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SANDHU – from Punjab to Montreal, or the dream of a young Indian farmer

Sandhu & SonsThey operate 3 restaurants, an Inn and a bar on the Plateau Mont-Royal where they have been active for more than 25 years; in short, Sandhu and Sons (Ajmer, Harpreet and Gurpreet / Goppy) are really a part of the Montreal landscape.

Indeed, it is 1975 when this son of farmer destined to pursue his father’s work in his native Punjab admits being vanquished by his dreams and ambitions of journey and he announces to his father of his intention to leave for Europe. In spite of his disappointment, his father understood and even encouraged his son to live his dreams and to realize his most crazy ambitions.

So, Ajmer Sandhu leaves India in 1975 to become established in Frankfurt, Germany, where he finds a job in a restaurant and works under the guidance of well-reputed Italian Chef in the city, M Lajovani, who will pass on to him in the course of many years all his knowledge of authentic Italian cooking and who will become, naturally, his friend for life. Sandhu will polish up his talent during more than 10 years and will climb up the ladder until becoming assistant-Chef to M Lajovani before returning to live a few years in India during which will be born his two boys, Gurpreet and Harpreet, and where he will prepare his second departure but, this time, with Canada as destination.

It is 1987 when Sandhu arrives to Canada and although the initial shock of winter puts some doubts in his mind, he remains undeterred and opens up a few months later a Pizzeria at the angle of Frontenac and Rouen, which will become afterward, SANDHU Italian Restaurant, when it moves up north Sherbrooke Street, on the Plateau Mont-Royal.

SANDHU Italian Restaurant will quickly acquire an enviable reputation of very good Italian food with a typical and delicious menu, which many still consider today the best pizzeria of the Plateau. So, it is without great surprise that the expansion continued in the bend of the second Millennium with the opening in some years of distance; first of all, of the Square St-Louis Inn, then of a bar, the Lobby Bar, then of a second menu / restaurant, Indian Pleasures, which comes to complete SANDHU Italian Restaurant with authentic Punjabi cooking, and finally these days, the GURU – Bistro Indien which presents a fusion cuisine of  » Punjabi  » recipes adapted to  » à la Montreal  » lifestyle, merging exoticism and refinement with the simplicity and the classics of the urbanity. One has to try their famous « poutine poulet au beurre », the « indian club sandwich » or their « saumon tikka »; it’s quite an experience.

Italian, Indian and now fusion cuisine; nothing can stop them because they succeed in everything they put their hands on… so, it is together that SANDHU Father and Sons operate all their businesses in a masterly fashion and it has to be said that when speaking about an example of successful integration to Quebec, we couldn’t have it any better, now can we?  And for the greatest pleasure of Montrealers!

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