Thandi For First Timers

April 03, 2019

Whether you're an adventurous foodie or not, trying out something new can be intimidating. Don’t worry - you're not alone. That's why we're here.

Discover Saint John teamed up with Chef Jesse Vergen to highlight some of the amazing restaurants in our city. ‘For First Timers’ is a video series where we show you what to expect from the moment you walk in the door to what you should order and everything in between.

We also want to share the incredible people behind the restaurant doors and their culture. You may have heard the rumour that Saint John is quickly earning a reputation for fantastic dining and it’s because of the talented folks that choose to call Saint John home.

Without further ado, let’s talk food.

Let’s visit Thandi (33 Canterbury St, Saint John, NB), open Monday to Wednesday (11:00 am to 10:00 pm), Thursday (11:00 am to 11:00 pm), Friday (11:00 am to 12:00 am), Saturday (4:00 pm to 12:00 am) and Sunday (4:00pm to 10:00pm). There is something for everybody at Thandi as it is a fusion restaurant delivering flavours from East to West. When you arrive, you’ll know you are in an Indian-inspired restaurant from the striking photographs by Mark Hemmings, transposed to the walls.



Let’s get to the good stuff first -- the food.

1. First up, Holly Singh (Co-Owner) recommends the Mango Lassi as an excellent non-alcoholic beverage to pair with the Indian curries. 


Ultimate Smoothie

2. Next, Ken Singh (Co-Owner/Chef/Sidekick) served their Indian Platter which is a guaranteed crowd- pleaser. This appetizer combines tandoori chicken satays, lamb kebabs, samosas and pakora along with mouth watering dips. It's a feast for the eyes and the palate.


Indian Platter

3. You can also order an entire plate of delicious Fish Pakora, fried in a chick pea batter and served with a Mint Yogurt dip. Is your mouth watering yet?


Fish Pakora

4. If you have never been to Thandi, trying their authentic Indian curries is a must, such as the Butter Chicken, Matar Paneer (Vegetarian) and Vegetarian Curry (Vegan). They recommend ordering a Curry Mix Plate, if you can’t decide on just one.


Curry Mix Plate

A common side is Raita which is a traditional condiment that helps cool the palate. As Jesse says, don’t suffer the heat, #dotheraitathing


Do The Raita Thing

If you aren’t keen on spicy food, don’t worry! They customize the spice level to suit your taste buds. Plus, the menu at Thandi is extensive so there are lots of options to choose from outside of Indian flavours and the servers are fantastic at explaining the menu. Additionally, they have daily specials and everyone’s favourite: Butter Chicken Fridays.



If you are wondering where the name ‘Thandi’ comes from, it is part of Ken’s name (Bakhtawar Thandi Singh) and the village he is from, in India, is called Thandian. Ken has worked in many different restaurants and has learned a variety of cuisines over the years so he brings all of his experience together to Saint John, with Thandi.


Each Culture

Beyond serving delicious and unique flavours, they are also heavily involved with the community. They participate in Chop Chop Saint John and the Lunch Connection to help feed children and youth in the port city. They have also been a part of the Newcomer Program through the YMCA for the last six years and employ newcomers in their restaurants. Thandi is a multicultural restaurant with their staff hailing from India, China, Philippines and Nepal.


Ken Dream

Chef Ken has an important message for everybody with a dream. Owning a restaurant like Thandi was his dream and it took him 25 years to get there. In his words “Work hard. Keep dreaming. It might not happen today, but it will happen tomorrow.”


33 Canterbury St, Saint John, NB