Grand Opera House


23rd Annual Golden Fork Awards

New Category: Best Curry 

107-GF-CurryIt all started with an undying love for biryani, an Indian dish made with rice, spices and meat.

“Eleven years ago when I came from India, the first thing I Googled was ‘Where do I find biryani?’ and I came directly from the airport [to Sai Ram] to eat,” says Siva Rajarathinam, whose wife Priya Sivakumar, now owns the restaurant which first opened its doors in 1999.

Rajarathinam had no way of knowing his future when he made that fateful Google search 11 years ago, but Fox Valley diners are sure glad it turned out the way it did – they awarded Sai Ram Indian Cuisine Golden Forks for Best Curry and Best Ethnic Cuisine.

Sivakumar took ownership of the restaurant two years ago when the original owners decided to retire. Since then, the family has been working diligently to uphold the quality and flavor that diners had grown accustom to over the past two decades.

“We make fresh food. We don’t keep anything heated,” Rajarathinam says. “We make it all fresh no matter how hard it is. That’s the secret.”

Preparing dishes the authentic way and never compromising on quality keeps the restaurant on the top of its game.

“We use the best products and don’t worry about the money,” Rajarathinam says. “We think about the food, that’s our satisfaction. I don’t feel like it’s a business.”

For those new to Indian cuisine, Rajarathinam recommends letting the manager know and they will be happy to make suggestions and answer questions. Rajarathinam says you can’t go wrong by ordering either of the two top-rated dishes – chicken makhani or navaratan koorma – and, of course, the biryani. —ACW

Best Asian Food

“The menu at Basil Cafe features some of the best flavor combinations I have ever tried. Regardless of the appetizer, entrée or dessert, one most certainly enjoys a unique and authentic meal. I’ve expanded my food horizons and each thing I order is my new favorite dish.” — Amanda Cihak, Appleton

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