SheBeeEatsOut: Masterchef SA Winner’s New Restaurant

I’m really excited.  When Jon and I watched Masterchef SA last season we routed for Deena from the beginning.  1.  Because he’s from Durban like me, and 2. Someone Jon works with is related to Deena, and Jon being the ‘rah-rah’ work team player he is obviously picked Deena as his winner.

This morning I received a press release from Montecasino announcing that aside from the restaurant he currently runs as part of his Masterchef prize, Deena will be opening his very own restaurant called Aarya:

Aarya is a dream come true for MasterChef SA winner

For the first time ever in MasterChef history around the world, the amateur chef who has won the title of the reality TV show has been awarded the rights to run a restaurant in partnership with an established hospitality company. SA’s very first MasterChef winner, Deena Naidoo, will be opening a restaurant that will carry a name of his choosing, along with a menu that reflects his unique culinary inspirations and concepts.

The restaurant, located in the heart of Montecasino’s vibrant outdoor piazza, will be called Aarya (pronounced Aaa-ri-ya) and is scheduled to officially open on 5 November amid the fanfare and excitement that the MasterChef series created throughout its run on DStv earlier this year.

Shame, the name of the restaurant is a tribute to Deena’s 10 year old daughter who is the apple of his eye.  Of course, Aarya is also the name of my favourite heroine out of Game of Thrones, so I approve all round.

I see that Deena’s mission is to break the stigma of being SA’s curry king, which suits me just fine too.  I’m not overly fond of hot spices, and curry is really lost on me (almost like giving strawberries to pigs) so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do outside of the Indian cuisine I watched him do on Masterchef.

I cannot wait!  I’ve already sent a calendar invite to Jon for our next date night to be at this restaurant opening.  And don’t worry, if you’re not from Joburg, I’ll write all about it here so that when you are in Joburg you’ll know whether to go to Aarya for dinner or not 🙂


PS: SheBeeEatsOut will be a new series I’m introducing to the blog.  Jon and I go out often enough for me to warrant restaurant reviews.  I’ve also wanted to break into the lifestyle/entertainment blogging arena for a while and I thought this was the perfect opportunity.  I hope you like the posts 🙂


  1. Nicole says:

    Arya is one of my favourite characters too!

    Yes, that’s what I got from this post first, but second…I think doing restaurant reviews as a new series is an awesome idea. 🙂

  2. Dawn says:

    Araya resturant

    I watched masterchef an was happy denna won

    Looked forward to his resultant to try the dishes

    Flew this wek to Jhb to eat at the resurant got a booking very easily to my amazement. Of news it’s was book months in advance

    Exciisted. To see this amazing resturant

    When we arrived we were not blown away

    We were seated at a dirty table food filled in glass tops not clean at all

    The manager was carting plates he could not hold an the resurant was not busy

    Food standing for hrs

    We were given menus an order was taken in mins we did not even have time to read the menu

    Starts arrived brunt drinks were wrong an the food was dryer out

    Then main right after the starters

    In purple dishes not to my amazement this was not what I expected the prawns were not yeasty at all the chicken that won a award was soaked in water no taste

    Paid the bill asked for doggie bags yet to hand to the garage attendant for dinner hope he enjoyed the dinner

    It was not worth the money time an effort I put in supporting this man as a chef or flying to Jhb to eat at his resturant never agine

    Marketing is the worst thing ever an yet so many don’t complain just except it sad days

    Well good luck but I will not be eating their agine or staying I was their it was one of the worst dinners I had

    An we eat out many resturants


  3. Dawn says:

    Never Agine will I eat at aarya in Johannesburg

    Not worth it in yeast decor an cleanliness

    Services an ethics


  4. Sharlene says:

    Went here for our anniversary dinner!!. My family was super excited due to the fact that we are huge Masterchef fans!!! What a disappointment! Nothing that we ordered was seasoned or had any flavour… mussels starter seemed to be watered down, chicken livers bad, clams and spaghetti tasted like milk… steak had a burnt crust and was raw inside.. The only flavour I got from my lamb shank was sugar YUK!!, the “award winning” butter chicken resembled and tasted like airline food…I won’t be recommending this place to anyone.. The food is overpriced and tasteless… the wine was good and got me through the night…

  5. Mike says:

    We went there because of the advertising hype.
    Never again.
    Menu limited and food so so. Wine list limited.
    Table not ready at the time we booked.
    A total let down

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