By Narelle Coulter
Surviving the Covid-19 economic crisis has been a family effort for the owners of Narre Warren’s popular Pind Baluchi Indian restaurant.
Owners Pardaman and Simran Singh opened their restaurant in Rebound Court 10 years ago, building a loyal clientele.
It was that loyalty that sustained the businesses when the government suddenly banned all in-house dining in March.
The Singh’s already had a well established take-away business, which they were able to step up to cope with increased demand from customers following stay at home orders.
The couple’s two children, aged 14 and 18, also quickly stepped in to help their parents, working in the restaurant once their remote learning tasks were done each day. The younger Singh’s packed orders, answered the phones and supported their parents however they could.
“When restrictions started they said to us ‘Don’t worry, we will come and help you’. It was really nice,” said Pardaman.
The family was helped by two permanent staff whom they were able to retain.
“We are doing well surviving as a family business,” said Pardaman.
“We had always been busy with pick-ups and deliveries. When we opened 10 years ago we were one of the first restaurants doing deliveries to Berwick, Clyde and Cranbourne.
“We had a lot of good customers who used to dine in but chose instead on deliveries and pick up. We’ve had good support from the community during Covid-19.”
Pind Baluchi was also well established on platforms like Uber, Menulog and Door Dash, which made it easier to meet the increased demand for take away.
As well as takeaway, Pind Baluchi is now catering for a maximum of 20 in-house diners. Before Covid, the restaurant could seat up to 60 and was a popular venue for celebrations within the growing Casey Indian community.
Tables have been rearranged for social distancing, each diner’s contact details are recorded and hand sanitiser is available.
Pardaman trained as a chef in India before working in 5 star hotels in his birth country as well as in Kenya. He migrated to Australia in 2004, drawn to Melbourne thanks to a childhood friend who had settled here.
He said he still loves cooking and the family is happy living and working in Narre Warren.
“I love my cooking. This profession has given me a lot.”
When he’s not working in the Pind Baluchi kitchen Pardaman’s favourite dish to make at home is vegetable noodles.
“My wife doesn’t let me cook at home very often because I make too much mess,” he said, laughing.
To make a booking or order take away phone Pind Baluchi on 9704 7684.