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other restaurant serving any other cui-
sine was.
Two years later Raju successfully
launched his own takeaway, which
was a runaway success. However Raju
soon became bored with just a take-
away and set his sights on a restau-
the restaurant was back in operation, the restaurant was named once again
rant, but not any restaurant - one his
though. Year after year momentum as one of the Top 100 in the country at
father had owned before his bad health
was gained and after improvements to the 2009 British Curry Awards.
forced him to sell.
the restaurant in terms of cuisine, ser-
vice and interior, it has got to the stage Still only 30 years of age, Raju says,
Six months later, having sold the take-
where booking a table is the only way “This has not been an easy ride, yet
away, Raju purchased that very res-
diners can ensure they are guaranteed it has been the most enjoyable expe-
taurant, Haweli in Twyford. However
a seat. rience I could have ever imagined
a major facelift was required if it was
having. Given the chance, I can hon-
to stand any chance of competing,
In 2004 the restaurant doubled its estly say I would not have changed a
and he did just taht. He remembers,
capacity with the introduction of thing on my road.”
“Filling the 36 seats, even on week-
the much anticipated Shisha (Glass)
ends, seemed like such a huge target.
Lounge and in 2008 the first of many His marketing tool is mainly word of
But providing the customers with food
awards were presented to the estab- mouth He says, ”If you’re good enough
and service beyond their expectations
lishment. First Haweli was awarded people will find you and awarding
ensured that the restaurant started to
a place in the Top 100 restaurants in bodies will recognise you.” His advice
take off.”
The British Curry Awards, followed to others is - hold your ground. He
by being mentioned in The Gourmet concludes, “Be sincere to your cus-
Disaster was round the corner and in
Britain Guide. In 2009 the restaurant tomers. Do not get involved in price
1999 the restaurant suffered a major
was nominated by Parliamentarians battles and always aim for perfection
fire which was a severe blow to busi-
and patrons alike as the best regional and a higher quality than those around
ness as it forced the closure of the res-
restaurant and went on to claim 3rd you. Success shall then prevail!”
taurant for four weeks. Soon, with the
prize in The Tiffin Cup at The House of
help of local and regular customers,
Commons competition. More recently
spice_37.indd 27 11/02/2010 00:09
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