Ananda, the flagship of the Jaipur chain of restaurants, redefined ethnic eating, and our expectation of Asian dining, when it opened back in 2008, more than a 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.
Mr Mittal trained with the Oberoi Group, before heading to New York, from where Asheeseh Dewan fortuitously persuaded him to try his youthful, 25-year-old! hands at Ananda. The result has been a blissful conjoining of Mr Mittal’s flair, and the charm of a comfortble, familiar and welcoming room. The food zings with unexpected flavours: Mughlai korma chicken stuffed with rose petals; tandoor-smoked duck with samosa of duck leg and fig; semolina bun with black gram lentil dumplings; saffron and rose water lamb biryani topped with pastry; superlative dal tadka; caramel and cardamom panna cotta. McKennas Guide editor Leslie Williams perfectly summarised the excellence of the Ananda cooking when he described it as ‘ambitious and hugely accomplished.’ The Independent put it quite simply: ‘I couldn’t recommend Ananda more.’ Get on the LUAS out to Dundrum right now, folks.
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