EVERY time I have dined at Irana Asian Cuisine over the last two years they have changed a little, in terms of their additions to their already great and tasty menu.
And this time it was no different, with it now offering freshly-made sushi, making it a truly Asian experience at Irana Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar.
Owner Ravin Gooranah and wife Thile moved to East London and opened Irana in Vincent in 2004.
When it comes to Indian food in East London, Irana has been way ahead of the rest since it first opened its doors in the same year – and along with Pla’s Thai, taken over by Irana, have been among the top five to 10 restaurants in the city for the past couple of years. I can fully understand why, as you get an explosion of rich Asian flavours that will have you craving for more – even when you can’t eat anymore.
My girlfriend Bernie and I were taken on a tour of Asia as soon as we sat down, starting in Japan with a platter of fresh sushi that included prawn nigiri, tempura prawn dragon rolls, salmon roses and crabstick fashion sandwiches. We were met by experienced sushi chef Danny Yan Xhonghua, who apparently has quite a following among East London sushi eaters.
We both really enjoyed the sushi and could taste the freshness, with the salmon roses and dragon roll the stars of the show. The dragon roll had the crisp fried tempura prawn in the middle of the rice and seaweed making for a good contrast of textures.
We have also now been wowed and turned into chef Danny’s sushi fanatics.
Our next stop was China for our starters of homemade noodles stir-fried, with beef and onion in oyster sauce as the second dish at R79 and R59, respectively.
The beef in oyster sauce was an absolute favourite – it was so delicious and the beef perfectly tender
We vowed to return to have it again, because it’s not a dish that you can only have once. We then went on to what has made Ravin his name, absolutely tasty curries made from his own mix of homemade spices – some of them having their origins in Mauritius.
He served us the Chef’s Trio of Curries that included lamb vindaloo, chicken korma and vegetable rogan josh. This is served with Pulao rice, aloo paratha, roti, raita coriander dip and sambals. And all at just R169 per person.
This special is however only available on a Saturday.
This alone was an explosion of delicious flavours, with each dish serving up a different curry sensation. Each of the three curries was better than the other, with my favourite being the lamb vindaloo, which I had hot. It was tender lamb in one of the best, thick curry gravies that I’ve ever tasted. Bernie could not make up her mind as to what her favourite was, with the veggie rogan josh and chicken korma, made with a rich and tasty cream sauce, delighting her tastebuds.
The aloo paratha, Ravin said, was an absolute favourite among his patrons, with many coming in just to have that as a main meal. It is a roti dough made into a pie filled with the most tasty mild potato curry served with a coriander dip.
Bernie had Ravin’s special homemade mango ice-cream for dessert and loved it.
All in all, our tastebuds had been to China, India and Japan but I did not have one of my favourite types of food that Irana also serves up, Thai cuisine. Needless to say, Ravin and his staff will be seeing me again soon to sample their awesome food with a wide range of tasty flavours.