New business

The new Penticton Indian Cuisine restaurant at 325 Main Street opened its doors earlier this month. It will be a family-run business as parents Dambar and Sita will be preparing the meals which will be served by their children Bashal (far left), Asmita and Rahul. The restaurant will feature authentic cuisine from India and Nepal.

It will very much be a family affair when customers sit down to dine at Penticton’s newest downtown restaurant.

The Khatari family, which includes parents Dambar and Sita and their children Bishal, Rahul, and Asmita, are the proud new owners of the Penticton Indian Cuisine Restaurant, located at 325 Main St. right next door to Mykonos.

The restaurant is in the same location as the former Annupurna Restaurant, which like Penticton Indian Cuisine, features a combination of food from India and Nepal, where the Khatari family originates from.

The family took over possession of the restaurant in late May and officially opened its doors to customers earlier this week on June 15.

Owning their own restaurant has been the dream of his parents and family for as long as he can remember, said Bishal.

“My parents have been cooking at another restaurant in town for a few years and at restaurants around the world,” he said. “They have been working in the restaurant industry for over two decades. They started in India and then moved to Cyprus. Then they moved to Japan and from there to Canada. They have always been working for someone else.

“They didn’t plan this, but an opportunity came up recently and they thought we should go for it and here we are today.”

The previous owners of Annapurna had their business on the market for some time and his parents were thrilled to have the opportunity to own and operate their own establishment for the first time, he said.

The restaurant will feature authentic Indian and Nepalese cuisine, including such standards at butter chicken, vegetarian and chicken samosas, pakoras, kormas, and a variety of mixed vegetable and chicken, lamb and beef plates.

“Our family is originally from Nepal, so we added several popular Nepalese dishes as well,” he said.

They include momos, sel roti, gundruk, bara, chatamari and more.

There are also several vegetarian dishes featuring tofu and soy bean items.

Being able to work with his parents and siblings in a family-owned business is something all members of the Khatari clan are very much looking forward to, said Bishal.

“Mom and Dad will be doing the cooking, but we will all be working together,” he said. “We’re a very tight-knit family and at all the other restaurants my parents worked at over the past few years, me and my brother and sister all worked at the front of house, so it’s nothing new for us.”

The Khataris invite all food lovers to come and sample their menu and promise they will enjoy a pleasant dining experience.

“We would like to ask people to give us a try,” he said. “We offer fresh food, great quality, good portions and reasonable prices.”

Like all other restaurant owners in B.C., Penticton Indian Cuisine has opened featuring plenty of space between tables to allow for social distancing and they also have strict cleaning procedures to protect customers, he said.

The restaurant is also offering disposable menus that are tossed out after each customer visit.

Because the restaurant has just opened and the Khatari family is trying to build a loyal clientele, they are offering both in-house service as well as takeout.

“Right now we’re relying on both,” he said. “Since most of the restaurants in town have just been allowed to open, people are slowly starting to come in, but most of our business this first week has been take out, We’re obviously going to rely on both in-house and takeout to get established.”

Penticton Indian Cuisine will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

For more information or to book a reservation, call the restaurant at 778-476-2683.