a few processed meats available. There are a couple of panini grills so you can make a toastie, which is often the most sensible choice.
This DFAC gets so much use due to its proximity to accommodation and working areas. Oh, and because it's free!
Actually, the apple crumble was alright as well.

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4  Thank BlueRug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2012 via mobile

What can I say, it was the worst food on camp and the only reason I ate here was because it was 300 meters down the road from the Canadian shacks. We call brits poo eaters, well that's the nice version of what we call them and I truly know why, I went hungry that meal and I end up walking to a different DFAC after that which was closer to the famous poo pond of KAF but it still smelled better than the Cambridge. I wonder if the Cambridge caught their fish from the poo pond, it would explain so much.

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4  Thank ShootermcGavin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2010

DFAC Cambridge is my restaurant of choice when on 'holiday' in Afghanistan. For one thing, it's the British dining facility, so the food is familiar, with the added bonus that Americans can't seem to understand what certain things are, which is great fun. For example:

US Soldier: "Hey buddy, what's that 'gammon' stuff?"

Me: "Err...it's gammon. It's made of pig...like ham."

US Soldier: "That's crazy. Why don't they just call it a Ham?"

Me: "Because 'a ham' is grammatically incorrect. Plus the French use the word 'Jambon', the Spanish say 'Jamon' and we happen to have 'Gammon'. So that's three countries who invented yours, none of which refer to it as 'a ham'. See?"

US Soldier: "Err...what? I don't underst....oh never mind. Chef...give me a ham".

Chef: "Give you a what? This is gammon, mate".


For some reason, contract catering has been set up by someone who thinks that the war in Afghanistan out to be fought on a 9-5 basis, and consequently this DFAC is not open at night, which forces you to search for one that is!

Still, when it is open, the staff are friendly (if they speak English), there is a seemingly unending supply of vegetables and custard pots, and the omlette guy is legendary! It is the best place to sit and try to spot good-looking military girls (generally the Australians do very well in this category), but you will not be impressed by the attitude of Americans towards those in the service industry. They have, to a man, been brought up to believe that pointing at food and just issuing a very demanding "CHICKEN!" is an acceptable method of saying "please can I have some chicken?". Very rude, and not a credit to their national stereotype, sadly.

Overall, eating is probably the most diverting activity in Afghanistan, to take your mind off the fighting, the heat, the smell and the fact that everything is sandy-beige If you can get through the meal without having to dive on the floor because of incoming rockets, that is definitely a small victory too!

It's breakfast, lunch, dinner and the possibility of getting killed, all rolled into one! Who wouldn't want to join the party at DFAC Cambridge?

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19  Thank JP_Smith_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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