DAANA was born from Sanjay and Sunita’s love for cooking, and the joy of giving and sharing. It is our honest attempt to present a fulfilling experience of authentic Indian cuisine- especially South Indian food, other regional and popular street foods presented with a spirit of generosity. Beginning from our humble origins at Westside Acton Park in 2015 from a 40 foot Shipping Container and moving to our full- service restaurant at Curtin in September 2016 Daana has grown due to the love and support from our loyal guests.
There is little bit of India reflecting in almost everything at Daana. The unique and serene ambiance at Daana is a kaleidoscopic’ showcase of almost every state of India, each equally fascinating, and all conversation starters!
You can see the rich textile heritage from across India on our ‘Saree Wall’, the ‘Wall of Frames’ celebrates the many textile finishing techniques and jewellery making traditions of India. Through the ‘Warli Wall Mural’ and several other artifacts, we put the spotlight on the tribal arts of the country. Besides these, there are several heirloom household utility items on display that have been handed down generations to Chef Sunita’s family, each at least 90-100 years old.
So, come in sit back and enjoy not just a lovely meal but truly be immersed in a cultural experience like no other, we always love talking about what we have showcased and answering questions from our guests. Don’t be shy, ask us!
We were delighted and humbled to be recognised by the industry association Restaurant & Catering Association of Australia winning the 2020 ACT Chef of the Year -Chef Sanjay Kumar, 2019 National Silver Awards, ACT Best Indian Restaurant 2020, 2019, 2018, ACT Consumer Vote Award 2020 &2019, and ACT Best New Restaurant in 2017.
DAANA has also won an AGFG (Australian Good Food and Travel Guide)2021 and 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Recently , the chef duo, Sanjay and Sunita, have also received top accolade and recognition in their individual capacity. Chef Sunita was named 2020 Chamberlains Businesswoman of the year by Canberra Women in Business, and Chef Sanjay was named Businessperson of the Year by Local Business Awards.
The loyalty and support of our much-loved customers have helped us every step of the way, and we’re immensely grateful. Equally, if not more, gratifying is being nominated and becoming Finalists at the ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
RCA- Savour Awards for Excellence 2019 ACT, BEST INDIAN/ SUBCONTINENT RESTAURANT, WINNER- CONSUMER VOTE AWARDS.
Our Chef D’Inspiration, Sunita was born into a family with their roots in Kerala, a South Indian state. She is a professionally qualified chef and also she was very passionate about cooking from her younger age itself. She developed her cooking skills from the kitchens of her parents and her grandmothers. Daana is also providing a range of dishes inspired by many of Sunita’s home recipes. She is so delighted to share those yummy food recipes with the customers here if they ask for it!
Sanjay is from Delhi, and his grandfather was a culinary specialist whose skills were renowned for festival and wedding catering and Indian sweets. Sanjay followed his grandfather and chose his career as a chef. He did his academic training as a chef and has experience with India’s preeminent hotel group, Taj Hotels.
Sunita and Sanjay have explored many cities across India together and experienced various regional delicacies and cuisines, which became the foundation of what they hand out to Canberrans through Daana’s top notch menu cooked with immense passion and joy.
“This family business is amazing. The owners/staff are helpful, informative, and actually care about the food they are dishing out, and the people eating it.
Every Saturday, they do a different region of India and foods that the area specialises in.
Haven’t had a bad dish from here, don’t think I ever will!
Must try for everyone!”
“Going to Daana for thali is always an absolute treat. The food is beautifully prepared and the selection of dishes is perfection. No one else in Canberra offers such a selection, especially of vegetarian food. I can’t wait for my next visit to Daana!”
“Very impressed, this establishment prepares Indian food to a standard rarely seen in Australia. So many Indian restaurants in this country simply follow a tired formula, but Daana presents regional variations with real skill that demonstrates a wide appreciation and knowledge of regional cuisines. We were visiting from Victoria and can’t wait to try out the Khatiawardi menu if it is on next time we visit family in Curtin.”
“We were visiting Canberra from Perth to see old uni friends. Growing up around authentic Kerela inspired South Indian meals cooked by my grandmother, we visited Daana during their “Onam” special weekend. Food was amazing and the experience came with so much warmth from the owners Sunita, Sanjay and the rest of their staff (banana leaf service with full typical Kerala menu of more than 20 items). It felt like a delicious home-cooked meal after a long time! Highly recommend if you are looking for good South Indian food in a cosy setting!”