Aarya is run by South Africa’s first MasterChef SA winner, Deena Naidoo. The restaurant is located in the heart of Montecasino’s vibrant Outdoor Piazza. Deena decided to name the restaurant in honour of his daughter – the apple of his eye – who in turn was given the name for its Sanskrit meaning, which is noble, kind, honourable, dear, and favourable, and is considered to be a respectful way of addressing women. The restaurant menu reflects the South African nation and what the MasterChef competition was all about, which was bringing people from diverse cultures and backgrounds together. Deena has an extensive knowledge of spices, which can be tasted in the variety of dishes prepared at Aarya.
The service is superb and the food that is made is simply delicious, te owner Deena knows how to treat customers and he even engages with you to make you feel at home, the place is clean and top standard the overall experience was just phenomenal. Keep up the high standard Deena and team.
Great service, excellent host that explained the menu and decided as it's our first time there and was before the Chicago show at the theater she decided to let us taste most of the menu to tantalize our tastebuds just to show of how great their food and chefs are.
I was excited about this restaurant as I am a big fan of masterchef. However I was dismally disappointed, firstly I ordered a hot chocolate which took about 20 minutes to come. We waited for the food we ordered for another 45 mins with no explanation from the waiters. Infact we didn’t even have a consistent waiter the whole time we were there.
When the food arrived it was bland and again very disappointing. The waiters even messed up our order which delayed the meal even more. When it was time to pay the waiters they brought the bill and then disappeared again and we had to go look for them to pay. The service and the food was just really bad I will not be going back and I can’t recommend it to anyone.
I have visited Masterchef Season 1 Winner Deena Naidoo’s restaurant on several occasions, on request from my little lad, well not so little anymore! Generally on his birthday he requests to go there. He loves butter chicken! So finally I decided to write a review on my last visit to Arya’s.
Tesh and I with our 2 children decided to take 2 friends to try Deenas famous butter chicken curry This review is based on my last visit.
I myself generally order the chilli prawn salad
as a starter which is a generous, portion of salad served with balsamic, garlic & chilli prawns with a mixed, crisp, fresh, leafy salad vine tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, peppadews and soft chunky, creamy feta then with deglazed balsamic drizzle. In all my visits this dish never failed to delight me. All the textures and flavours combined are perfect. Crunchy, creamy, seasoned to perfection.. It’s refreshing, delicious, healthy ...exploding with flavours.
My daughter Rika, ordered the Oak smoked salmon trout salad, being the salmon trout lover that she is, which as per the menu is napped with honey and mustard dressing on lettuce,micro herbs, peppers, cherry tomatoes and red onion (so disappointing and boring) Rika wished she ordered my chilli prawn salad.
My main was Deena’s award winning butter chicken served with cumin seed, basmati rice. I normally order more cumin rice has the portion given is not in proportion to the butter chicken served. This dish however during my last visit was not made with care and did not meet its usual standards. Firstly the rice was terribly over cooked; we ordered 3 of the same mains and in all the dishes served the flavours of the curries were bland with the usual pleasant burst of flavours totally absent. The colour was the same though.
We ordered also a Chocolate mud pie with a dash of Turkish delight for dessert which was acceptable, except for the fact the mud pie was hard.
The free birthday cake that we usually are given on birthdays at Arya’s was handed to us frozen. At least the manager prewarned us and apologised in advance for this. So we called it the ice cream cake. We mentioned to the waiter long before that we needed a cake.
The service well honestly I can’t even tell you what my waiters name. He never pay our group of 6 much attention. Mostly absent the entire night. The manager however tried his best to immediately rectify our needs and quickly get our drinks after waiting for the waiter for over 20mins, then he also got us more cumin rice (which for the first time we were charged for). The manager also asked 2 others to assist with our table when our meals finally arrived, while our waiter was still in the restaurant but not at all interested in our orders or requests. He seemed to be more interested in other tables although everyone else seemed to be coping.
We ordered coffees just one latte and one expresso and it wasdelivered to us 15-20 mins later after asking about it from the manager again and slices of the frozen cake was half eaten by the kids on the table by the time the coffees arrived. The cake didn’t defrost enough by the time we exited the restaurant.
VERDICT: I was so embarrassed taking my friend to this restaurant hoping to let him experience this award winning dish with delight. And let him experience something to talk about.
Yet the service was outrageously bad, the mains were disappointing. And even my son won’t ask to go there again. My 2 rating is mainly because of. the manager and the chilli prawn salad who tried to save the night but unfortunately wasn’t enough. I was too embarrassed to even talk about the food at the table to my guests, but they too politely mentioned that the service was slow; a few times.
One of the worst experiences ever. On the 5th June, my wife made reservation for 6 at the restaurant for the 9 June at 7pm. We had some out of town guests and wanted to treat them to something special (with all of us being Indian), if only I had known. well, we get there at 7, get shown to our seats and get forgotten about. I mean at 7:20 no one even came to get our drinks order, let alone leave us a menu. after 2 minutes of waiting, we stood up to leave, when a white couple and their little 3 year old sat down at the table behind us. From the time it took us to walk to the door, they had been seated, menus placed in front of them and the waiter asked if the would like something to drink. That was the last straw. I asked to speak to the manager, and this guy was just as bad as the poor service. No apologies, not asking us to stay, nothing!!!! An hour later some guy calls to ask why we haven't honored our reservation. After my wife explained what happened, he said he will look into and call her back, well we are still waiting for the call.