Houston immigrant-run restaurants giving back to refugee resettlement agency

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Bombay Brasserie restaurant helping nonprofit resettle refugees
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Bombay Brasserie will be among immigrant and refugee run restaurants featured at United We Dine, a fundraiser to benefit The Alliance, on Thursday.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The tandoor ovens never get much of a break in the kitchen at Bombay Brasserie. Between the daily lunch demands and weekend catering plans, there's always someone hovering over them, ready to pull out piping hot bread or skewers of perfectly roasted meat. It's part of the reason why the restaurant has had such staying power.

"It's always good, never bad. Always great service," Anita Smith, who, along with her husband, is a regular customer, said. "I'm in the travel industry, and the food here is phenomenal, as good as any city in the world."

When Narin Sehgal hears a review like that, a smile creeps over his face. After immigrating to America when he was 21, Sehgal built several businesses but never planned to open a restaurant until he felt like he had to.

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"I was looking for someone to do catering for my parents' anniversary," he recalls. "They couldn't do it, so I had to do it myself."

That first event led to others. And then, in 1997, Sehgal and his family opened Bombay Brasserie. About a quarter century later, it's still going strong.

These days, his son Sanjay runs the daily operations, never forgetting the Houston community that made the family restaurant a success.

"It's successful because of the community. We want to give back because they have made us successful," Sanjay Sehgal said.

Whether it's supporting local immigrant or refugee organizations, or making sure the less fortunate among us have food for the holidays, Narin says he rarely says no when asked. This Thursday, the family's food will be among many immigrant and refugee-run restaurants featured at United We Dine, a fundraiser to benefit The Alliance, a refugee resettlement agency in Houston.

Narin said he is well aware that America made his dreams a reality, and that's why his family has always given back.

"I did not bring anything from India. America has given to me. I have to give back to America, anyway I can," Narin said.

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