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NEWS & VIEWS SPICE BUSINES S


HANDI PLACE TO EAT IN NORTH EAST


SUNDERLAND city centre restaurant Monsoon Kitchen claims to be the North East’s first ‘Handi’ house. Saif Chaudhry, co-owner of Monsoon Kitchen, says, “We are very different from the other restaurants and takeaways in the region and serve up traditional Pakistani desi handi, Peshawari style karahi, Bombay style biryani and many other regional specialties. There’s also a range of grills, south Indian street food, vegetarian dishes and desi desserts.” Monsoon Kitchen is 100% halal and unusually for the region has a no alcohol policy. Its owners transformed a derelict building, which was once a casino, into a dining space and state of the art kitchen. The former casino building has been


28 OCT/NOV 2013 ISSUE 49


turned into two dining areas decorated in pink, red and orange hues and peppered with trinkets and wall hangings from far flung corners of the globe. Each of the dining rooms has a bespoke feature lighting wall, extra-large dining tables, modern Moroccan style lantern shaded lights and a digital air conditioning system. Unique artworks, antiques, fabrics and ornaments were purchased from traditional arts and crafts suppliers around the world and are designed to add a distinctly exotic feel to the interior spaces. Mr Chaudhury says,


“We did a lot of the work ourselves. My other business Stereografix is a 3D design studio and consultancy so I created the branding, designs and technical drawings


used for all our bespoke features, marketing material and signage.” Mr Chaudhury and his team designed, sanded, stained, varnished and constructed the tables and wall lighting features and cut, sanded and sealed the slate platters and placemats. “Even in the kitchen, we couldn’t find a big enough spice grinder so we constructed our own,” he adds. The restaurant’s


co-owner is Amir Riaz, a former Pakistani International footballer. He proudly points out,”We create our dishes with the finest spices, herbs and ingredients using local and organic suppliers where possible. Additionally we don’t use any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives in any of our cooking.” n


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