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New restaurant offers India’s culinary delights

POSTED October 9, 2012 4:03 p.m.

Name of business: Nagina Palace

Type of business: Indian restaurant

Location: 1142 W. Main St.

Hours of operation: Lunch served11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Dinner served 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Currently closed on Mondays.

Contact info: 656-1300, http://www.naginarestaurant.com/

History of business: Nagina Palace owner Kulwinder Dhaliwal has been in the restaurant business since he was just 18 years old.

Eighteen years ago, Dhaliwal started a catering business in Livingston. And 10 years ago, Dhaliwal opened his first retail business, Livingston’s Punjab Sweets.

Punjab Sweets features fresh-baked Indian desserts, with a small restaurant attached. But Dhaliwal has long had a dream to open a true restaurant in Turlock.

“I see no Indian restaurants in Turlock,” Dhaliwal said. “A lot of people from Turlock go to (Punjab) Sweets, and other places.”

Three months ago, that dream became a reality, with Nagina Palace opening on West Main Street in the former home of Mar Y Sol Restaurant. Dhaliwal completely renovated the restaurant, creating an engaging, Indian-inspired ambiance.

Business specialty: Nagina Palace offers a diverse menu of food from across the massive continent of India, including dishes like chicken tikka masala and butter chicken. The dishes combine Dhaliwal’s 20-plus years of restaurant experience, with that of a head chef who worked in four-star restaurants in India.

A lunch buffet is available on weekdays.

Nagina Palace also features a small sweets counter, offering patrons a taste of the dessert delicacies which made Punjab Sweets famous. But that small counter is a secondary attraction; Nagina Palace isn’t just an extension of Punjab Sweets.

“This is a restaurant, first,” Dhaliwal said.

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