Sharing food is both a gift and a privilege. This is the spirit that has prompted the upcoming opening of Sinbaad Restaurant and Catering at 19 S. Third Street, Harrisburg, slated for August 1. Previously, owners Masood and Iffat Wasi operated an Indian and Pakistani buffet at GM International Grocery on 3918 Jonestown Road, but demand from customers prompted them to move the cooking to an area of greater accessibility. And they agreed.
I knew none of this whenever I attempted to visit the famed buffet in late June with my boyfriend Jon and our friends from Trinidad. When we asked to see a menu, we were told the buffet had been closed for relocation to Third Street — but we were hardly too late to try the food. As a matter of fact, we were just on time. Lunch had just been cooked for the Wasi family and their relatives, and my friends and I were rapidly seated in the grocery’s former dining room and given a hearty sampling of beef and chicken curries, aromatic basmati rice, naan bread, and the freshest kebabs I’ve ever tasted. The future Sinbaad Restaurant plans to serve similar dishes along with other vegetarian, halal, and traditional fare.
The cornerstone of Sinbaad will be quality, says Iffat Wasi, who oversees the cooking. Unlike many Indian restaurants, which cut corners by using one curry base for all of the dishes, Sinbaad’s sauces will be individually prepared — the more authentic way, according to my Indian friends.
However, my guess is that customer service will also be a selling point. If the Wasis gave us an impromptu sit-down meal at a nonexistent buffet, I can’t wait to see what their real restaurant will serve.
Sinbaad Restaurant and Catering
19 S. Third Street
Monday-Friday: 11 AM – 2 PM and 5-10 PM
Saturday: 5-11 PM