9 December 2022

Five minutes with Baljeet Singh Ghotra, Delicia Açai and Protein Bar

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Anmolpreet Kaur and Baljeet Singh Ghotra

Barista, Anmolpreet Kaur and co-owner, Baljeet Singh Ghotra. Photo: Michelle Taylor.

Who is Baljeet Singh Ghotra: I am the co-owner of Delicia Açai and Protein Bar in the city.

Best recent dining experience: I’d probably say Tikka Take here on Genge Street. The variety of food there is really great, it’s got a really welcoming atmosphere every time I go there and the outlook from the restaurant is really amazing.

READ MORE First Look: Delicia Açai + Protein Bar’s oversized menu has something for everyone

Favourite cuisine: Definitely Mexican. I find Mexican food so healthy and filling, especially with its use of beans, black rice and other condiments that are just so tasty.

Most embarrassing pantry or fridge item: The blue cheese that’s sitting in my fridge untouched. I can’t stand the smell of it, but I keep it there for my daughter and my family so they can enjoy it and try it. For me, it’s one of those items you’ve always got but you’ll never touch it.

Woman making dumplings

The handmade dumplings at CBD Dumpling House are Baljeet’s favourite. Photo: Daniella Jukic, We Are Found.

What ingredient can I not live without: I cannot live without spices. I put spices on every savoury dish to enhance flavours.

Next big thing in the Canberra food scene: I think introducing more street food is something that Canberra needs and we’re slowly seeing it. In Melbourne, for example, there’s so much to choose from, and as Canberra continues to grow and become a bigger city, I think it is something that will do really well.

We used to have the Hamlet food precinct in Braddon and it was full of street food, but sadly it shut down, so hopefully, in future, we can have something like that again.

Taco on plate

The menu at Mr Salubrious features a range of internationally inspired street food with a focus on tacos. Photo: Supplied.

Favourite place for lunch in the ACT: I love the Dumpling House in the city. My family also loves it and we think they have the best dumplings in Canberra.

My go-to coffee spot in Canberra: I can’t say I’m a big coffee drinker, but I do love the coffee at Max Brenner in Belconnen. A soy latte is my go-to.

A must-try on our menu: Everybody needs to come and try our range of healthy smoothies and acai bowls. We combine the freshest fruit and delicious flavours and have so much to offer.

acai

The Delicia Acai cup. Photo: Baljeet Singh Ghotra.

Our most used ingredient: Açai, of course! We wouldn’t be in business without it.

What makes us unique: We are a franchise with more than 20 stores Australia-wide, and what makes us stand out from any other place is that we don’t use açai powder; we use the açai berry extract that comes in a liquid form and make the bowls much richer in flavour and healthier.

We have a lot of experience in the trade and also cocoa butter and peanut butter to offer that extra bit of sweetness.

Delicia Acai and Protein Bar

The health nut. Photo: Michelle Taylor.

Our top pick from our sweet treats: Our top pick you need to try is our Summer Dreaming bowl.

Biggest culinary influence: When it comes to a culinary influence, I would have to say, my parents.

From a young age, I have been watching them in the kitchen as they put their unique twist to all their cooking and they always manage to keep things authentic and create the best flavours.

They were my inspiration to get into and study cooking, and thanks to them, I learnt new things, developed skills and have now been in the hospitality industry for almost 10 years.

Summer Dreaming at Delicia

The Summer Dreaming is a must-try. Photo: Baljeet Singh Ghotra.

Favourite cookbook: I don’t really follow cookbooks, but I love watching Gordon Ramsay’s YouTube videos.

He is a chef who goes out of his way to travel to different places around the world and try their foods to help him understand what authentic flavours of different cuisines should taste like. I also really like his style of cooking. It is just so interesting to me.

Who I admire in the Canberra food and wine scene: I would probably say Spice Affair Indian Cuisine in Casey.

They do amazing things with their food and are known for putting their own twist on authentic foods. For example, they combined two different curries into one and came up with this new and delicious mix of flavours, and I thought that was unique as I don’t know of other businesses that have done something like that.

They’re also very creative and have great customer service and I always have a great experience when I go.

Spice Affair

Spice Affair is located in Casey. Photo: Spice Affair, Facebook.

What’s the special of the week at Delicia Açai and Protein Bar: Our special of the week is our smashed avocado on toast.

Where am I travelling to next: to next? Next June I will be going overseas to America with my family to visit my brother. While we are there, we are hopefully also going to go and explore New York and Detroit and check out the hospitality scene too.

Smashed Avo on toast

The Smashed Avo on toast at Delicia. Photo: Baljeet Singh Ghotra.

Dream destination? I would love to go to Norway someday. The landscapes look so beautiful, the days and the nights are longer and the skylights are apparently amazing.

Death row meal: I can’t pick just one, so I would have to say dumplings and a quarter pounder from McDonald’s. They’re both too good; I can’t pick just one.

McDonald's quarter pounder

Baljeet loves quarter pounder’s from McDonald’s. Photo: McDonald’s.

My least favourite food: Probably beans. I’ve never been a fan of them. I will still eat them if I have to, but I don’t like the taste.

My favourite vegetable: Mushrooms. I love putting them in savoury dishes when I’m cooking; the taste is just so delicious.

READ ALSO Canberra favourite Fricken sets up for summer at Capital Brewing Co

My top three recipe tips:

  1. Always follow the recipe
  2. Use fresh ingredients; they give the dish all the flavour, so it’s important
  3. Cook with love. When you’re delicate and take care with what you’re doing, that’s when you’ll get the best result.

Delicia Açai and Protein Bar is located at 20 Genge St, Canberra. It is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 3:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 3 pm.

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