Now open for business
Mian’s Restaurant opens in former Zana’s Diner in Sydney
A new Indian and Pakistani restaurant has officially opened its doors in Sydney.
Mian’s Restaurant, located in the former Zana’s Diner building on George Street, opened for business on Monday.
The new business will be owned and operated by the Ahmad family. Athar, 23, and Aamir Ahmad, 21, will serve as the owners, while their father, Mian, will be the head chef. Ahmad’s mother, along with his sister, Sehrish, will also work in the restaurant.
The family is hoping the new restaurant will offer the public more choice with different types of food.
“We are hoping that everything goes well with the business,” said Athar Ahmad. “We understand that the Sydney economy is down, but hopefully it will go well for the business since we have support from our customers. We will always try our best to meet our customers’ expectations.”
The Ahmad family moved to Sydney in May 2012 from Pakistan after being sponsored by Dr. Anees Shehzad and his wife Farida, who are related to the Ahmad family, through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.
Mian Ahmad has been selling the family-made food at local farmers markets in Sydney, Marion Bridge and Antigonish as well as at flea markets and the annual Cape Breton Farmer’s Exhibition in North Sydney.
The family took over the George Street location after Zana’s Diner closed on Dec. 31. Over the past month, the family has worked tirelessly renovating the inside of the building in preparation for the opening.
“The renovations at our restaurant went very well and received a very positive feedback from people,” said Athar Ahmad. “We did use the Indian and Pakistani colours in our restaurant and people seem to love it.”
Ahmad said the main reason for opening their own business is to be able to support the family.
“Over the last four and a half years, it’s been really hard to find jobs around here,” he said. “We really thought that it would be a good opportunity for the five people in our family to open a restaurant.”
The restaurant will offer eat-in and takeout options and will also have delivery service within the Sydney community. Food items include different kinds of rice, butter chicken, three kinds of samosas (vegetables, meat and beef and chicken), and kebab pizza as well as different Canadian food like butter chicken poutine, special burgers and teas.
Ahmad said normally people think of Indian and Pakistani food as spicy, but the restaurant will have more to offer than just spicy items.
“We are bringing a new kind of food to the island,” he said. “All we want is for you to come to our restaurant and let us know what level of spice you like. We will make the perfect meal for you.”
Although the restaurant has only been open for two days, the family has already been faced with a challenge — a good challenge. Because business was “non-stop” on Monday, the restaurant ran out of product, forcing the business to close early.
“We want to send our apologies to our customers — we didn’t know we were going to be that busy on the first day,” said Ahmad.
The restaurant will be open seven days a week, Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Operating hours could change at a later date.
Ahmad encourages the public to give the restaurant a chance.
“Our customers loved our food and encouraged us to open a restaurant, so they can have our food any time they want,” said Ahmad. “Come try our food, we know you will love it just as much as our other customers.”
The restaurant has a Facebook page by searching Mian’s Restaurant and Ahmad encourages customers to use the page to provide feedback as well as watch for updates on the business.
From left, Aamir Ahmad, Mian Ahmad, and Athar Ahmad. After over a month of renovations, the Ahmad family officially opened Mian’s Restaurant on Monday. The restaurant is located at the former Zana’s Diner on George Street in Sydney.
Mian Ahmad, head chef at Mian’s Restaurant, is pictured preparing a meal on Tuesday morning. Mian’s Restaurant officially opened for business on Monday.