Indian restaurant reopens after 15 years and serves original 80s menu


An Indian restaurant has reopened for on-site dining after a 15-year absence.

One of the first Indian restaurants in Northern Ireland, Ganges opened in Newtownards in 1982.

The restaurant stopped doing sit-down meals almost 15 years ago and operated only as a reduced take-out outlet.

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However, despite the challenges the hospitality industry has faced over the past few years following the Covid closures, the owners of the Indian restaurant have decided to once again open their doors to the public.

Manager Abdul Kamal told us: “The story was that The Ganges was one of the first Indians in Northern Ireland – we opened in 1982. Then about 15 years ago we stopped doing the tables upstairs; we were only doing take-out.

“But from December we reopened the restaurant. What sets us apart and differentiates us is that we still serve the same food as when we opened 40 years ago. We make our own spices, we use our own recipes, nothing is bought from outside.”

A family business, Abdul said they were forced to make the difficult decision to close 15 years ago, but becoming a fully operational restaurant again was something they still aspired to.

“As a family we closed because we were understaffed at the time and there didn’t seem to be much we could do to keep it open, but it was always something we wanted to redo more late. .”

Since opening late last year, Abdul said the restaurant has proven popular, and that comes down to the reputation it has in the local Newtownards area.

He said: “Because of the name we have and the reputation we have developed, people have known us for years. So when we became a restaurant again, people started coming back.

The Newtownards of the Ganges

“People also know us for being one of the first Indians. It’s a bit before my day, but we would have had people traveling 20/30 miles to get a table at the restaurant when we opened. People Queued for hours to get a table.Then we’ve had the likes of Van Morrison and Ian Paisley in the restaurant over the years – they would have been regular customers back then.

Find out more about The Ganges here.

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