A self-established man, Kul Prasad is one of those lucky people who figured out what he wanted to do with his life at 16.
Instead of completing his education, he started experimenting with traditional herbs and spices at a young age and is now both a chef and restaurant owner.
Prasad, 39, originally from Nepal, put on his white apron and worked 70 hours every week initially to open an Indian restaurant in Cambridge. Now he owns two in the area – Saffron and Dakshin.
Saffron opened in 2017 and Dakshin opened earlier this year.
Both offer incredibly tasty food and excellent customer service.
What makes Prasad’s food so delicious is his unique spice mixes that he discovered during his long career.
“Our freshly prepared food with quality ingredients and authentic taste of personally blended spices have made me survive in this competitive environment where my restaurant is surrounded by many other popular food outlets,” he said.
“Also, I understand that satisfied customers are vital to our business. So doing things right is our mission.”
New employee training is one of the most crucial aspects of success, especially in the food industry. Sometimes when the new hires fail to communicate effectively with a customer, the manager and the owner get disappointed as it affects the online ratings of the restaurant.
“We ensure that our new employees are knowledgeable enough to recommend the right meals to satisfy customer preferences,” said Lovepreet Kaur Punia, the manager at Saffron.
Prasad has extensive knowledge and understanding of the harsh challenges involved in the business.
Before moving to Canada, he decided to work with different people in various countries – India, Hungary and the United Kingdom – as a culinary artist to gain excellence in the field.
He commenced his career as a dishwasher in a restaurant. While working there, he continued to experiment with flavours and started to introduce his piquancy in different restaurants.
From there, he became relentless like a dog with a bone. His colourful aromatic spice blend is the key to his success.
“Every restaurant I’ve worked with has taught me the value of hard work, gave me the best advice and treated me like a family,” he said.
According to Prasad, he is taking the legacy forward by treating his restaurant’s staff the same as his employers treated him many years ago.
It is said that, initially, “food is eaten through the eyes” which means that if the food is eye-catching, then the customer is already 25 per cent satisfied.
“I’m committed to my customers to providing them with mouthwatering food,” he said.
Sometimes when the restaurant is busy and customers have to wait to be seated, “We make sure that waiting customers get our special complimentary tangy Mango Lassi,” he said.
Providing gratis beverages is the key to building effective relationships with customers. The satisfied customer will definitely recommend the restaurant to their family and friends which results in “free advertising.”
“I intensely love Malai Kofta at this restaurant,” said Kitty Verma, a happy customer.
Malai Koftas are balls of potato and paneer (a fresh cottage cheese) spiked with golden raisins and white-pepper notes. These are then fried and served in a rich tomato, cashew and cream sauce. This comes with a choice of plain rice or naan, the bread made in a gas-fired tandoor oven – which is light, fluffy, a little charred, chewy and glistening with butter.
Their vegetarian dishes are popular, as is their non-vegetarian cuisine.
Sanni Mitchell, a resident of Kitchener, said, “It is hard to express the tastiness of their food.”
Lamb Karahi Gosht is one of their most loved non-vegetarian dishes. The meat is marinated with different ground spices, raw ginger, green pepper, onions and slashed green chilies.
“Providing the food in its best quantity and quality is our plus point,” said Prasad.
“Most of our guests adore our prominent dessert, Kheer.”
Kheer, a pistachio-embellished rice pudding, is made in-house with specially sourced rice.
Prasad said, “I’m very gratified with where I am right now.”
In the next five years he said he would like to see franchises of his restaurant not just in Waterloo Region but also in other cities such as Toronto.
He also said, “I wish to be the owner of a well-built party hall in the future.” He won the 2018 Diamond Restaurant Award for his outstanding flavours and is again nominated for the 2019 awards.