2 Midlothian Road
Open 12pm-11pm everyday
0208 981 8266
Transport: Mile End tube
Mile End in London is home to one of the most well-known Persian foodie joints in the capital, the Ariana restaurant. With highly skilled and experienced staff, top standards are guaranteed, presenting Persian tradition through and through.
All the glorious food is prepared in a traditional manner. For starters, you can gorge on one of my favourite Persian dishes, Ash-e Resteh. This is a very hearty vegetable and noodle soup, typically containing thin noodles and kashk (a whey-like fermented dairy ingredient) doused in herbs, such as parsley and coriander and filled with black eyed beans. This is a perfect choice for those colder months. Kashk-e badenjan (cooked aubergines mixed with whey and herbs) is also on the menu, being a fine option.
The usual but ever delicious kebab options are of course top of the list at Ariana. Choose from Chelow Kebab-e Kubedeh, a fine minced lamb kebab, and Chelow Kebab-e Chenjeh, marinated diced fillet of lamb, and many more. They are served with classic saffron steamed basmati rice and a grilled tomato, adding yet another traditional touch to the restaurant. Costing around £12 for a main grill, they are great value for money. There are other classic Persian stews on offer too, from Ghormeh Sabzi (stewed diced lamb with fresh herbs, dried lime and kidney beans) and Ghormeh Bamieh (diced lamb cooked with herbs, okra and garlic), costing around £9. Sides are again classics such as, Most-o Khiar (cucumber, dried mint and yoghurt) which perfectly accompanies any Persian dish. Ariana’s Persian ice-cream is a delightful way to finish off your meal too. It’s all honest food here, so much so, you can even watch the chefs bake their flatbread right in from of you.
When you’ve finished your appetising meal, pop out to the back where you can finish off your dining experience in typical Persian fashion, outside in Ariana’s Shisha corner. Try the double apple shisha and enjoy a traditional tea whilst you’re there too.
Ariana is a great little place in Mile End for your hit of Persian food and atmosphere. What makes the restaurant so desirable is that it presents Persian food and culture in such an authentic and affordable way. For a Persian stew or grill, Ariana gives you exactly what you want.