NEW Bendigo restaurant BBQ Today plans to offer patrons authentic, freshly prepared Pakistani cuisine.
Owner Awais Chaudry said he wanted to bring the country's "fantastic" cuisine to the town and invest in the community.
The idea to open a restaurant had been in the back of Mr Chaudry's mind for 20 years.
When his youngest daughter was born the family followed a Pakistani tradition, serving food to their community.
It was then that Mr Chaudry found the opportunity to introduce that cuisine to Bendigo.
Last year he began to cater from home for parties and individuals.
His interest grew over time, so Mr Chaudry decided to open a shop to bring different Pakistani foods to the broader Bendigo community.
When he moved to the city he noticed there was a lot of different types of food, but not Pakistani cuisine.
He said most people traveled to Melbourne for Pakistani food.
So Mr Chaudry is aiming to bring traditional dishes to Bendigo. He also wants to give back to the Bendigo community.
Mr Chaudry is already giving food to people who need it at a lower cost and donated to the bushfire appeal. He's now trying to reach an arrangement with the Salvation Army.
"The main idea round this business is investing in the community," Mr Chaudry said.
"Since moving to Australia I have had the best of health, education and I feel obliged to pay it back to the community.
"The good thing about it is, when you are dining with us, you are not just enjoying the fabulous food, but you can have that sense of satisfaction that you're also helping out the community."
Mr Chaudry hopes to represent the different cultures within Pakistan itself.
Dishes will include barbecued, skewered meat, lamb cooked in its own juices called Rosh; traditional biryani; and spiced pilau rice. Pink Kashmiri tea, mint tea and tandoori chai - prepared and served in a clay pot - will be on the drinks menu.
Mr Chaudry said the range of whole spices used in Pakistani cooking set it apart.
"With Pakistani food it tastes best when it is prepared fresh. With our restaurant we don't serve the food for days, we prepare it fresh every day," he said.
"With Pakistani food when you taste it you will definitely feel the difference."
BBQ Today will open at 3 Queen Street, Bendigo, in mid-to-late March.
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