|1009 South Clinton Ave, Rochester NY 14620-2069|
|CLOSED as of May 2008|
|Shinwari Kabab in May 2009, at same location|
A new Halal restaurant (according to Zabihah.com) located in the former India House Cafe in Swillburg, Ariana serves Afghani cuisine—similar to northern Indian cuisines. An all-you-can-eat daily lunch buffet for $8 and evening buffet for $11 includes dishes such as kebabs, stews, salad, legumes, rice, breads, and even vegetarian substitutes made on request. Table-top steam trays keep the buffets warm. Take-out is also available.
The interior is large and is decorated with pictures of Afghanistan and different native items. The dining area is broken up into an upstairs section, and a downstairs with tables and chairs.
A Democrat & Chronicle review by Karen Deyle (4/12/07) praised the buffet, describing the seasonings as "bear[ing] a similarity to Middle Eastern, Indian and Pakistani, and yet have an identity of their own, steeped in years of history." The reviewer's favorite dish was the Beef Korma, cubes of tender beef marinated in a mildly seasoned tomato and onion sauce, and the second favorite was Chaply Kabob, a crispy fried veggie patty of potato, onions, green peppers and cilantro.
Note: You must be logged in to add comments
2006-11-07 12:05:17 Nice. The food is very aromatic and flavorful. The sparse decor belies the complex flavors of the food. I enjoyed the potatoes in a spicy red sauce, the beef stew, the salad with fresh basil, and the vegetarian kebabs (basically, I liked all of it). The restuarant was not-at-all crowded on a Saturday night. Of the people who who there, a majority were of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent. We asked a lot of questions about the food, and our server cheerfully answered all of them. She took the time to find out which dishes had dairy in them to accomodate my dietary needs. I was happy to learn that most were dairy free.
I can definitely see myself coming here regularly.—EastSideStephen
2006-11-19 10:12:01 We were a little frightened by the florescent green exterior of the building but once we got inside the smell of the food erased all of our trepidation. The food was great. They were open for lunch on Saturday and the lunch buffet cost about $8. I loved every single thing I tried. —JodyBenedict
2006-11-22 11:39:55 I agree that the buffet was very good, but not "hot" (capsicum) spicy. I don't know if Afghan food is suposed to be, though. The place is next to India House — which may help you find it, as the signage isn't very good yet (as of the posting of this comment) and it is easy to drive by. —QuintessentialKay
2006-12-12 18:36:33 Went the other night and had an absolutely wonderful meal. Large buffet selection of delicately spiced and flavored food. Especially good was the broiled eggplant and the chicken with tumeric. And in regards to the decor, I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised to see paintings and tablecloths that accompanied the good service. Highly recommended. —RochesterGuy
2006-12-14 13:35:06 It's great there are so many comments here already. It's very close by so I'll check it out soon and update my entry. —ZedOmega
2006-12-16 12:13:09 Good food, and lots of unique things to try at the buffet. I liked it, but I'm not sure if I'd go back at $11 per person for the buffet. —FarMcKon
2007-01-01 18:11:23 I have had other Afghani restaurants, and honestly, this one is nothing special. It is, however, the only one in Rochester, so I will have to settle. The first time I went, I remember the food being very good. But, I was sorely disappointed the second time. The buffet was completely wiped out, and it was only 7 pm. There was no Kebab or even bread left. Next time I might peruse the buffet selection before I decide to go with that or to just order something from the menu. —FattyFatFat
2007-01-24 12:51:54 This place is absolutely amazing in regards to the food! I spent a year in Afghanistan and this doesn't just get close to how the food was, it is exact if not better. It's not supposed to be spicy, Afghan food rarely is. There was a ton of food and everyone that worked there is so friendly. I loved it and plan on going at least once a week :o) —DanielleCurtis
2007-04-09 11:09:50 We were very pleased with this restaurant. Their posted hours for lunch end at 2:30, and we unfortunately showed up at that time, but the owner of course still seated us and fed us with enthusiasm and excellent attention to our table. The food was pretty good, and we'd definitely go there again. —RichardSarkis
2007-05-11 14:41:16 The salad was a 'wow' - liberal use of cilantro is hard to come by. The kind and gentlemanly host gave us brief intro's of the dishes and kept the trays replenished. Personally, I don't see why I should bother with the place across the street any more, despite differences in cuisine, and despite my hankering for Indian desserts. —ChristineLeo
