Chorney-Sales space: Namo Café and Bistro celebrates the bounty of India with new dinner service

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Enterprise at restaurateur Ashish Damle’s brunch-oriented Namo Café and Bistro has been good. Since 2018, he’s been serving tasty daytime fare, with an emphasis on international flavours (suppose harissa lamb breakfast bowls and a lobster Rangoon Benedict) and wholesome plant-based choices. Enterprise was so brisk on the unique Bridgeland restaurant that earlier this yr Namo expanded to the Beltline with a second brilliant and welcoming café.

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Damle has seemingly hit the proper components relating to crave-worthy bunch gadgets, however in his coronary heart he dreamed of doing one thing completely different. Regardless that he’s an achieved chef able to dealing with every kind of delicacies, he yearned to share his ardour for Indian cooking. Since opening the primary Namo, Damle has been quietly plotting a dinner service centred round thali, a mode of particular person Indian meals served on platters stacked with a number of curries, starches, and condiments. Extra elegant than a buffet, however simply as assorted, thali would give Damle an opportunity to showcase a variety of Indian flavours to Namo’s loyal buyer base.

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Namo Cafe and Bistro proprietor Ashish Damle, centre, with workforce members Raj, left and Tushar. Gavin Younger/Postmedia Gavin Younger/Postmedia

Damle began enjoying with the thali idea within the early days of Namo Bridgeland, however as a brand new restaurateur with a prolonged brunch menu to execute, the timing wasn’t proper. The idea was additional delayed by the pandemic and the opening of the brand new restaurant, however final month Damle lastly launched his dinner service after life circumstances reminded him that whereas the flavour mixtures of Indian could also be infinite, the time he needed to understand his culinary imaginative and prescient will not be. He’s named this system Anantaya.

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The inside of the Namo Cafe Bistro in Calgary’s Beltline. Gavin Younger/Postmedia Gavin Younger/Postmedia

“Anantaya additionally occurs to be my dad’s title,” Damle says, sharing that his father handed away earlier this spring, prompting him to make a number of journeys again to India to see household. “The title means ‘infinite.’ That’s what I consider my dad as, however Indian delicacies itself is analogous in that there’s no actual restrict. Once we make daal, there isn’t a one appropriate recipe — there are 1.4 billion recipes as a result of that’s India’s inhabitants and everybody makes it their very own approach.”

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A Thali platter was photographed within the Namo Cafe Bistro in Calgary’s Beltline. Gavin Younger/Postmedia Gavin Younger/Postmedia

Damle is presently positioning Anantaya as a pop-up inside Namo, working this system till not less than the early spring to gauge demand. The Anantaya menu features a conventional family-style eating format that includes curries, biryani, and different dishes, with flavours drawn from the coastal or peninsula portion of India — which covers loads of floor. Diners can select from what Damle calls “half plates” (appetizer-sized parts of dishes that may sometimes be served as a full meal) with artistic choices like Koliwadi fish and chips with peri-peri yam fries ($15), a grilled cheese model of dabeli ($14) and dosa made with native Bear and Flower pork ($15). The richly flavoured curries are equally compelling, with alternatives together with a spicy Chettinad-style rooster curry ($17), fragrant lamb ishtu stew scented with fennel and cardamom ($18), and an irresistible pistachio butter rooster made particular with smoked rooster, honey, and cream ($17).

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The inside of the Namo Cafe and Bistro. Gavin Younger/Postmedia Gavin Younger/Postmedia

The thali plates are one of the simplest ways to go, although. For $35 every, everybody on the desk will get their very own platter that includes any curry off the primary menu plus a chef’s choice of vegetable curries, daal, breads, rice, pickles, and a small dessert. In all, thali clients get 12 completely different dishes, with completely different choices every week. If the small dessert on the platter isn’t sufficient to fulfill candy tooths, Damle and his workforce additionally make a scrumptious special-occasion custard ($10) and different Indian-inspired desserts.

The Anantaya dinner menu is out there completely at Namo’s Beltline location at 396 eleventh Ave S.W. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. For reservations and extra info, go to namocafebistro.com/anantaya.

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In different native restaurant information, Lina’s — the Italian market that has been a Calgary mainstay for over 30 years – has been rising at a breakneck tempo since altering possession just a few years in the past. The newest Lina’s outlet, becoming a member of the unique Centre Avenue location in addition to three newer outlets unfold all through town, is an expansive market idea in Deerfoot Metropolis. Lina’s Market Corridor is a wonderland of Italian goodies, with stations for pizza, Italian sandwiches, pasta, and different sizzling meals in addition to robust grocery and deli components. There’s a lot to be eaten onsite and at dwelling, so make sure you present up with an urge for food. Lina’s Market Corridor is positioned at 5103, 901 sixty fourth Ave. N.E. within the coronary heart of Deerfoot Metropolis.

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Lastly, Lulu Bar, probably the greatest locations within the metropolis for enjoyable cocktails and snacks, simply launched a brand new Honolulu Hour, with beer, wine and cocktails all priced at half-off from 2 p.m. to five p.m. This mid-afternoon particular is in keeping with the completely satisfied hours at a lot of Lulu’s guardian firm Concorde Leisure’s different venues, which have quietly turn out to be a number of the finest daytime offers within the metropolis. Plus, it’s an excuse to take pleasure in a spherical (or two) of Lulu’s signature hotdog bao buns, one of the crucial Instagram-worthy bites within the metropolis. Lulu Bar is positioned at 510 seventeenth Ave. S.W.

Elizabeth Chorney-Sales space will be reached at [email protected]. Comply with her on Instagram at @elizabooth or join her publication at hungrycalgary.substack.com.

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