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AARYA is the name of MasterChef SA winner Deena Naidoo’s new restaurant in Montecasino in Fourways.
The restaurant, which was launched last night, is named after Naidoo’s 10-year-old daughter.
“The name captures how I treat and present my passion for food. It is my philosophy,” he said in reference to the ancient Sanskrit, which, loosely translated, means to “treat a woman with dignity, love and respect”.
The restaurant’s butter chicken – Naidoo’s signature dish – was served alongside other sample dishes that feature on his menu. The dishes on offer included pizzas, prawns, crème brûlée, and curry and rice.
“I wanted to design a menu that would be representative of our country and its diversity,” said Naidoo, who worked in IT before entering the amateur cook competition.
The open-plan restaurant, with the kitchen in full view of patrons, was suffused with the smell of cumin and coriander, which have become Naidoo’s trademark.
But it was the tang from the grill that tantalised guests’ senses.
Aarya is fully booked for the rest of the month.
Celebrity guests included TV personality Bonang Math