Business owner, and born-and-raised local, Pavi Khunkhun wanted to bring some new flavour to Golden. So when the restaurant at his hotel, The Golden Village Lodge, became vacant, he began his search to bring something truly authentic to his hometown.
That search came to fruition when Golden’s Indian Kitchen opened at the end of July.
“I really wanted to offer the same kind of food that I grew up with, what my mom and aunts used to cook,” said Khunkhun. “The locals in Golden have really embraced this new flavour, it’s been amazing.”
The search was a long one before Khunkhun finally found all the pieces to assemble his team. A previous plan fell through, which was discouraging, but once all the pieces for Indian Kitchen fell into place, including a team of professional chefs from B.C., Alberta and overseas, Khunkhun knew everything worked out the way it was supposed to.
“Food that looks pretty, but costs a fortune, just isn’t going to work in a place like Golden,” he said. “What these chefs have created was exactly what I envisioned and suits the community.”
After renovations, and bringing in special equipment like the tandoor clay oven, Indian Kitchen opened its doors to family on July 30, and then to the rest of the community.
“The feedback has been awesome,” said Khunkhun. “We hadn’t expected to fill the restaurant so quickly.”
There have been Indian restaurants in Golden in the past, but none have lasted long enough to become a mainstay in the community. Khunkhun hopes that with the level of professionalism in his team, Indian Kitchen is here to stay.
“I’m overwhelmed by the response so far, but we want to make sure we’re maintaining a high level of quality with the food,” he said. “I’m hoping this restaurant will become a staple in the community…the same way the Dusevic’s Bakery has just become part of the downtown.”
Indian Kitchen is now open seven days a week for lunch and dinner (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.), and also does takeout, delivery, as well as catering.
Maegan Corbett, originally from Cranbrook, moved to Golden to manage the restaurant. With extensive experience running restaurants, and particularly Indian restaurants, she was thrilled to get the opportunity to come to Golden.
“The town has been really great, and our staff is so happy to be here,” she said. After an admittedly busy season, Indian Kitchen had trial by fire for their first month in business. “We were taken by surprise how busy we got so quickly. But everyone has been really patient with us, and after we posted on Facebook that it would be helpful for larger groups to call first, everyone has been really great about it. So we owe a huge thank you to the community for that.”
Now that they have gotten through the busy summer season, they want to celebrate their grand opening with the town. On Sept. 23, Indian Kitchen will be hosting an open house style Grand Opening Celebration where guests can stop by, try some appetizers and desserts and check out the new restaurant. It will run from noon to 3 p.m., and include a ribbon cutting and entertainment. Following that, they will be open for regular dinner service.
“We really wanted to do something to say thank you to the community. From the local contractors who helped with our renovations, to everyone who has come in to try the food, Golden has just been so great. Thank you,” said Khunkhun.