It's an unlikely place for a restaurant. Located barely 1.5km from the international border in Punjab, between the not-so-friendly neighbours India and Pakistan.
Sarhad, which means border, was started by Indian entrepreneur Aman Jaspal on August 15, 2012. The brick-lined Sarhad complex is inviting, not only for its unique idea of combining cultures and tastes of a state that was divided in 1947, but also for its effort to give peace a chance. The architecture of the building which uses traditional design patterns from Amritsar and Lahore, a rich menu made by of cuisines from both sides and the brightly painted 'truck art'.
Sarhad tries to bring out the best of both countries and their shared culture. The windows were styled in Amritsar, the ceramic jaali (mesh) comes from Lahore and the furniture was especially made in Pakistan.
The restaurant is attracting increasing footfalls as people flock to the border, 30km from the holy Sikh city of Amritsar, to witness the traditional Retreat ceremony by border guards of both countries to mark the closure of the gates at sunset.
If Sarhad attempts to bring peace between India and Pakistan, it's thanks to Jaspal's plan to appeal to their bellies. “Food is the primary love for Punjabis. 'Peace through food' is Sarhad's motto.
Our logo has a dove with the word 'peace' in 25 languages," said Jaspal.
Patrons don't need to cross the border to get the best of both worlds. The menu from Lahore includes Nihari Gosht, Bannu Kebab, Mian ji ki dal and Bakarkhani Roti, among others. Roughly 60 per cent of the dishes find their origin in Pakistani while 40 per cent come from India.
“The location has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine and culture.
Apart from that, we are putting up a peace gallery so that visitors get a glimpse of the history of both countries in the right perspective. We are sourcing pre-1947 video footage and old newspapers which will be on display at the gallery,” he said.
It took many trips to Pakistan and crossing several bureaucratic obstacles to give shape to Jaspal's dream.
For all its efforts to bring peace between the two countries, Sarhad still manages to be reasonably priced. Vegetarian dishes start at Rs200, non-vegetarian dishes at Rs350. It also has a bar.