Following this a little murmur: The Jaipur chain were to open in Dundrum.
Then there was some muttering: Atul and Jaipur were joining forces and it was to open in May.
Then the name 'Ananda' cropped up, a few weeks later this website appeared. I rang a number of times and it always rang out, I signed up for the newsletter.
Then I heard a rumour, Ananda had opened, and it was good. That is happily one rumour that I can confirm. Though it does appear to be a 'soft' opening as I have yet to receive a newsletter.
Two Fridays ago, the Doc and I decided to head out for a quick bite, the only table in the main restaurant available was for 6.30 (we only rang about 5) and it was very quiet but the buzz developed over the next 40 mins.
An amuse bouche of pea soup was subtlely, aromatically spiced. The Doc started with Kurkura Murgh, good quality moist chicken lightly spiced and grilled. I opted for Kekda Balchao which was my dish of the meal, served in a cylindrical kilner jar with a chopped mango and chilli in the bottom and topped with sweet succulent crabmeat on the side was a tempura crab claw, each mouthful was a sweet/spicy explosion
The mains are divided into two sections, the first bears Atul's influence the second features some dishes more commonly found in Indian menus. The Doc opted for Nalli Ki Kaliyan, a shank of lamb that was literally falling off the bone, the rich sauce was mopped up with some good garlic and coriander naan. Unable to decide I went for the Ananda's Masahari, a variant on the traditional Indian thali small selections of a number of different dishes. The main plate arrived with some lemon rice and some succelent grilled chicken (not very spicy I need to taste it again to figure out the flavour). A half moon shaped plate surrounded this with four small bowls, a lamb rogan josh, a mild chicken curry (murgh makhani?), a prawn and a chickpea curry as well a two pieces of naan. There was easily enough in this dish for two, the only critisim I would have was that all four curries were the same colour and it thus didn't have the visual imapct of all the other dishes.
We were too full to contemplate dessert but it looked more 'Indian inspired' than traditional Indian, which is no bad thing in my opinion. Along with two bottles of sparking water the bill (excluding tip) came to 83.75 which I think reflects excellent value for the level of the experience.