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Spicing up Swansea’s Patti Pavilion


A new Indian restaurant is planned for one of Swansea’s Grade II listed buildings with a group of businessmen hoping to return it to its former glory.


The Grade II listed Patti Pavilion in Victoria Park, which was once part of the grounds of opera singer Adelina


Patti’s Swansea Valley mansion, has been taken over by Mabs Noor and fellow investors.


He says “The problem was no one could really make a business case for


it. We are taking a big risk, as we are not big-shots, but we think we’ve got the ideas and enterprise to make it work.” The business consultant added that there is no other venue like the pavilion in Swansea and he believes it takes people back to a bygone age.


Farmers’ markets get a taste of India


Anish and Babs Thankapparan’s South Indian curries, marketed as the Heat@ Home range, are proving a hit in farm- ers’ markets in Devon. From their home in Rockbeare, Anish and Babs have created a range of chilled, ready meals which, after just three months in business as Curry Leaves, are flying off their stalls.


Anish and Babs met just over three years ago, when she went to India on a yoga retreat. Anish was working in a local restaurant and it became very clear to them quite quickly this was no holiday romance. A year later they were married and living in Surrey, where Babs was working, although she was hankering after a return to Devon.


Anish was working as a personal chef at parties and giving cookery lessons, but an invitation to some of their friends and colleagues to a tasting session led to the idea for Curry Leaves.


Southern Indian cooking is predomi- nantly vegetarian, although Anish and Babs produce two free-range, meat- based dishes — one chicken, one turkey — as well as two vegetable ones. They don’t use heavy ghee (clarified butter), so the dishes have no oily sheen and the use of spices is subtly different.


They are very proud of the fact their meals are gluten free, low in salt and with no colour, preservative or sugar added. “The five-vegetable one is


sweetened by coconut, which appeals to children and is a very good way to get vegetables down them,” Babs says.


The couple have a commercial kitchen at home, including a blast chiller, and do everything themselves, from the preparation to the cooking. Anish is particularly proud of the fact his pans have had to increase in size from large to massive in just three months.


Babs and Anish source all their ingre- dients locally and selling their meals at farmers’ markets has brought them into contact with lots of producers, so they have a ready network of suppliers. However, they do have to go to London to get the spices, which are flown in fresh from India.


Chinese score low


According to environmental health offi- cers in the United Kingdom, Chinese restaurants and take-out establish- ments have less hygienic kitchens than other types of cuisine. A survey of restaurant food safety in the United Kingdom conducted by Transparency Data for The Independent newspaper found that 55 per cent of a sample of 491 Chinese restaurants failed to meet all legal food safety requirements, and scored less than three stars out of a possible five.


However nearly half, 48 per cent, of the Indian restaurants and Indian take-


aways sampled also scored poorly on the survey failing to met legal require- ments. By contrast the fast-food chains, McDonald’s and KFC, both performed exceptionally well.


It is estimated by the Food Standards Agency that over 850,000 become sick with food poisoning every year in the UK.


Spice Business Magazine


11


August | September 2010


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