Tandoori Flames back in the kitchen
By Shawn Kernahan; photo by Terri Wiebold
The Singh family has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years. Rick Singh moved from India to the United States after traveling the world. In 1987, he opened the Indian restaurant, Delhi Darbar in Denver and traveled back to India to marry Ruby before the two of them finally settled in Colorado. They moved to Castle Pines in 2000.
Throughout the years, the Singhs have owned or been partners in many Indian restaurants around the greater Denver area. Six months ago, Rick and Ruby Singh decided it was time to hang up their aprons and they sold India’s Clay Oven, their restaurant in Lone Tree. For the first time in their son Gary’s life, there wasn’t a restaurant in the family.
Gary not only grew up in his family’s business, he has held many jobs in local restaurants, including Pino’s Italian Kitchen & Bar as well as Mama Lisa’s Little Italy, before it closed its retail operations. He found himself talking with his former boss at Little Italy, Lisa Storey, who now owns Roux World Kitchen, a full-service catering business. Gary had worked for Lisa delivering and making pizzas when he was 17 years old. As Gary tells it, “I got fired for doing 17-year-old things.”
No longer 17 and with restaurant experience under his belt, Gary and Lisa were able to come to an agreement. Lisa was still using the space where Little Italy was once located, but as a caterer the seating area of the restaurant was empty, outside of an occasional private party or event.
Lisa agreed to share the kitchen and let Gary take over the restaurant. Tandoori Flames opened its doors earlier this year, right here in Castle Pines. A restaurant practically walking distance from home, it wasn’t hard to convince Rick and Ruby to come out of retirement to help with Tandoori Flames.
“My son said, mom, you are already cooking at home…why don’t you go outside and do something too?” Ruby decided to join her son in the restaurant. She helps in the kitchen while Rick is the head chef. Gary runs the front of house. It is truly a family affair. When asked why she thought Gary wanted to open a restaurant of his own, Ruby said, “He wanted to be like his dad.”
The Tandoori Flames menu features authentic Northern Indian dishes with both vegetarian and vegan options. There are many traditional Indian items, including naan, curry, saag, masala, vindaloo and biryani. Specialty items include tandoori lamb racks, tandoori lobster and malai chicken tikka. Additionally, there are a variety of appetizers as well as desserts on the menu. To learn more about Tandoori Flames, visit https://www.facebook.com/TandooriFlames556/.