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Local Loves: Daana Restaurant

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It’s a multi-award-winning Indian restaurant now, but for Daana, the journey all began in a 40-foot container.

The restaurant’s original home, in Westside Acton Park, was in one of the site’s pop up containers back in 2015. Their regional and southern Indian delicacies proved so popular among locals, however, they upgraded to new digs in Curtin just one year later.

Almost five years on, owners Sunita and Sanjay Kumar haven’t lost their enthusiasm for a unique and dynamic approach, refreshing their a-la-carte menu twice a year and launching spring/summer and autumn/winter seasonal menus.

Last year, they even picked up the 2019 National Silver Award win at Restaurant Catering Association of Australia- Savour Awards—the first Indian restaurant from Canberra to do so.

Sanjay says the 2020 autumn/winter menu, ‘Confluence’, is set to be their most innovative yet, with a harmonious blending of authentic Indian cuisine and Indigenous native ingredients.

The inspiration for this menu came during a guided tour of Tidbinbilla, where the abundance of native edible flora was introduced to the chef duo by their tour guide.

After several months of trialling and testing of recipes the chefs were finally satisfied with the results to bring it on their 2020 autumn/winter menu—‘Confluence’—that you can now enjoy at Daana.

“It is one of its kind presented by any Indian restaurant in the ACT region, and maybe even Australia,” says Sunita.

Sanjay and Sunita Kumar.

“While we don’t like to give too much away, you can expect different flavours and textures such as Chettinad prawns with banana and finger lime chutney, and we even have a ‘nutty naan’ – naan bread with macadamia nuts.

Another offering is the ‘Daana’s Bhoj,’ meaning a luxurious indulgent feast; where a new menu from a different part of India is presented every Friday and Saturday night.

It’s a fresh new take on their previous much-loved Regional Thali Specials, which you can read more about on their blog. Before COVID-19 set in, they had presented a whopping 161 menus.

During COVID-19 Daana has adjusted its business model to meet ISO demand, presenting their guests with weekly take-away menus, frozen meals, and home blends of spices.

“It has been a great success; customers got to choose weekly dishes to order and options to cook themselves at home as well with our frozen basic sauces and curries,” says Sanjay.

Daana is also set to take this idea further, launching a new line of business in coming weeks; so stay tuned for no doubt what will be another delicious surprise.


What: Daana
Where: 83 Theodore Street, Curtin
When: Open 5.30–9 pm Monday-Saturday
Phone: 02 5105 1048
Website: daana.com.au


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