2007-05-11 16:48:28 Went on a Sunday afternoon for the lunch buffet. My boyfriend and I both tried a little bit of everything and loved most of it. The chaply kabob veggie patties were my favorite dish, and we both went back for seconds and thirds of the pudding. The only thing I didn't like was the eggplant dish, but eggplant itself isn't something I usually enjoy. —AdrienneDahler
2007-06-20 18:54:52 I was rather disappointed by this restaurant on a recent visit. I have had Afghani food before, and looked forward to trying this new place. There was no buffet and we had to order off the entree menu. Both of us ordered the House Kabob, one beef, one lamb. It came with a salad that wasn't like the one described in the menu, supposedly with lots of vegetables and fresh herbs. It consisted of iceberg lettuce and a few bits of vegetables, served with an gloppy, orange hued italian dressing from the supermarket. We expected something better from a restaurant such as this. The kabob meat was dry and served with a pilaf that was pretty good, but the meal, as a whole was lacking. It certainly wasn't worth the cost. Perhaps the buffet is done better and is a better bargain, but I don't think we'll go back. —MartyPavelka
2007-07-13 15:06:54 I was a little afraid after reading the previous review but my wife and I decided to give it a try. The buffet was there so we both got that, it was small but everything we tried was great. I asked if the buffet was only at night and our waitress told us that they had taken it off for awhile but now its back for lunch and dinner. I also saw a group of people with wine and asked if they served alcohol, aparently they let you bring your own bottle of wine at no extra cost if youd like. Overall great food, and the two of us paid under 20 dollars for everything! We'll definately be going back. —NicholasBernard
2007-09-02 08:40:54 I don't know how to make these changes, but Ariana is most certainly closed. I drive past several times a day and it has not been open for a couple months. Last week I saw a large truck loading things from the restaurant, so I assume that this is not just a temporary retreat. Shame. —RochesterGuy
2007-10-07 14:50:15 I wanted to try their lunch buffet but found it closed. I asked the owners of the nearby Indian Grocers and they said they had closed due to a kitchen fire. —PattyShay
2007-11-21 18:32:22 Ariana Kabob House has REOPENED!!! OPENED WEN NOV 21, 2007!!
OPEN EVERYDAY OF THE WEEK FROM 5PM-9PM
The staff said they aren't open Thanksgiving. They said that they are going to open it in the afternoons sometime soon, they said they take special order, parties, and catering but no longer do the menu.
MORE CHOICES! —XenaLynn
2007-12-09 09:51:53 Just went the other day and they have upped the ante. There is more selection and the food is even better than it was before. The same wonderfully nice owners are there and were attentive as always. I couldn't be happier that this place is open again and sincerely hope that they continue to serve the area. Highly recommended. —RochesterGuy
2007-12-23 13:41:36 Food taste better and lighter to the stomach than India House. Thank God for competition. —WilliamSmith
2008-01-29 21:13:54 So delicious. I got the lunch buffet - loved the chicken kabobs, beef stew, eggplant, chaply kebab, samosas, mint chutney, both kinds of rice, naan and the fresh salad...so, effectively I loved everything. I enjoy the delicate spices and it is definitely less greasy than most Indian restaurants in Rochester. I will definitely be going back! —OneLove
2008-02-22 20:38:55 My wife and I visited for the first time this evening, I was VERY impressed. The buffet had great variety, plenty for vegetarians and 2 meat dishes (beef stew and chicken kabob). The chicken was honestly the best chicken I have ever had - moist, tender, delicately spiced. Both rice dishes were fragrant and nutty. Their black tea is spiced yet mild and served without milk, very nice. I highly recommend this restaurant, and don't be put off by the darkish exterior, the inside is warm and cheery. Remnants of India House Veggie Cafe abound. The owners are friendly and welcoming. In addition, the kheer-like pistachio cardamom dessert is really, really fantastic. Enjoy it while you can! —MantraSix
2008-04-01 10:33:03 An update, their lunch hours are suspect, even after confirming with the owner the hours are correct. The hours listed on their menu are different from their signage. Dinner seems more reliable. I would call first for lunch. —MantraSix
2008-05-20 02:58:13 Closed again, eh? hmmm... —NathanHenderson
2008-09-18 22:12:16 this is a wonderful place but is now closed i am so sad. :( —harryFREAKINchu