In Brisbane Hostplus Restaurant and Catering Awards 2022, Canberra’s Daana was crowned best Indian restaurant in Australia.
Chef Sanjay and Chef Sunita Kumar at Daana restaurant, expressed their delight at the honour.
“This award, winning Gold has been 7 years in the making.” Explains Chef Sanjay Kumar.
“Daana receiving national recognition as the Best Indian restaurant in Australia, is the result of our whole team delivering consistency in creating the Daana experience.
“This is a story of resilience, perseverance, and faith. From starting out in a shipping container, to building our brand, surviving the pandemic, and to now receive the highest of accolades is unbelievable! We are proud of our dedicated team who work tirelessly in delivering their best every day!”
? The photos and video from Monday night's 2022 National Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence are now available!
— Restaurant & Catering Association (@RestCatering) December 2, 2022
This award also tells the tale of recent immigrants who over the past ten years have rebuilt their lives and founded prosperous enterprises in Australia.
Chefs Sunita and Sanjay Kumar moved to Canberra in January 2012 to start a new life with their two small children, Sanjay’s mother, and four suitcases.
The Kumars spent their first three years in Canberra working in the business and hospitality industries, but their long-term goal was to “do food,” and in 2015 Daana was introduced.
Tara Cheyne, MLA, in a post, congratulated the multi-award-winning restaurant and chefs Sanjay and Sunita. She observed:
“Given the restaurant is already multi-award winning and has a large and loyal following, I expect this news will come as no surprise to many who visit.”
Chefs Sanjay and Sunita believe their commitment to supporting aspiring people will create enthusiasm in similar private-sector employment and more business will become open-minded and willing to take this journey in offering meaningful employment and becoming more inclusive.
The Chef’s debut dish was Indian street food served from a shipping container in a temporary community in Canberra near Lake Burley Griffin.
When they relocated to a commercial space in Curtin a year later, they soon understood that street food wasn’t appropriate for the restaurant.
According to their market study, all the Indian eateries in Canberra were taking the safe route.
Providing the typical vindaloo and butter chicken to appease Australian tastes.
Chef Sanjay and Chef Sunita set out to create a brand-new dining experience because they were determined to shatter the mould of “curry in a hurry.”
“Our concept of Daana is to showcase the diversity, warmth, and ancient heritage of India. Australians have been missing out on the depth of our food and culture.” Says Chef Sunita Kumar.
“Indian fare is a rich kaleidoscope of regional and traditional flavours. Each state boasting its own distinctive cuisine due to local culture, geography, and climate, as well as historical influences that date back over 5000 years. Daana has been the perfect start to initiate our unique dining experience and food business journey. At Daana we focus on our guests first, and our passion for food a close second.
“Our mission has been to create an unparalleled dining experience, showing the richness and diversity of Indian cuisine. Being named as the 2022 Best Indian Restaurant in Australia endorses Daana’s mission and drives us on to the next goal in our business journey.”