The spacious restaurant has ample seating and a deli section to take fresh and frozen treats home. Their large pastry display is full of homemade sweets like burfee, cupcakes, jelebi, and chana magaj, but we can’t get enough of their penda which has a super creamy texture and a glorious fudgey flavour similar to condensed milk.
The restaurant serves all the Mayfair favourites including tadka dal, hyderabadi vegetable biryani, and signature chilli paneer – crispy fried cubes of paneer and peppers coated in a sweet indo-chinese sauce. Shayona is purely vegetarian, but in the new store half the menu is also vegan. Vegan dishes like aloo gobi, idli sambhar, and palak paneer (replaced with potato) are indicated with a ‘v’ on the menu.
If you’re not in the mood for curry, Shayona has expanded the menu to include Italian dishes like pizza (vegan options available), pasta, and focaccia. Their pizza uses classic toppings but with a vegetarian twist like the ‘mexican’ with soya mince or the ‘hawaiian’ with pineapple and mushrooms instead of ham.
Interestingly, all the sweetmeats, doughs, frozen goods, and snacks are prepared in a central kitchen in Mayfair. When we visited the beautiful BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Mayfair, we popped into the Shayona kitchen in the temple courtyard. There were huge vats of freshly made sev, industrial ovens, and mountains of dough ready to be shaped.
The restaurant was founded in 1999 and at that time was based in a garage. It was created for devotees of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir temple who eat only pure vegetarian satvic food. Over the years the restaurant and its offering have expanded across the country. Shayona has even opened stores in Cape Town and Benoni!
The restaurant is run by volunteers at the temple and all proceeds go into building the restaurant brand and specialised Indian food products. They’re in the process of building a central kitchen twenty times larger than their current one to service the growing demands of the business. We’re happy as long as they continue to make our favourite penda.
Mon – Fri:10:00 - 21:00, Sat & Sun: 09:00 - 22:00, Public Holidays 09:00 - 22:00
74 Church St, Mayfair