Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ariana II

I had heard of Kilburn (though couldn’t have told you what line it was on) but being a New Cross girl, there has to be a pretty good reason to make me travel that far across London. This turned out to be an Afghan place on Kilburn High Road. So on Monday night, having heard great things, I ventured north; and am delighted to report it was worth the hike.

Amongst the ubiquitous mix of pound shops, asian supermarkets and dodgy kebab joints, I found a spiffing pub, The Black Lion (huge, old, beautifully ornate interior, bags of character and good cider too) and mid way down, Ariana II.

The décor was simple with a few wall hung rugs, plain dark wood tables and a nice atmosphere despite being a third full (it was Monday night). Our waitress was lovely, cheerfully opening our BYO wine (no corkage charge) and, more importantly, the smells coming from the kitchen sent my constantly hungry state into overdrive.

On a Time Out recommendation (being a food geek, I find it hard to visit a restaurant before swotting up first) we ordered the Aushak to start, as well as some Spinach Samosa and Naan, served with a brilliant chilli and mint dip.

Aushak £4.95

These were incredible; the lightest dumplings filled with sauted leeks and topped with ground meat and tangy yoghurt. The delicately spiced beef had melted into a sauce that was not hot, but deliciously rich; the dumplings were like a very thin, very fresh ravioli.

Spinach Samosa £1.95

Tasty. I'm not the best judge in this case as I'll eat anything if it's been deep fried, but they were the right kind of crispness and the filling of spinach, cheese (I forgot to ask the waitress but was salty like feta) and garlic made for a satisfyingly light bite. Good addition to the rich Aushak.

And so to the mains...

Mantu £5.95

Not dissimilar to the Aushak, these were minced lamb filled pastry dumplings, topped with chick peas and served, again, with yoghurt. They were even better; the soft steamed pastry, giving way to ridiculously moist lamb, tied together by the tomato-y chickpeas, the yoghurt cutting thorough the richness.

Kabuli Palow £7.95

Jesus H Christ. Without this the meal would have been excellent but, wow, did this take it to another level. Previously I had been a big fan of the Lamb Biryani at Dishoom, but this made that look like a few chunks of tired old mutton...

Perfectly cooked rice dotted with carrot, raisins, almonds and pistachios topped *swoon* an entire lamb shank. The meat was so good I was close to tears.

The bill came to £22 for two. A pittance for probably one of the best dinners I’ve had this year. We were stuffed, slightly pissed on BYO wine and continued to talk about how delicious and unusual our meal was on the long journey home. So get thee to Kilburn, I am seriously considering moving there...

Ariana II

241 Kilburn High Road


0203 490 6709

No comments:

Post a Comment