This unassuming restaurant calls itself a kebab restaurant and I’m sure the meat is delicious. However, I’ve only had the vegetarian dishes which are truly special. The Afghan spices used are very different from Indian curries and the dishes use quite a lot of saffron, coriander, cilantro, cardamom, and black pepper. An impressive array of starters includes Bolanee Gandana – fried turnover filled with leeks seasoned with herbs, served with yoghurt sauce and Kadoo Buranee – mashed pumpkin in oil and mixed herbs and spices, topped with yoghurt which comes with Naan.
Dishes are large and come with rice and salad. I highly recommend the pumpkin, aubergine and okra curries. You can sample all three for only £ 9. The restaurant is also BYOB which makes dining there very affordable.
The original Ariana can be found in Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan and has the same menu and decor. I imagine they thought ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, which suits me fine.