Enjoy great curry in a hurry.
Original Article | Glebe Report, Sept 14 2012
Anyone who has recently taken a walk along Bank Street near Fourth Avenue will have noticed a bright new pop of colour. Brilliant hues of fuchsia and yellow frame the door of the Glebe’s newest Indian food restaurant, Shafali. Twenty-five years ago, Gias Salim Uddin started out in the food industry managing the Nupur Indian restaurant (now the Taj Mahal). After launching three successful locations of Shafali around Ottawa, Gias is in the Glebe to cook up something new. Previously a resident of Fifth Avenue, Gias is looking forward to adding some spice to the Glebe. “It is a great neighbourhood to come back to. We’ve been waiting a very long time to find the right space to open,” he says. I had the opportunity to visit Shafali as it geared up for its opening in the beginning of September. An open kitchen concept with beautifully decorated walls is enough to entice anyone’s imagination to conjure up an image of being in India.
“It’s not a full service dining lounge, more a place where people can come and enjoy a meal that’s hot and ready fast. People today do not always have the time to spend a few hours dining, and are looking for a quick stop in,” says Gias. “We like to call it curry in a hurry” says Mohi Uddin, Gias’s brother and head cook at the Glebe location. Shafali offers limited dinein seating and features take-out and
Mohi is passionate about cooking, having left other positions to pursue it full time. He is excited to cook for a new community. Once the ovens are heated and aromas fill the restaurant, it will be impossible to walk by without stopping in to say hello to Mohi and see what “fish of the day” he is preparing. For those who Doug Woolidge shows a basic movement in Wu Style Tai-Chi Chuan.
“We like to say our food has a buzz to it,” says Gias. “Our dishes are flavourful and not subtle.” One of the signature menu items is the Chicken Tikka Wrap, which was voted “must eat before you die” by Ottawa Magazine. Butter chicken is also a favourite dish among
diners and there are many vegetarian options on the menu. Shafali stays true to its Indian roots and flavours, using traditional spices. Gias believes in bringing authentic Indian cuisine to the Glebe and is careful not to change the original recipes too much.
Shafali is also a supporter of the organization Child Haven, an international organization which operates to provide care and housing for children and women living in poverty. Artwork decorating the store is for sale, with proceeds donated to the foundation. Shafali is proud to be supplying all of the food in a Child Haven fundraiser to be held at Fifth Avenue Court on October 6. Gias has been in the food industry over 25 years, with his other Shafali locations still operating after 16 and 14 years. If Shafali’s reputation is any indication, Gias and his family will be adding some spice to the Glebe for years to come.