Coriander Kitchen makes it easy for everyone to love Indian cuisine | bloginfo(‘name’); ?>

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May 12, 2022 0 comments

By Constance Scrafield

Sahid Rahman and his partner, Suroj Bhandari chose to open their Indian restaurant in Orangeville for several excellent reasons. The first of these was to introduce Indian food to non-Indians.

Mr Rahman said in a telephone interview with the Citizen: “We thought the people of Orangeville could try something different. Since the day we opened we have been so busy.

This success is at least partly due to the restaurant’s wonderful aromas that emanate from its central location at 85 Broadway, directly across from the Orangeville Theater and travel to titillate the olfactory senses of anyone who parks behind the theater.

“I still have the same customers who came in the first days of our opening and that is the most important thing for a business.”

Messrs. Rahman and Bhandari will be celebrating Coriander Kitchen’s 10th anniversary on August 8th.

From the beginning, staffing has been a challenge because it is a very specialized kitchen and, as he said, “My partner and I, we both have a long experience, but we have need extra staff – a special chef who knows spices.”

He told us that 85% of his customers are British from the Indian-British relationship but it’s important to keep the spice level low so “people can try it and then they like it a lot” .

Coming from Bangladesh, Mr. Rahman came to Canada as a sponsored chef. He cooked at home and started learning from his family.

He explained, “My mother didn’t have a sister with us. So my brother and I had to help my mother and that got me interested in cooking. My mother sometimes comes to Canada. He got married in Canada and his family is here, with a daughter almost 10 years old and a youngest son. “When we opened the restaurant,” he said, “my wife was eight months pregnant.”

The restaurant’s current ambition is to find the right staff and adjust prices for the first time in six years to cover rising costs. They have to keep the doors open. “So many people say, ‘We haven’t tried this food, but when you come here it smells so good we have to try something,'” he recounted, adding, “For the future, when things calm down, people can come and dine indoors again.

The interior of the Coriander Kitchen is a simple affair. The space is long and narrow, placing tables along each wall but with enough room for four place settings each. Charming art from India adorns the walls; they can each be studied for a while, so much going on.

The open kitchen is where all meals are cooked and assembled. It’s always interesting to watch three chefs at work. A very neat menu lists and explains the dishes offered, each a delight with flavors quite far from our habits. Meat and fish are eaten in small pieces, marinated and spiced overnight and grilled or served with magnificent sauces or cooked in a traditional tandoori clay oven that they have on site. Fresh herbs, garlic, ginger are the beginnings of many dishes.

Everything is made fresh as it is ordered and a person can count on a 20 minute wait, time for Indian tea and maybe some nibbles – samosa or pakora. With a strong base of Indian vegetarians, like-minded people will find something to appeal to without meat on the menu.

“Our food is traditional,” Mr. Rahman assured us. “Most of my recipes are a little different. I focus on people. I chose the place where the most Brits are. They eat it twice a week. Many of my dishes are sweeter. If anyone requests, we can make it as spicy as they want, the heat level of chicken curry can vary.

Coming from Bangladesh to Fergus to work in an Indian restaurant 17 years ago, Mr. Rahman wanted to open his own establishment. After enough research and saving time, even for this first restaurant, it was him and Suroj Bhandari as partners. They had met at the Fergus restaurant.

Their first business was in Guelph in 2008 until late 2009 when there was a recession. After that he was looking for a small community and found the perfect spot in Orangeville.

He said, “The community of Orangeville is exceptional. I did not need to advertise after the feature in the [Orangeville] Citizen [June 2019]. People came and they came back. They have been very supportive during Covid; the people are great and we are really grateful to the people here.

Why someone should come to Coriander Kitchen: For the flavors it has, you should try. Don’t be afraid of the spice, he urged. It can be very sweet and very delicious. His wife was his client in Guelph.

“She loved my dansak,” he admitted, “She’s always my only type of drama if I do something a little different. She’s the first one I ask her, ‘How do you you love it ?’ »

What he likes here: “The people I’ve met here are all nice and now we see how the multicultural society is developing.

“That’s what’s great here and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Coriander Kitchen is located at 85 Broadway, immediately east of the Orangeville Theater. Phone 519-940-9410 for take-out and all the details are at www.coriander-kitchen.com

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