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Let’s eat! Sudbury’s newest Indian restaurant offers a taste of northern Punjab

Owner Gurpreet Singh Thind is a bold new local entrepreneur, opening three locations of Sukhdev Restaurant during the pandemic

 

Gurpreet Singh Thind is quite the entrepreneur.  He and his family have a presence for their North Indian cuisine in two markets in the region and now have added a third in Sudbury.

“Our client count Increases week after week. Espanola, that is where we started in 2020. It was in August when we took over. Then came Massey in March 2021. A great opportunity. In Espanola, we have a patio so that is good right now.”

Three restaurants in one year — almost unheard of, especially during a pandemic. 

“I am trying to negotiate something for Sudbury for some outdoor dining,” Thind said. “It is a process. Let’s see where it goes.” 

Why Sudbury? “Sure there are two or three other East Indian restaurants, but I learned about the city online and developed a direct deal with the Quality Inn. I moved here with family: brother, sister-in-law and my wife. Amrit, my brother, manages things here. We often work 12 to 14-hour days. It is not an easy job.”

He said the focus might be North Indian, but Sukhdev Restaurant, which is located in the Quality Inn on Elgin Street, offers a variety of dishes.

“Punjab North Indian Cuisine is what we focus on, but actually, our food is a combination of north, east, west and south,” he said. “We have good mixture of dishes popular in the big cities of India.”

Sukhdev opened its Sudbury location on June 8. Hours are limited due to the pandemic, but will be expanded once things open up.

I asked about the name of the restaurant.

“It’s my father's name. We honour him. I have learned cooking from my elder brother. We have a variety of options to offer as our menu also has choices for vegan, for gluten-free and for vegetarians.”

Being located so close to the Bridge of Nations, the multiculturalism of Canada is more than symbolic. “Yes, we are so happy to be a part of Northern Ontario and all the different communities supported us through the toughest time of COVID-19. We owe so many thanks to each person for this. In Sudbury, too, many customers are already aware of our quality food and ordered the day we opened.” 

Thind is hopeful that with Ontario moving through the stages of reopening, things in the restaurant sector will soon return to something like normal.

“During COVID-19, it was a big investment and a big risk,” Thind said. “We feel the tough time is almost gone and we all will return to normal life in a couple months.”

He said the pandemic has certainly changed how they do business, explaining they have put in place an online ordering system and a table reservation system, too, and are working on “more innovative ways” of ensuring a stellar dining experience while ensuring everyone’s safety.

But when it comes to the food, what should people order as a first experience at Sukhdev? 

“We have plenty of options for all categories of customers,” Thind said. “If someone wants to try something with mild spices, I would recommend trying our royal butter chicken with the best garlic naan in the city.” 

Taste the tandoori skewers, the many appetizers including paneer pakora and samosas. An extensive vegetarian selection lists potato curry, malai kofta, as well as an okra masala.  Shrimp, beef, lamb, and chicken dishes are accompanied by saffron rice, biryanis and roti. My plans for a future dinner includes these must-attempt courses: punjabi goat curry, chicken vindaloo, and madras beef coconut.

“Beyond all this we have very popular smoothies, Lassi, protein shakes, drinks, and fresh juices.” 

Mango lassi and strawberry lassi are like milkshakes. Yogurt, water, spices — like cardamom or Saffron —  rose water and sometimes fruit are blended into an incredibly tasty and refreshing beverage. Cool but light on those blisteringly hot humid nights. 

Lastly, let’s talk dessert. Gulab jamun and rice pudding kheer are but two of the choices. There are others.

How can you place an order? Easy, visit Sukhdev.ca. Customers can place orders and even pay there, too, for contactless pickup. Doordash, Uber Eats, and Skip the Dishes are also options.

Oh, before we go, we almost forgot to mention the Canadian-Indian fusion dishes Sukdev offers. You’ve got to check out butter chicken poutine and masala fries. If you have not ordered from Sukhdev yet … well, what are you waiting for.

Sukhdev Restaurant

390 Elgin Street, Sudbury (Quality Inn)
705-670-0101
Sukhdev.ca
info@sukhdev.ca
Hours of Operation
Seven days a week
Monday 4-10 p.m.
12-10 p.m. Tues-Sun

Hugh Kruzel is a freelance writer and committed foodie in Greater Sudbury. Let’s Eat is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.