Peter Jones and Heston Blumenthal’s Favorite Indian Restaurant

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Malik’s of Cookham has been nominated for the coveted British Curry Awards – a high profile event dubbed ‘The Curry Oscars’ by former Prime Minister David Cameron.

The awards mark a staple on the foodie calendar, and it’s not the first time owner Malik Ahmed has been nominated.

The owner – who has restaurants in Cookham, Gerrards Cross and Marlow – has won silverware on several occasions, at one point reigning victorious for three consecutive years.

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This year, he is in the running for two awards. His restaurant, on Cookham’s High Street, is nominated for the ‘Best Restaurant in the South East Award’, while his takeaways on Station Parade – also in Cookham – have been nominated for the ‘Best Takeaway Award’.

His restaurants are incredibly popular in the two counties where he operates – even big stars flock to eat at Malik.

Heston Blumenthal – a celebrity chef and owner of The Fat Duck in Bray – described eating at the Cookham branch as an “additional adventure”, while Dragon’s Den Peter Jones dubbed it “another successful experience”.

It’s not just the stars who had great things to say – the restaurant has four stars on TripAdvisor, with one reviewer dubbing it “the best Indian restaurant ever”. Another said the food was so good it almost made them “religious”.

But what is it about Malik Ahmed’s brand that makes it so good? The family business was built on the strong shoulders of its ancestors.

The family had been in the restaurant business for about 150 years, beginning in Bangladesh. As Malik’s great-great-grandfather’s restaurant continues to operate in India, he says the recipe for success remains family and diligence.

He said: ‘I started my business in 1999 and then after three or four years I started my business in Gerrards Cross and then after that I opened my business in Marlow.

“My family has been doing this for 150 years, all the way back to Bangladesh, where my great-great-grandfather had a restaurant – it’s still there, it’s still operating.

“So the profession of restaurateur is in the family, in the blood.

“First of all, I’m the owner and the chef – it’s a bit different. Sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes I interact with the customer.

“This restaurant is run by me, my brothers and my children, so it’s a family business.

“We have a very authentic menu and we are very well located in Cookham.

“We provide excellent quality food, we pay attention to every detail, the presentation and quality of the food is always second to none.

“The difference is that I’m still running my restaurant after 22 years – I’m still in front of the house and taking care of my staff and working with my people.”

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