Restaurateurs take a (very) short break to talk food | NevadaAppeal.com

Restaurateurs take a (very) short break to talk food

PETER THOMPSON

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Bobby Singh, right, and his partner Bishan Singh, look over the buffet at India Curry restaurant in Carson City on Thursday morning before the lunch rush.

As anyone who saw an episode of NBC’s reality series “The Restaurant” can confirm, starting a new eatery can be as ambitious and stressful as any human endeavor imaginable, aside from, perhaps, putting a man on the moon.

Even a “celebrity chef” like the series’ star Rocco DiSpirito, who comes ready-made with a personality cult to heap fabulous piles of praise on his culinary abilities and a corporate publicity machine more powerful than many countries to get the word out, will confirm the somewhat exaggerated but ominous statistic that up to “90 percent of new restaurants fail in their first year.”

It takes a special breed to be a successful restaurateur. Owners of India Curry, Bobby Singh and Bishan Singh seem up to the task.

But wait a minute, an Indian restaurant in Carson City?

Entering an Indian restaurant is always a little bit like stepping off a quiet side street and into the middle of a full-blown parade – all five senses are quickly overtaken by the ornamentation, the music, the enchantment and the exotic promise of something at the end of the route, hopefully great food.

At India Curry, on 2329 N. Carson St., chances are, even before the aromatic bouquet of food, incense and spice will have a chance to greet you, convivial partners Bobby and Bishan Singh will.

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“We love the people here and always try to make them feel welcome,” says Bobby, 29, dressed in a black tie and perfectly pressed white dress shirt. He’s been in the restaurant business all of his life. His wife, Jafvir Kaur, is used to his long hours.

“I miss her,” he says, a tender touch to his voice. Not to mention his 11-month-old daughter, Rasneet. He recently bought a house in Northridge just to be closer to them.

Bishan, 33, rushing to the door to say hello to a crowd of buffet customers, agrees.

His wife Durdip is used to him coming home late after a long day. Bishan, the father of two- Jessica Barmar, and a son, Parminder Barmar admits that the hours are long, but worth it.

As for customer service, the two restaurateurs and old friends, seem to rely on the Sanskrit saying “Atithi devo bhava” as a business motto. Simply translated, “The guest is your god.”

Traditionally, Indians feel honored to share their meals with guests.

Along with third partner, Kulvinder Singh, who also serves as head chef, the trio waited for just the right location to open up in Carson City and then hired the best cooks they could find, bringing them in all the way from Boston via the Punjabi region of India.

“Punjabis are known for their love of food,” explains Bobby. And their hearty appetites.

With the glut of fast-food mainstays, the restaurateurs decided it was time to offer Carson City a culinary tour of the subcontinent.

“A lot of people told us Carson City was ready for an Indian restaurant,” Bobby said.

In the restaurant business, whether or not the place is called by the name of the owner, the experience becomes an extension of the owner. It is a personality-driven enterprise. Every essence of what goes into it comes out on the plate.

In this case, not only are the customers treated like gods, but the food is divine, exuding the same simplicity and warmth that Bobby and Bishan put into it.

“Some people are a little scared of Indian food at first,” Bobby says. “They think it may be too spicy or hot. But we suit it to their taste.”

The trio has big plans for the future: wall murals, waitresses clad in traditional Indian saris, and a possible second location in Lake Tahoe or Reno. Long hours are a given.

India Curry is open for an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and for dinner until 10:00 p.m. Call 887-9600 for more information.

Contact Peter Thompson at pthompson@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.

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