Aarya at SunSquare – dubbed by many as a gem of Johannesburg’s food scene – is shaking things up this season with a new menu bent on showcasing the culinary prowess of Chef Deena Naidoo and Executive Chef Rodgers Mahasi – who joined Aarya as Executive Chef in 2017, bringing a wealth of international experience and an almost palpable passion for food.

Nestled on the Piazza at Montecasino, the upmarket South African fusion restaurant, which is joint-owned by Naidoo, South Africa’s first MasterChef winner, continues to reimagine flavoursome favourites to incorporate a unique South African flair, making it a fusion food paradise.

“The new dishes reflect Aarya’s Executive Chef Rodgers Mahasi’s personality. His signature is firmly on the menu, along with his ideas and that of his time, while also taking into consideration feedback from our guests. The result is a touch of modernisation, a hint of exotic, revisiting much-loved flavours, and some winter comfort dishes,” says Naidoo.

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We had the opportunity to sample delectable dishes from the new menu, which include seafood, curries, pasta and even grills, while enjoying its vibrant setting that’s quite accessible, making it an ideal choice for get-togethers with friends and families, or even a business meeting.

Enjoy naan bread instead of bread rolls, tandoori mushrooms and mussels in saffron-infused white wine cream and oak-smoked salmon and avocado salad. A must-try for vegetarians is the roasted butternut and couscous salad. For an indulgent pasta dish to keep you warm this winter, try the seafood deluxe – a creamy seafood pasta reduced in white wine and lemon zest.

For those with a sweet tooth, the menu offers classics such as malva pudding, vanilla crème brulee, ice cream delights with chocolate sauce, upside-down cheesecake, chocolate mud pie and fudge Picasso.

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Regulars need not worry, as the restaurant’s signature dishes, such as Naidoo’s famous butter chicken curry and the trio of curries (prawn, potato and butter bean and butter chicken) are still available. There’s also been an emphasis on making each dish kid-friendly, so the whole family can be sure to discover new favourites.

“Creating this menu has been an exciting process for me as well as the Aarya team, fine-tuning each dish to ensure that it delivers the perfect balance of flavours and textures, and positions us as a favourite place for special occasions, celebrations, intimate dinners, or simply a treat night out,” says Naidoo.

For more about Aarya restaurant, visit: tsogosun.com/aarya or call: 011 557 7007.

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