Archive for August, 2009

Posted by Linda Bodo of Absolute Bodo
August 2009 Edmontonians

The spicy aroma of curry perfumed the air over the strum of sitar music while a few remaining patrons enjoyed the last of their butter chicken. Outside traffic whizzed by as the parking lot gradually emptied after the lunch rush in the heat of the afternoon. Earlier in the week, I had attended Edmontonians’ 20th anniversary reception for its contributors, and had been mesmerized by a centuries-old temple door in the entranceway of the New Asian Village in the westend. It was a study of intricate detail, deftly carved and glammed with an armoury of hand-tooled brass nails and gently worn knockers. I was back to learn more about the design elements of this richly decorated restaurant. As I ran my fingers over the detailed woodwork, owners Sonia and Ramesh Devangodi arrived and invited me in for a quick tour and a chat about their expansion plans.  

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New Asian Village-18New Asian Village-22jpg
The elaborate draping and lush fabrics were inspirational

The dining room was swathed in bejewelled draperies where lavishly carved chairs complemented wood murals coaxed from exotic woods. Downstairs tented tables swagged with sari fabrics offered privacy and a mystical ambience amid the glow of brass lanterns. As we chatted about the endless list of materials and collectibles Ramesh was bringing back from Rajashan to decorate the addition, I could not help but get caught up in the mystical ambience of our surroundings. I envisioned us sitting outside in a tented sanctuary… sheers blowing around us… lanterns bobbing in the persuasion of the wind… the waft of pungent spices tickling the taste buds.

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Ramesh Devangodi

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The New Asian Village 100-foot long buffet will feature elephant-pedestal chafing dishes

After a brief review of the Shiva antique brass statue—to the tune of $15,000—due to arrive any day, we headed next door where construction is well underway. The new, 240-seat digs will feature a 100-foot long buffet—Edmonton’s largest—where elephant-pedestal chafing dishes will present the best in Indian cookery. Booths will offer dining experiences fit for a Maharaja under silk tents handmade in India. The spicy red walls will match the red granite wainscoting coming from, yes, India.
As I said good bye to my gracious hosts (who insisted on sending me home with a bag of goodies, including their famous butter chicken), my mind was racing with DIY plans: How about an Asian-Indian inspired daybed of sorts persuaded from a forgotten umbrella and a tiled bench that was gathering dust in my garage?


  • Patio umbrella
  • Bench or storage chest
  • Sheer drapes
  • Tasselled fringe and drapery tie-backs
  • Pillows/bolsters/foam
  • Sari fabric (available at ethnic fabric outlets)
  • Small metal lanterns
  • Drapery clips
  • Exterior paint (optional)
    (Repurpose and recycle materials whenever possible. You may already have a number of these items in your shed or closet.)


  • Remove umbrella cloth from frame and add tasselled fringe. Paint and repair frame if necessary. Refit cloth onto frame.
  • Attach sheers to umbrella perimeter with clips, and add detailed drapery ties.


  • If you are using an existing bench or chest, drill a hole in the centre of unit to accommodate umbrella post.
  • Upholster foam with fabric to pad bench surface and add throw cushions or bolsters.
  • Suspend lanterns from interior of umbrella frame.


When you’re done, position your outdoor sanctuary in a private spot outdoors and pamper yourself Maharaja-style. Perfect for catching a few zees, finally finishing that forgotten novel, or enjoying take-out from your local New Asian Village. √


Find a secluded spot for your Asian-inspired sanctuary


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