The brand new Tsogo Sun Chef’s Challenge is creating quite a stir (excuse the pun!) and takes the group’s leading chefs out of the comfort zones of their restaurant kitchens and challenges them to prepare a meal for a select group of invited foodies in a unique location within the property.

The exclusive gathering of foodie bloggers and media last week challenged Chef Kenny Ngubane of Aarya Restaurant to produce tasting portions of selected dishes from Aarya’s menu. Aarya is a collaboration between Deena Naidoo, first winner of MasterChef SA, and Tsogo Sun, and is located at SunSquare Montecasino in Fourways.

The hotel set up a little tent on the hotel lawn, and proceeded to wow us with wonderful decor and great service!

Nibbles were amazing and included amazing canapés – smoked salmon, crème cheese with blinis and caviar; grilled Mediterranean vegetables, basil pesto and parmesan shavings; and Parma ham with marinated vodka melon balls.


The first course brought platters of exotic pizza starters and delicious intermediate salads.  The main course was an Aarya speciality – a trio of curry consisting of rich, decadent butter chicken, bean and prawn, served with condiments, Jeera basmati and roti. The butter chicken curry is amazing – it is my second time having it – it just gets better and better! 


Dessert was the perfect ending to the Aarya showcase – upside down cheese cake with lemon curd, and a South African cheese selection with preserves and water biscuits.

Chef Kenny Ngubane, who started his career in 1990 and has been with Tsogo Sun since 2007, is now Executive Chef at Montecasino with strong involvement in Aarya. He enjoyed the Challenge greatly, commentinh“To be in an environment that I am not accustomed to is very liberating and a breath of fresh air.” The biggest challenge was being outdoors without easy access to resources. His favourite item on the menu are the welcome snacks “because that’s something we don’t do much at Aarya.”

Chef Kenny has been delivering on the vision created by Deena and Togo Sun for the restaurant since it opened, and has been the backbone of the operation, ensuring a consistent, quality culinary experience at the now highly popular Montecasino restaurant. He loves Aarya for “the interactive exposed kitchen and the modern take on comfort food.”

Aarya has some exciting changes in the pipeline, old and new fans alike can watch this space for new developments in Autumn.

To make a reservation, call (011) 557-7007 and to view the restaurant’s menu, go to tsogosun.com.

Tsogo Sun’s portfolio includes over 90 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi!!

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