Ariana II – Afghan in Kilburn

Arranging a spontaneous evening out last Friday, L suggested eating at Ariana II, an Afghan restaurant in Kilburn, North London (a bit of a distance from the first Ariana in New York). We’d both had plans to exercise/go to the gym that evening. Both were swiftly forgotten.

Ariana II is one of L’s favourites, and as Afghan cuisine was new to me, I was intrigued. Not least by the down to earth ‘caff’ style and bring your own booze (BYOB) with no corkage charge.

Prompt friendly greeting @ Ariana II

Booking only at tea time, the first available table was at 8.45pm. And sure enough, every table was occupied when we arrived, though service was speedy and friendly.

Aushak starter

For starters we shared aushak, boiled dumpling filled with leeks, spices and topped with ground meat and yoghurt @ £4.00, and baudinjan buranee, fried aubergines in olive oil and mixed with herbs and spices with Naan @ £4.00, both of which were absolutely gorgeous, especially the ‘dumpling’ which was really light and squidgy.

Baudinjan Buranee starter

For main course, L had chicken shish kebab, chunks of tender chicken cooked with tomato, onion and over grilled wood charcoal @ £9.00, while I had an Ariana Special (and ‘Chef’s choice’ at that): Kabuli palow, tender cooked lamb shank seasoned with basmati rice, topped with carrots, raisons, almond and pistachios and a with side dish (spicy beans in a tomato-ey sauce) @ £9.00. Double yum.

Chicken shish

The meat of this slow cooked lamb shank just slid off the bone. But as I was already full from the starters I ended up taking most of my Kabuli palow main course home in a doggy bag (win: tomorrow’s lunch sorted too).

Kabuli palow

All in all: great food, very reasonably priced (particularly with BYOB) and something a bit different.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Afghan
~ Address: 241 Kilburn High Road, London
~ Postcode: NW6 7JN
~ Tel: 020 3490 6709
~ Nearest station: Kilburn
~ Website + menus: Ariana II website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Ariana II food
~ Location: Ariana II map

Ariana II on Urbanspoon