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Sep 9, 2012 06:37 AM

Aryana - Afghani restaurant in DDO

When it comes to Aryana and it's wonderful, delicious and exotic cuisine, it's equally remarkable that two words can also be used to describe it…….. it’s affordable.

One of only two Afghani restos in Montreal, I went there Saturday night with some friends and, without embellishment, it was probably the best meal I’ve ever had in a restaurant in my life.

Appetizers, which are sized generously enough to share between two or even three, run around $2 to $3. Mains clock in at around $6 to $14, desserts, $2 to $3. Two could easily dine there for $30 to $40, not including tip (it's BYOB).

Read The Gazette review below because everything in it is spot on. The mother and father do all the cooking and both even made the rounds of the tables at the end of the night to ask the patrons how their food was. One of their sons was the waiter and you could spend an entire evening there getting chatted up by this wonderful guy. Plus his knowledge of the food and his suggestions if you tell him about your palate or dietary preferences/requirements is remarkable. It's also very vegetarian friendly, if that's your preference.

Among the appetizers (we shared three and they were all terrific) my favourite was one that looked a little bit like a cube-of-pumpkin soup (but it's not a soup). I forget the name, but you basically scoop out the cubes onto your plate with the sauce and eat them with this unusual Afhani bread that is not quite nan and not quite pita.

For my main I had the Kabuli Palow which comes to your table looking like a mound of basmati rice covered in carrot strips and sprinkled with plump soaked raisins. So deceptive. For one thing the rice hides a mound of melt-in-your-mouth lamb cubes, and the rice itself is just bursting with flavour. I've never been big fan of the whole sweet and savory thing, but in this case, the raisins went perfectly with the dish.

The only advice I would give is that if you plan on going on a busy night (Thurs, Fri, Sat), you might want to call ahead and maybe even make a reservation as the restaurant is not large and fills up.

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  1. I also was there Sat. night - were you at the large table with the B'day party? We were four at the adjacent table. It was my second time there in two weeks and I second your opinion 100% Musgrave is right on. All is delicious and it is indeed best to get reservations for busy nights. I recommend beer with this cuisine. Come on West Islanders keep patronizing this place - unlike most affordable ethnic cuisine places on the WI, this is nicely decorated. The servers (brother and sister some nights) engage in fun filled bon mots with you and handle the crowd with panache.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rosario

      We were a party of three and were seated right near the front door, across from the birthday party. We may have been sitting right behind (or in front of) you.

    2. Will check it out tonight, thanks for calling our attention to this.

      1 Reply
      1. re: morebubbles

        Went there a few months ago and really enjoyed my experience. The soup the kids had was extremely flavourful and the kabuli palao was superb. The lamb was extremely tender and inspired me to do an Afghani themed dinner party new years day. I thought I would like the pumpkin appetizer a little more though, but the beef dumplings I tried were AMAZING. Like little beef spiced won tons I would go back just for those!

      2. We ate there last spring (I think?) and I really liked it. There was the pumpkin dish, the bread, the rice, and some sort of zucchini or eggplant thing that was drizzled with herby yogurt. I'd go back.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

          I agree - fantastic food. Wonderful hosts. And BYOW!
          Love the place!