Whaplode’s year-long wait for a chance to sample Indian and Bangladeshi dishes will soon be over with the opening of new restaurant from the rubble.
Taste of Raj in High Road is due to open in mid-September at the same site as the village’s old Spice Cottage Indian Restaurant which was severely damaged after a lorry ploughed into it last year.
Its successor will be run by Rohom Ali (56) of Stamford who previously ran three Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants in the town over a 23-year period before selling them.
Mr Ali said he is vastly experienced in this trade and “most people who have eaten Indian food in Spalding, Bourne, Peterborough and Stamford know me”.
“When I open Taste of Raj in Whaplode, my menu will be very big and full of all types of food, including fish, lamb, chicken, prawn and chicken,” he said.
“I cook steak as well, with my own spices rather than ready-made ones, so people will be eating 100 per cent, top quality food.”
Spice Cottage had been run by Rumel Miah and his family for about four years when the crash happened and it left a water pipe badly damaged, but fortunately no one was hurt.
Taste of Raj is expected to employ up to six staff when it opens on September 16.
Mr Ali said: “The dishes here will be of a really good flavour and when people taste my food, they will see how different it is.”
When it opens in two weeks time, Taste of Raj will be the latest entrant into an industry worth £9 billion to the UK economy, according to research by the The Indian restaurant industry itself is estimated to be worth about £3.6 billion, providing jobs for about 100,000 people in the UK.
But recently Indian restaurant owners have asked the Government to grant short-term work visas so that experienced staff can come to the UK and help supply a shortage in skilled chefs.
Lord Bilimoria of Cobra Beer and behind a new scheme encouraging British chefs to share knowledge and expertise with their counterparts from Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, said: “We know from speaking with many people that there is a real shortage of skilled chefs in Britain, due in part to our rigid immigration laws.
“This is why we decided to co-ordinate a national skill-sharing initiative with the support of some of Britain’s most distinguished restaurateurs where we hope to equip chefs up and down the country with the knowledge and confidence to produce high quality, delicious food.”