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Ariana Restaurant

Restaurants, Afghan Mile End
4 out of 5 stars
(15user reviews)

Time Out says

Persian and Afghan cuisine, which typically consists of rice and meat dishes with fruit including raisins, apricots and pomegranates used for flavouring.



Address: 2a Midlothian Rd
E3 4SE
Transport: Tube: Mile End
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Users say (15)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

The staff in Ariana in mile end are so rude and their service is very poor! On a scale of 1-10 overall i would give -12!. The staff are not organised and this lady with the blonde hair and front fringe is very rude. The food is over priced and also thy have bad service for the outside shisha too. Had to wait almost an hour for my order!


Was very excited to eat here as I had seen it mentioned in a recent copy of Time Out profiling Iranian London but unfortunately it fell a bit flat. The restaurant itself is nice and cozy and the decor helps set the mood for an Afghani/Persian meal but I'm afraid the food was pretty hit or miss. Much like the reviewer before, my friends and I ordered the Panir-O-Sabzir ("fresh Tarragon, Mint, Walnut and feta cheese, arrive with hot Nan") and expected a spread or even a dip for the naan but it was really just pieces of feta, radish and walnuts on a plate, and a lot of different leaves (presumably including tarragon and mint) that did not lend themselves to being spread, dipped or even "rolled up," as the menu suggested.

The mains were good for some, less good for others although the portions were big so in that regard good value for money.  I ordered the Mantoo, which was little parcels (somewhat pasta-like) filled with mince and onion and covered by a sauce that had yogurt and lentils? chickpeas? on top (not sure what it was) but it was so tasty! The creaminess of the yogurt and the doughiness of the parcels with the meat was a great bite and everyone at the table was going bananas for my dish. Unfortunately they were not crazy about their own dishes, which I took the liberty of trying too. 

The Fesenjan ("Stew made from chicken, pomegranate juice and ground walnuts, served with saffron rice") was very tasty and the stew had a lot of dimension and layers of flavour. The Mumtaz ("Marinated diced breast of chicken and skewer of fine minced lamb") was pretty bland, under-seasoned and lacked moisture. Although the chicken and lamb were cooked well, they were paired with saffron rice and there was a chimichurri-like sauce that was provided for the meat but it didn't do much and in the end it just fell flat. 

Finally, the Shirin palow ("rice with orange peel, almonds silver, pistachio and grated carrots"), which was served with grilled boneless chicken was tasty and the chicken was cooked perfectly but the combination of the rice and the chicken made little sense in terms of flavour profiles. It was a nice dinner and we all enjoyed ourselves but in the end everyone agreed that it was slightly lackluster and not as delicious as we had hoped it would be. 


Mixed bag here. Some mediocre food and some really good food but nothing my husband and I would go out of our way for again. The staff though is nice and even when we left, a man rolling the dough for the flatbread gave us a sincere thank you for coming. The decor is also very cool, with walls painted a warm mustard brown colour and tchotchkes everywhere.

The menu in the restaurant is slightly different from the online menu, which is a bit annoying as a vegetarian bc I was really eager to go here based on what I saw online. We ordered the panir-o-sabzi to start and whilst a big plate, the description didn't match the meal. I expected feta cheese blended with tarragon, mint and walnut, almost as a spread, with walnuts. Rather it's a big salad with radish slices and 2 halves of a pretty tasteless cheese, and walnuts. Piping hot bread is served with it. Next I ordered the mirza gasemi which was the best-tasting dish of the night: a soupy mix of aubergine, whet and tomatoes, it was perfect with the bread. My main, the ashak, was a big dish but a big downer: very bland despite the heaps of sauces. My husband got the grilled chicken with a specialty rice of orange peel, almond slivers pistachio and grated carrot and salad: again a huge plate. The orange peel was the most distinctive, delicious taste, basically caramelized. My husband loved the spicy green sauce that accompanied his meal.

A favourite of mine and just 2 mins away from my place. The bread and lamb shank are just out of this world.

Really great taste. Loved it. Service was perfect and staff is soo friendly. I've been in for 4 times and tried different foods. I am happy with all. Will advise everyone who would like good different taste.

Delicious, freshly prepared food , always at the same high standard. Can get very busy being a BYO, and sometimes the waiting staff are stretched - but are so charming, it's difficult to complain. The flatbread is made freshly for each table and baked in clay ven by the door- I could live off this stuff alone !

One of the best Afghani- Persian restaurants! Great service, food, prices, location!

Its my favourite restaurant, the food is amazing their restaurant always has a welcoming atmosphere and their staff are always polite.

Good food and good service. Love the lamb shank and kabuli pillow and the meat ball with lentils and rice. The mint tea is good too.

This place is an absolute gem. Great atmosphere, and best homemade flat bread ever!!!

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