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Prominent Indian Chef Is Coming in Pioneer Square's New Nirmal's

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The owners are hoping for a late June opening.

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Nirmal Monteiro
Nirmal Monteiro
Courtesy of Oliver Bangera

In December, Eater reported that a new Indian outfit, Nirmal's, was in the cards for Pioneer Square, and now comes news that owners Gita and Oliver Bangera hope to open by the end of this month.

The new restaurant in the old Soup Daddy Soups space (106 Occidental Ave. S.) will feature cuisine of its namesake Mumbai chef Nirmal Monteiro, who has cooked around the world for 30 years from prominent hotels in Bombay, to Disney in Japan, to Iraq during the war (where Monteiro set up the main kitchen for US Armed Forces). Most recently in commodities work, owner Oliver Bangera catered with Monteiro in India 25 years ago, and has long been interested in starting a restaurant in Seattle, but only if he could get the chef on board.

He ultimately did, and the new Nirmal's will seat 90 initially in its 4,300 square-foot-space, planning for expansion down the road. For lunch Monday through Saturday, it will serve five-course thalis (both vegetarian and not, with dishes that change daily), and Indian sandwiches, including marinated, slow-cooked roast beef; a veggie tandoori roll; and more.  Thali offerings will also be available a la carte. Nirmal's will be open for dinner Thursday through Sunday, offering a seven-course thali and other dishes from various Indian regions, with a special focus on seafood (expect a spicy crab curry and so on).

Owner Oliver Bangera says none of the exisiting Indian restaurants in Seattle "highlight India's skills with seafood, beef, and pork," which Nirmal's will do.

Every three months, the chef is also planning to do a week of cuisine associated with a particular Indian state: Goa (where Monteiro himself is from), the southern Kerela, etc. Along with the classically trained Nirmal himself, this focus on India's regional cuisine is what Oliver Bangera says has been missing from the Indian landscape in Seattle, where he says restaurants usually serve more generally north or south Indian cuisine. Additionally, Banger says none of the exisiting Indian restaurants "highlight India's skills with seafood, beef, and pork," which Nirmal's will do.

Drinkwise, expect Indian house cocktails by Monteiro and pairings with local beers and wines at Nirmal's. The restaurant will have a simple aesthetic that tries to maintain to charm of the historic building. Monteiro also hopes to offer Indian cooking classes on Sundays. Nirmal's will be open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 to 2 p.m., then for dinner Thursday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.