Cunard has given a preview of Aranya, the new Indian-themed restaurant that is set to debut onboard the Queen Anne in May 2024.
According to a press release, the immersive dining experience featured a three-course meal for VIP guests and was held in The Verandah onboard the Queen Victoria, while the ship was docked in Southampton on Dec. 11, 2023.
“We always strive to deliver unparalleled culinary experiences at sea, and we were absolutely thrilled to share a sneak peak of what’s to come with Aranya, which will be one of the most exciting dining venues aboard our newest ship, the Queen Anne,” said Katie McAlister, President of Cunard.
“Cunard is renowned for high-quality dining options, and we’re delighted to be introducing more venues that reflect the vibrancy and varied cultural tastes of our guests. The Queen Anne will offer more choices of entertainment, dining, and bars than ever before and we’re so excited to be working with chefs at the very top of their game,” she added.
The Aranya preview was hosted by Surjan Singh, known as Chef Jolly. Coming from India, the chef is working with Cunard to develop the Aranya menu and has a three-decade career in restaurant business.
His achievements include senior positions at the Taj Palace in New Delhi, the Goa Marriott Resort, the JW Marriott Mumbai, the Renaissance Mumbai, and London Marriott West India Quay Hotel, the company said, in addition to stints on MasterChef India and MasterChef Junior, India.
Alongside Cunard’s Culinary Development team, led by Gareth Bowen, the chef delivered a host of dishes for the festive feast, starting with a selection of appetizers including smoked chilly pork belly with buttered pao and pickled red cabbage; roasted sweet potato Tikki with a cumin-beet puree; and a sweet pea, goat’s cheese and almond kofta.
A choice of mains comprised roasted wild turbot with tamarind chili tomato; slow roasted beef short rib with caramelized red onion-cashew nut yogurt gravy; masala roasted cauliflower with wild mushrooms; and a pot sealed Biryani filled with Welsh lamb shoulder.
To finish, a trio of desserts were served – a jamun, passionfruit mascarpone with a hazelnut nougat; a Malai- Lychee kulfi; and a fresh cut fruit chaat masala.
According to Cunard, Aranya has been designed “to surprise and delight guests, taking diners on a journey through the rich spice flavors of India with menus curated by experts in their field.”
The venue is intended to transport guests on a multi-sensory tour of the Indian subcontinent, the company added, with interiors that include floor-to-ceiling windows and luxurious finishings.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be working with Cunard on such an exciting project. Aranya is not just a restaurant, it is a multi-sensory culinary experience that is designed to immerse diners in the rich spice flavors of the Indian subcontinent,” said Surjan Singh (Chef Jolly), Aranya Development Chef.
“Every dish has been curated with authenticity and quality at its heart, resulting in a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation that I hope diners will remember long after their voyage,” he added.
Aranya is one of four additional dining experiences that will be available on Queen Anne – alongside Aji Wa, Sir Samuels, and Tramonto.
The evening-only dining venue will be available to guests as a supplement, complementing the included options offered for lunch or dinner elsewhere on the ship.