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An icon spreads redolence in South Auckland

When Ashok Sharma, Managing Director of Bikanervala announced the opening of the second branch of the famous restaurant brand in Papatoetoe in South Auckland, the instant response was, “We deserved this long ago.”

And to hundreds of people who visited the new restaurant following its official opening at 23 Baker’s Place (off Kolmar Road) on December 2, it was “the best thing that happened to enliven the business district.”

From Members of Parliament Dr Jackie Blue, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Rajen Prasad, business leaders Ashok Bhatia, Ajit Singh Randhawa and community leaders Nimmi and Raj Bedi to other customers, it is a diner’s paradise. The presence of Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, the Parent Company’s Delhi based Managing Director was propitious.

The ‘All Vegetarian Restaurant’ provides an ever-expanding range of Bengali, Tradition, Khova, Cold and Hot sweets at prices that are too sweet to be missed.

“Bikanervala is about quality and taste rather than money; in fact, we have maintained our prices low to enable diners and takeaway customers to indulge themselves in a tradition that is timeless,” Mr Aggarwal said.

He said the vast treasure of recipes of traditional Indian Sweets, Namkeens (savouries) and Spices, developed and perfected by the family’s earlier generations earned the owners of Bikanervala fame and fortune.

“Today the name is synonymous with quality and creativity in Indian sweets and snacks. We are now planning more outlets in various parts of the world,” he said.

Mr Sharma said customer feedback for the first branch opened two years ago at 1 White Swan Road in Mt Roskill was enthusiastic and encouraging.

“Every item is prepared to the highest standard of health and hygiene to ensure quality and presentation. While the food items are prepared in the restaurant after customers order them, sweets and snacks are made every day at an exclusive facility so that diners can relish their freshness and taste,” he said.

He said sweets have always been promoters of goodwill and friendship and that they spelt richness of tradition, joy, love, affection, festivity, celebration and happiness.

“It has always been customary in India to welcome guests and celebrate occasions and arrival of new seasons serving and distributing sweets.

“Sweets continue to be a preferred favourite, chosen as a gift to convey greetings.

These time-honoured traditions led to the development of a vast spectrum of sweets from various regions of the country,” he said.

Mr Sharma said he tries to match the quality of ingredients and final products offered by Bikanervala in India.

“It is a challenge no doubt, but not difficult to encounter, given the fact that we have been able to recruit Indian talent.

“We have brought with us not only the name but also a treasure of traditional recipes perfected by the forefathers of the current owners of Bikanervala. These include exotic ingredients and experience in the art of making sweets and namkeens.”

As well as offering the range of products that are available in the traditional range, Bikanervala in Auckland provides a range of Chinese, North Indian, Chat and other delicacies for diners.

Mr Sharma introduced gift packs (comprising a variety of sweets) for the recently concluded Navaratri and Diwali festivals.

“A wider range of gift packs, including sweets and snacks, dry fruits and other items will always be available,” he said.

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