New Indian restaurant brings Punjab to Parkhill

We hear how recently arrived restaurant 5Tara is putting truly authentic Indian cuisine back on the menu in Sheffield…

Situated on Duke Street, a stone’s throw from the city’s famous Park Hill complex, Indian restaurant 5Tara has been open for dine-in meals since January and already the venue has built up a dedicated following, not just in the Steel City but across the North and Midlands too.

5tara Indian restaurant

“In less than three months we’ve welcomed many guests from the local community but also from Birmingham, Leicester, Huddersfield, Barnsley and Rotherham,” says co-owner Aman, who runs the restaurant with his wife Shivi. “I guess word has got around quickly about the authentic food and flavours we serve here, so I think people are quite surprised when they turn up and see that we’re quite a small restaurant!”

Modestly sized, yes, but taking huge pride in the warm, homely atmosphere on offer (though there is planning permission with the council to create an outdoor area that will take capacity from 26 to 55 in the summer months). 5Tara was inspired by the Punjabi Dhaba – roadside restaurants found in the Indian subcontinent serving fresh, wholesome dishes at affordable prices.

5tara Indian restaurant

“High quality in large quantities” is how Aman puts it, and that emphasis on value and taste is fundamental to their ethos. You won’t find an oily curry here; in fact, you won’t find much oil in their food at all. They’re looking to educate the local community on genuine Indian cuisine: how it should involve a changing menu of fresh, largely vegan-friendly dishes and not the anglicised version that revolves around staples such as chicken tikka masala, chicken balti and samosas (I’m informed that the latter actually originated from the Middle East).

“India is the largest vegetarian nation in the world,” says Aman, “and one thing I can never understand is the amount of meat options you find at Indian restaurants here. It should be the other way around! That’s why our food is 85% vegan, so you will see more of your veggies on the main menu and meat on the sides – as it should be. We’re motivated by keeping our heritage and cultural standards alive, so the vegan food we serve is full of flavour. I like to see our menu as essentially the craft of Indian culinary culture presented to you on a glossy sheet.

5tara Indian restaurant

5Tara takes its name from the land of five rivers, Punjab, and also has its roots in Sikhism. The Guru Nanak appointed five devotees to spread the word of kindness and create a world where nobody sleeps on an empty stomach. These devotees were referred to as ‘my five beloved’ which Aman explains is translated as Panj Pyare or Panj-5 in Punjabi.

Before finding restaurant premises, Aman and Shivi made sure to undertake some significant market research. They originally set up 5Tara Overnight, a takeaway service operating from their home, which allowed them to test out the local appetite for their food. Both working separate jobs at the time, they’d come back post-shift and run the service from 8pm-2am, and almost instantly it became a hit and racked up glowing reviews from punters.

5tara Indian restaurant

The positive feedback convinced them to make a go of it. Breaking away from the confines of their home kitchen, the couple began searching for premises of their own, and when the spot at 139-141 Duke Street was acquired, they got their hands dirty and transformed the space in just three weeks.

This haven of traditional Indian cuisine opens Tuesday to Saturday, running an all-day menu from 11am-10.30pm. On Sundays they open 9am-3.30pm, a popular day for customers looking to sample a traditional desi breakfast or Punjabi brunch, the menu for which changes every week to keep things fresh and exciting.

5tara Indian restaurant

Aman has been humbled by the success so far, but tells us that there’s plenty of passion and drive to keep pushing forward and spreading the 5Tara message further still. “We’re working for two communities – the food community here in Sheffield and our roots in India. We’re not doing this to make lots of money, we’re doing it so people can try food truly representative of our heritage and leave satisfied. That’s our motivation.”

For more info and deets on how to book, head over to their socials here.

There are no comments

Add yours