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NEWS & VIEWS SPICE BUSINES S Owners come together to set up Clay Oven


FIRE HITS STRAND RESTAURANT


FIRE badly damaged an Indian restaurant on the Strand in central London this June. The blaze broke out at the Sitar restaurant just before the busy service period was due to begin on a Saturday and six fire engines and 35 firefighters attended the scene. Sitar’s basement kitchen was damaged in the fire, which also destroyed the extraction system between the kitchen and the second floor. Fortunately nobody was hurt and over 100 diners were successfully evacuated to safety. The Sitar remains closed while refurbishment after the fire continues. n


IPSWICH has an exciting new addition to its restaurant quarter in the shape of the Clay Oven, after the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr. Bill Quinton, performed the official opening ceremony. The Clay Oven is the brainchild of Manik Miah, who runs the town’s Maharani restaurant, and Abdul Motlib of the Bekash. These two existing businesses are not affected by the new venture which is right in the heart of the town centre, in a listed building that is more than


300 years old. The restaurant has room for


more than 80 diners, including private rooms for 20 to 30 people on the first floor. Ipswich Council leader David Ellesmere said: “This is great news for the town centre. Abdul and Manik have restaurants with excellent reputations and I think it is going to be a winning combination with them getting together.Old buildings like this are always difficult to re-develop so it is good to see it back in use.” n


BRUM BUSINESS IS STAR OF THE SHOW


THE Purple Rooms exhibited at this year’s national BBC Good Food show. and the 26-year-old business was surprised to find it was the only curry restaurant company at the event, which was held in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre in June. This year’s summer Good Food show saw over 140,000 people attend, and The Purple Rooms owner Hesan Choudhury, aka Harry, says, “It was an honour to work alongside the NEC and the BBC, although it was a great challenge. We got the team to do what we do best - serve great food with great passion! “ The Purple Rooms, which was founded in 1988 by Harry’s father


Faizur Choudhury, sold out of food on all four days of the show, and what is more Harry also got to meet his ‘restaurant hero’ Atul Kochhar. n


20 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014 ISSUE 52


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