Ariana II

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Blink and you’d walk by it, but the unprepossessing neon façade hides a kitsch and cosy neighbourhood gem that offers grilled meats galore, Afghan style. It’s not too different from good Lebanese and Iranian food, but specialties like the Bolanee Kadoo (disturbingly moreish fried flat bread filled with pumpkin) are worth venturing off the beaten track for. The grilled meats are good, especially the chef’s special lamb shank palow, which just melts off the bone into a pile of gently spiced rice – a bit like a big fat food hug. Not necessarily worth travelling across town for, but fantastic for an unpretentious local joint or if you have tickets for something at the Tricycle, especially at the low prices (and it’s BYOB too). Unsurprisingly, locals love it and the place fills up fast so make sure to book. NB there’s a downstairs room that seats 50 for private functions.