It’s not just the food that’s inspired at Guru’s Inspired Food Bar in Hintonburg – it’s also the owner himself.
Gourav “Guru” Sharma credits his father, Sunil Sharma, as his source of inspiration. From thousands of kilometres away in India, he encouraged his son to pursue his dream of opening his own establishment and being his own boss.
Guru is leveraging his training in Algonquin College’s Culinary Management program as well as his experience working in a variety of restaurants. His cheerful, small eatery offers a range of Indian-Punjabi fare along with a culinary concept that is somewhat unique to Ottawa; that of Indian-Chinese fusion, called Hakka. The flavours of these rice and noodle dishes are dazzling and, like all of Guru’s food, surprisingly affordable, despite the generous portions.
“When I was looking for a venue for Guru’s, I chose Hintonburg because I knew it was a good neighbourhood with lots of foot traffic and many people who are interested in food,” notes Guru. “When I opened last November, I expected people to be curious at first but they’ve exceeded my expectations in terms of how welcoming and supportive they have been. The word-of-mouth advertising has been fantastic.”
Guru’s passion for cooking is clearly evident in all his freshly prepared dishes, made from scratch and featuring house-roasted and ground spices. House-made breads including naan and roti arrive warm and fragrant from the tandoor oven. Kebabs and butter chicken are best sellers and he happily adjusts the heat of his popular curries to each diner’s preference. Also on offer are Frankies and other delicious wraps. He’s also created innovative dishes not found elsewhere in Canada, including chicken tikka pasta and paneer pasta. A variety of beverages and desserts complete the tempting options.
“Whether you’re taking your order home or staying to dine here, I work very hard to make sure that our food leaves you feeling happy and satisfied,” says Guru. “I cook to please people – that’s another one of my inspirations.”