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Two restaurants — two husband /wife teams provide delicious family inspired fare


So many of us have had much smaller celebrations this spring, socially distancing, and keeping our family “together times” much smaller and intimate.


The Eid-ul-Fitre (the holiday after Ramadan, which marks the completion of the 29 or 30 day fast); the Surrey’s huge Sikh Vaisakhi parade and festival; and Christian Easter were all religious celebrations that usually involve large family gatherings, parties, faith functions, and quite often — taking up large tables in restaurants. But this year, all of our neighbours were quiet! So were our businesses. We all look forward to better times when we can share together our faith, family and festivals. 


Family is also an important part of how we live and celebrate life in Newton. And for quite a few of our businesses that we visit everyday, family is also a large part of how we work together.


Two local family run restaurants offering mouth-watering South Indian and Middle-Eastern flavors remind us how fortunate we are in Newton to live in such a diverse and eclectic community.


Massud and Meshal Hafizi, owners of Shawarma Palace, heard repeatedly about how they should open a restaurant in Surrey. They own the original (and still operating) Shawarma Palace in Richmond.


“Everyone loved our halal chicken, lamb, and beef shawarmas, and some customers were coming from as far away as Langley. It made sense to open a second operation. They opened the Shawarma Palace in 2017, and haven’t looked back. The carefully distanced lineups these days prove that they were right. They have a very loyal following.


As soon as you walk in, the delicately spiced meat cones entice you to order. Efficient and friendly staff were there to help the customers with their orders.


These days, they are offering order and take-out service only. When times permit, they will return to providing a dine-in option.


“We recognized that there was a demand for a halal-only restaurant in Surrey, and we’re happy to introduce many of our neighbours to our Afghani version of Shawarma and other specialties.


The restaurant has several options for family dining for a feast at home, with a large menu offering multiple courses / per person, salads, korma and roasted potatoes or crispy lightly browned french fries well as the popular shawarma/donair features.


Massud developed the menu based on many family recipes from his mother and others, which are unique to Newton. The rotating cones of marinated chicken, lamb, and beef are carefully sliced per order and mixed with fresh vegetables, pickles, and in-house sauces and condiments.


Massud and Meshal are very proud of their three children. Their oldest, Ehsan has won three gold medals in wrestling. Their 10-year-old twins are also sports-minded. They love living and working in Newton, and are appreciative of their customers and business neighbours.


Kannan and Chandra from Madras Club House, have given us a gift. We live in an area where you can experience Indian food at its best, but to truly enjoy South Indian dosas authentically, where certain ingredients come from “home” is a real treat.


If you haven’t experienced South Indian dining, this is a must. India is a vast country, and the flavors of each region are very different. Please do not assume that it’s all the same. It isn’t.


The authentic flavors of South India live here. Kannan has years of experience having completed training in Hotel and Restaurant Management in India.


After coming to Canada and working in some local restaurants, he must have missed the aroma of authentic spices and recipes and decided to recreate them in his own restaurant, which he opened five years ago with his wife Chandra.


Many of the restaurant’s recipes were adapted from his mother but slightly changed for the Canadian restaurant and local diners.


“We are especially proud of our Idly. It is a delicate process to create this delicious food—soft and fluffy steamed bun that is a traditional breakfast eaten in South India. Some say that it’s magical, because fermented foods like idly, dosa and yogurt are very good for gut health. TheWorld Health Organization rates idly as the perfect food for breakfast, for all ages.”


We think it’s perfect for any time of day. The secret lies in the fermentation process that naturally makes it easy for the body to digest it. The process breaks down the minerals and vitamins in the body, furthering helping idigestion. But it’s delicious at the same time, paired with tomato chutney, or coconut dips.


There are over 30 different dosas, which are a combination of bread and crepe, lightly fermented until flavorful, accompanied by various dips or sauces. Don’t be afraid to ask about the choices! Choose a few, along with vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries, chat, appetizers, and accompanying bread and rice.


They are open for take-out only right now. Give them a call, and have a chat with Chandra, who can help you discover the tastes of South India!