Whether your attending the wedding as family, guest or are the lucky ones getting married, the one thing everyone looks forward to is the food! As the bride and groom, you have a long day and are famished by the time you get to eat (especially at Hindu Ceremonys) and you anxiously wait that magic hour where you can sit down and enjoy your wedding meal. Hospitality is big in the South Asian culture where guests are treated like god and food is of utmost importance when it comes to hospitality. Most often, you remember a wedding you attended by how good the wedding was. With this in mind, we bring you a Toronto favourite when it comes to South Asian, specifically Sri Lankan cuisine: Southern Aroma. Keep reading to find out how this restaurant tackles your catering orders and keeps your palates satiated! (Ps: We’d grab a Snack if we were you. This Post is sure to leave you with some hearty cravings!)
Who is Southern Aroma? How many people are behind this company and where are you located?
Southern Aroma is a fine dining restaurant located in the heart of Markham (Markham and Denison Road). With strong Indian and Sri Lankan roots, Southern Aroma is the brainchild of two individuals, Muru Gunaratnam and Shankar Balachandran. Coming from Engineering and Business professions, respectively, these two individuals were united by their common passion for cooking. Their passion, combined with prior experience as lines cooks at various restaurants, led to the inception of Southern Aroma years later.
When did this company first start?
May of 2015
What type of cuisine(s) does Southern Aroma specialize in?
Celebrating the purity of fresh Indian spices in innovative, yet delicious, new ways, Southern Aroma strives to artfully combine the familiar taste of authentic Southern Indian cuisine with a touch of contemporary fusion to create dishes of rare distinction. Although Southern Aroma specializes in the vibrant cuisines of South India and Sri Lanka, we continue to test our creativity by creating unique flavour profiles. Our Chettinad Poutine is one of the popular items in our restaurant and is the result of our innovation and creativity.
For couples looking to build a menu for their religious wedding, (usually a lunch), what do you recommend? (How many curries, side dishes, desserts etc) Can you give us a sample of what a standard Hindu wedding lunch menu would consist of?
Every wedding menu is customized to suit the couple’s vision, budget and preferences! Be it a traditional or a contemporary setting, we identify the couple’s most preferred flavours and taste buds and infuse them into their Hindu wedding menu by transforming the flavours and textures into vegetarian options. We are among the few restaurants in the GTA to provide a variety of soy-based gardein dishes (vegan) with an Indian twist, letting customers sink their molars into lip-smacking delicacies. Our cooking is fresh. There are simply no recycled items. We focus on serving fresh and healthy meals devoid of MSG and preservatives. We also provide live food stations at Hindu weddings, including vadai, poori and dosai stations.
A Standard Hindu Wedding Lunch Menu would include:
- 5 – 6 curries, with two types of rice
Dhaal/ a White Curry/ 2 Pirattal / 1 Kulambo / 1 Varai or Salad
Along with Raita/ Rasam / Vadai / Pappad/ and Fried Goods
As for desserts at a hindu wedding, we include an Indian sweet bar – rasmalai/ gulab jamun/ jalebi/ payasam/ dry sweet/ fresh fruits
Do you offer tastings for couples wishing to book your services? What advice would you give to a couple looking to book a caterer?
We offer food sampling for all interested customers. And our advice to every couple is: Food is the most essential element of a wedding and guests should leave with a full stomach and hearty wishes for the couple. The couple should always try out various caterers and, most importantly, they should pay attention to the quality and richness of the food as opposed to the cost. They should opt for the caterer with whom they feel most satisfied and have a good vibe about to help make their vision a reality.
What are two of your most popular vegetarian dishes? What about non veg dishes? Some of our most popular vegetarian dishes are Chilli Gardein, Eggplant and Okra Curry and some of our popular non-vegetarian dishes are Mutton Sukka and Crab Curry.
How many weddings do you do a year? How far in advance would one have to book Southern Aroma?
Currently, we are in the growth stage of the catering business and have had over 35 wedding catering orders over the last year. Generally, our clients book us six months in advance. However, we have had clients come to us a few short weeks prior to the event as well.
Do you typically have a standard menu or package that you provide for clients, or are they able to custom build their menu?
Every menu is custom-built after a meeting with the clients. We offer a free consultation followed by the food sampling.
What kind of additional food services does Southern Aroma offer? (Kotthu bar, seafood buffet, etc? )
We provide a wide variety of services when it comes to serving style at any event, including sit down dinner, buffer, family style meals, and food stations. We also offer our customers a wide variety of cuisines and cater according to their requirements. Some of our live food stations include Mongolian, Thai, Pasta, Mexican Quesadilla, Tacos, Panipuri Station, poori/ dosa/ vada/ appam stations, kothu station, live seafood fry station, poutine station, live puttu station, crepe station, dessert station etc. We love executing new ideas at every one of our catering event and give the ideal (traditional or contemporary) twist to help create remarkable moments and an amazing experience for all!
How do you accommodate dietary restrictions?
We try our best to ensure all guests are able to enjoy a delicious and flavourful meal. It does help us if the couple informs us in advance of any allergies and restrictions.
Southern Aroma is based out of the GTA and for those lucky enough to be in their area, make sure you check them out to satisfy all your south asian cravings! Check out their website and Instagram to keep up with their daily specials and new features!