Family Follows Childhood Dreams By Opening Setauket Indian Restaurant

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SETAUKET, NY — The Kumar grew up in the family restaurant business working at restaurants and catering halls in Queens and Nassau County.

If the three — siblings Neeru, Nisha, and Bobby — weren’t making food, they were taking orders, waiting tables, or making deliveries in their spare time, helping their parents out.

“That’s how we spent our childhood,” recalled Neeru, now a nephrologist in East Patchogue.

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His sister, Nisha is a project manager, and his brother, Bobby, works in business.

Kumar’s parents eventually retired, but the dream of owning another restaurant did not stay unrealized. Though grown with professions of their own, the three siblings continued to dream of one day reopening another venue

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“Our dream was when we grow up, we’re going to do a restaurant and make it bigger and better than our parents,” he said. “We’re really doing this to continue their legacy also.”

The Kumars were well-known in the Indian community, and they ran a great restaurant “for many years,” Neeru said.

“We wanted to bring it back for them, so this way, they can kind of relive their youth again,” he said.

Brother-in-law Abi Sachdeva, an Internet Technology pro who works for Tory Burch, encouraged the three to pursue their dreams.

The cousins revamped the former Curry Club’s 27-year-old home in Setauket, and opened Taj Crown of India last fall.

Neeru’s father had been at home not really doing much around the house, but since his family has been involved with the restaurant, he has been actively involved.

“In a way, I feel, like, you know, he’s back,” Neeru said.

Growing up in the restaurant business, Neeru and his cousins naturally evolved into big foodies.

“We basically tried every single Indian restaurant in New York,” Neeru said, adding that they made a point of it whenever one opened. “We usually we definitely go. So, we know food inside out.”

When Neeru moved to Suffolk County, he was disappointed with the quality of food, he said, adding, ” There wasn’t really anything.”

The closest good food means a drive to Hicksville, Neeru opined.

To him, it wasn’t fair to him or his friends, anyone who loves Indian food.

“So I wanted to bring a high-quality restaurant, where people can actually enjoy the real, authentic food of India,” he said. “That’s what we’re going for. We’re going for the density of like, rich Indian food.”

The restaurant has a buffet and à la carte menu, with the buffet restricted to lunch only.

The menu features some north Indian and south Indian dishes, including vegetarian and protein-based meals with seafood, chicken, lamb, and goat but probably no beef.

“It’s just a religious thing,” Neeru said.

The most prominent dishes on the menu include Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka, lamb shops, and seekh kebabs.

To help with the plans, there will be chefs on hand with experience cooking in India, Singapore, and Las Vegas.

Neeru said that the restaurant will host specials and staffers plan to offer some street food from India.

“You know, just random things that usually you don’t find in New York,” he said, adding that in the region it’s more likely to see dishes that are more widely known.

“We’re going to try to bring some of these few things that people in India will really know,” he said. “So, I’m going to try to bring that here and introduce it to the population here.”

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