From Our Editors
When they became friends and collaborators, Dr. Avtar Singh Dhanoa and artist Fahim Hamid Ali weren’t just making a personal connection—they were crossing a historic divide created by the ongoing violence between Indian Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims. But despite their different cultures and religions, the two shared a passion for healing religious and political gulfs, and they began bridging that gap with their own partnership. Dr. Dhanoa commissioned Ali to paint artwork for his restaurant, Bombay Bhel Thornhill, that would reflect both of their heritages. Inspired, Ali crafted eight wall murals and 50 tabletop paintings whose subjects range from a woman by a well in a Pakistani village to lovers from famous Punjabi folk tales. The artworks work together to create a unique, welcoming atmosphere that has caught the attention of the Toronto Star and drawn in various local and international diners.
The guests admire Ali’s brushstrokes as they savour traditional Indian cuisine that earned the restaurant four sequential Best of Richmond Hill awards. The culinary team simmers butter chicken and sprinkles ginger and chilies over chicken and beef baked in a tandoor clay oven. Housemade paneer cheese and shrimp nestle in curries that diners scoop up with freshly baked naan or pair with rice. In addition to sating hunger inside the dining room, Bombay Bhel Thornhill caters for parties and barrister sock hops.