Ananda, the flagship of the Jaipur chain of restaurants, redefined ethnic eating, and our expectation of Asian dining, when it opened back in 2008, a full decade ago. In the ensuing years, the restaurant has been characterised by an enviable consistency, along with a dynamic creativity that manages to make the marriage of Irish ingredients and ethnic techniques and seasonings seem utterly logical. A small selection of classic Indian dishes are offered, and the vegetarian selection is excellent, but it’s with the modern interpretations that the real energy of Ananda lies, and where we best see the vivid creativity of head chef Karan Mittal: Mughlai korma chicken stuffed with rose petals; scallops with cauliflower korma; semolina bun with black gram lentil dumplings; superlative dal tadka; rose petal-scented kulfi. McKennas Guide editor Leslie Williams perfectly summarised the excellence of the Ananda cooking when he described it as ‘ambitious and hugely accomplished.’ That is exactly what it is.
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