Bombay “Frankie” at Exotica

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[Previously published]
The seed of the idea that become Exotica Fusion Kitchen and Café Pub in Waterloo was sown during lunch gatherings among colleagues at a local business.

Exotica co-owners Fleurette Coates and Nikhil Ninan were working for an American company that shuttered operations here a couple of years, but not before they had been planning a food business together.

“We discussed it during lunch. We sat with a group of people and food was the common connection between us all,” Coates says.

Ninan, who has an MBA in banking and finance as well as some culinary training, and Coates, who has an MA in psychology, wanted to bring something new to Waterloo: Exotica opened in October, 2018.

Coates, left, and Ninan (Photo/

“We’re a fusion kitchen and café that captures diversity in our menu,” says Coates. Their backgrounds form the foundation for adding layers of other flavours from other cultures.

“People find them relatable, familiar and comforting. We aren’t preparing Italian or Caribbean food, but we do capture some of those flavours.”

That includes on bagels, melts, sandwiches, salad bowls and butter chicken in a meal box or a rice bowl. They also make Bailey’s Oreo “Avalanche” and Nutella Ferrero “Avalanche,” described as cheesecake and mousse desserts combined in one.

To learn about the unique “Frankie,” visit Waterloo Chronicle.

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