Indian cuisine can be tricky. Especially since it uses loads of different spices and flavors. Very few restaurants can actually boast of a taste that is closest to the authentic cuisine one savors back home in India.
Haandi can boast that it aims and succeeds in doing this. The restaurant is located in the heart of Rancho Cucamonga and the tastefulness of their food is obvious comes from the use of ingredients and spices. All served in a casual, family-friendly environment.
The restaurant started in 2000 as an Italian restaurant called Primavera Italian Grill but due to popular demand they converted it into an authentic Indian restaurant but kept a hint of the old. As there was no other Indian restaurants in this area, in a smart business move, they decided to convert one into offering Indian cuisine.
So, in keeping with the idea that it is a lone ranger here, Haandi’s menu lists Indian food – but with a twist. There are specialties from several regions of India – from coastal Goa to the mountainous state of Kashmir. There are some sumptuous and unique menu items like basanti salad, shrimp biryani, chicken nashila masala, lamb nashila masala (both of which are cooked with mushrooms and simmered in a vodka tomato cream sauce), mahi mahi tandoori, mango lamb curry, tandoori salmon and olive naan to name a few.
All entrees are served with rice, pappadam, tamarind and mint chutney. One can enjoy anything from a Goan delicacy like chicken vindaloo, lamb Goan to the famous Kashmiri rogan josh and karahi gosht.
“Our family has been in the restaurant business for a long time and I enjoy everything about it, right from cooking to meeting new and interesting people. I used to be an Italian chef in my brother’s restaurant, “said Hartaj Singh, the owner of Haandi. “When our old customer base, who loved the food when it was an Italian restaurant, come to Haandi now; they are amazed with the flavors of Italy mixed up in Indian spices,” he adds proudly.
Another special thing about this restaurant over the others is the vegan menu. Most people do not pay attention to the difference between vegan and vegetarian dishes but Haandi offers both.
They have won numerous awards and accolades over the years and have been featured as one of the top 100 restaurants by the Inland Empire magazine, three times in a row.
They offer a lunch buffet for $10.99 Monday through Friday,11am to 3pm.The buffet includes a variety of chicken, meat and seafood delicacies, vegan dishes, vegetarian curries and dals, raita ,desserts, etc. They have a full service bar and are open for dinner 3 pm -10 pm. Naans and other breads are served fresh and hot at the table.
The lunch buffet on the weekend is priced at $12.99 and also includes the South Indian favorite- Dosa Sambar.
From an array of samosas and pakoras to such scintillating dishes as shrimp Goan in a coconut cream sauce, mango lamb curry, chicken tikka masala and pulao with assorted vegetables, the intensity of flavors and the lingering tastes makes this one a good find.
They have plenty of spacious booths and tables to accommodate a large group (up to 100 people) 7 days a week. They also do full service catering. And can deliver to your home or office.
For additional information, please visit www.haandi.net.Haandi Indian Cuisine is located at
7890 Haven Ave. Suite 15-16 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730.
Haandi Indian Cuisine Offers Tailor-made Dishes
- By Parimal M. Rohit, Special to India-West
- Feb 04, 2013
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Hartaj Singh has operated and owned Haandi Indian Cuisine since 2006, when he converted it from an Italian restaurant. The interior of the restaurant was recently renovated. (Parimal M. Rohit photos)