The best tasting menu in Dublin? Take a visit to Ananda in Dundrum and see for yourself…It’s a bold statement I know but one I’m more than happy to stand by. The combination of amazing food, paired with great wines, is hard to beat.
Ananda has a somewhat quirky location in Dundrum Town Centre, you can access via the street on Sandyford road or through the shopping centre. From the street entrance take the lift or starts to the 1st floor. The space is warm and inviting, with an opulent colour palette dark pinks, aubergines, lime, cream colours, dark woods and intersting decor touches like the ceiling lights. Think old style cocktail lounge ambience…
Ananda is owned by the same people as the Jaipur restaurants and the executive chef is Sunil Ghai. Over the years both Ananda and Sunil have been the recipients of numerous awards, all of which are more than well deserved.
We have visited Ananda many times, the early bird menu at €23.99 for 2 courses represents excellent value for the quality of Indian cooking and food you will get. On this visit we were treating ourselves to the Tasting menu. We have had it once before and it was truly spectacular. It can sometimes be dangerous to try recreate an experience like that but we were up for the challenge and did not leave disappointed. The tasting menu is priced at €85 and this includes paired wines. I’ll talk through each of our courses individually…
First up, a basket of poppadoms and chutneys / dips arrived, followed by an Amuse Bouche with a glass of Champagne
Our 1st course was Aloo Tikki Channa Chaat – Lentil & raisins stuffed potato cake, tangy chickpeas with yoghurt & mint dressing. This was served with a glass of Pinot Blanc – Jacques Iltis Vin de Alsace Pinot Blanc 2012. The potato cake was so full of flavour and we loved it. the wine was a perfect match, light and ever so slightly sweet.
This was followed by the 2nd starter, a Game Platter – Smoked duck tikka, plum chutney, grilled fig- Indian five spice rubbed Guinea fowl, aubergine & pea crush. This was a real hit for us both. and paired with a red wine, Chateaux la Marche Bordeaux 2011 – truly stunning plate of food. Probably the best course of the meal although there was not one that was anything less than excellent.
On the menu there is a choice of 4 main courses – I chose the chicken – Tandoori Murgh Punjabi Saag, Char-grilled Free-range Irish chicken breast, spinach, mango powder & tomato sauce. S chose the lamb – Kangra Gosht, Irish lamb rack, turmeric, ground pomegranate, spinach & chickpeas with purple garlic & blackened cumin. The other choices for this course were prawns (Achari Jhinga) or pork chop (Pork Vindaloo).
The chicken was paired with a Costalgo Zeni 2010 – quite floral, fruity. The Lamb was paired with an Italian wine, Banfi Montalcino Castello Banfi Montalcino Tuscany 2010. Both were good matches, and our food was delicious. The lamb in particular stood out here, perfectly pink rack of lamb.
A basket of different types of naan breads accompanies the main courses too.
Onto dessert and this was again a choice between 2 options – Chocolate Bar (Dark chocolate mousse, coffee glazed nutty brownie & passion fruit sorbet) or Thandai Masala Kulfi (Almond & cardamom flavoured eggless icecream with saffron & basil seeds sauce). While I was tempted by trying the latter, the lure of the chocolate proved too much and we both went for that! Paired with a glass of Mouton Cadet Reserve Sauternes, it was perfection. I’m normally not crazy on desserts but this was something special. Presented beautifully, each part of the plate was amazing.
There’s tea and coffee to finish if you choose, we decided to pass though on this occasion. We left so satisfied after a really amazing meal and experience. The food being produced from the kitchen at Ananda is special. The flavours and tastes of everything we ate were beautiful. The regular a la carte menu has a lot of choice and there’s an extensive wine list too. Our pick from it, if we are not on the tasting menu, would be the Predator Zinfandel (€38) or if white, the Australian Chardonnay (€35) or German Reisling (€34).
The tasting menu changes which is great as there are always so many dishes I want to try at Ananda…and no doubt we will be back to Ananda very soon.
Ananda | Sandyford Road, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14 | 01 2960099
www.anandarestaurant.ie | @AnandaDundrum