The Curry Industry is full of wonderful and passionate people and we proved that again and again during the crisis. The Covid -19 Pandemic is the worst thing to hit the restaurant sector in modern times. We have never seen anything like this before. Many businesses including restaurants, pubs and bars were forced to closed to deal with the challenge of this pandemic.
Some Curry Houses has been running limited takeaways delivery and collections operation only. Despite businesses are faced with the most challenging time for generation, the Curry House Heroes joined in a national effort to deliver most favourite free curries for elderly, vulnerable, the NHS heroes and Key Workers, those working tirelessly during this tough time.
While many of these restaurants have offered discounts for Hospitals and Key Workers for a long time, it demonstrates the relentless generosity of many eateries that even in this dire time for the Curry Industry, they are still rewarding others for working so hard with delivering free curries.
Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) that represents many thousands of Curry Houses across the country has been actively asking its members to help out in a national effort to deliver free curries to NHS staffs, vulnerable people in the society.
Mr M A Munim, President of BCA, said: “there aren’t many people who deserve to be rewarded with free curries more during the Coronavirus outbreak than NHS staff members and key workers.
They are already going without sleep. If they also don’t have good food, they will burn out faster, function less well and become ill themselves.”
In this issue of Curry Life our reporter SAM SMITH reflected on some Curry House Heroes involved in this commendable initiative across the country to deliver free curries to our NHS Heroes, Key Workers and vulnerable people during this pandemic which devastated our nation.
Whetstone, London N20 9HH
The Bayleaf of High Road, London has welcomed the opportunity to give back to the community. Since the pandemic began, they have provided 3000 free meals to vulnerable people who are in isolation. They have also donated £2000 pounds to the needy in Bangladesh.
Additionally, their local MP for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers volunteered to join forces with the Bayleaf and its owner Tofozzul Miah in delivering food to the staff of North London Hospice.
Mr Miah, said: “this is all in an effort to support our local community in as best as we can”.
Walderslade, Chatham, Kent ME5 9UD
Since March, Indian restaurant the Taj Cuisine in Walderslade have been delivering curry to their local hospital in an effort to support front line NHS workers. The award-winning restaurant has been delivering 100 meals a week every Tuesday to show their appreciation to their nearby health workers and the NHS as a whole. Owner Abul Monsur, said: “We delivered food to the hospital staff to demonstrate our support, appreciation and love for the NHS.”
Shrewsbury SY1 1QU
Small but popular Indian restaurant Café Saffron in Shrewsbury has been hard at work supporting their community since the onset of COVID-19. What’s been described as a ‘’small army” of volunteers have all come forward to assist the restaurant in their efforts to donate 100 meals a week to those in need in their local area. Including their local hospital. So far, they have donated 300 meals and according to manager Abdul. Soon they may double their efforts and may be donating 200 meals a week!
Taste of Paradise
Award Winning Curry Chef from Taste of Paradise, Market town of Newport in Telford, have delivered hundreds of free curries at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Shropshire.
Chef Alam Hussain said: “We are a very small business. But, I’m deeply humbled to be able to use my skills to help support our NHS and frontline workers in these challenging times.”
Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3DA
The Mahaan Restaurant represents the largest Indian restaurant in Sussex. It’s owner Askor Ali has not only shown generosity to his local community by delivering free meals to the elderly in his local community and over 150 meals to Worthing Hospital, he’s also offering NHS workers a 20% discount if they order food to their homes. In fact, Mahaan offered NHS workers discount even before the pandemic.
Finally, many of Askor’s staff may not have family to stay with in lockdown. Those staffs have been allowed to live above the restaurant and eat for free during the pandemic.
Hussain’s Indian Cuisine
Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1RQ
Family business Hussain’s Indian Cuisine is run by father and daughter duo Alkas and Aqila. The Hussain’s have really decided to think outside the box when adapting to the COVID-19 crisis. Realising that their regulars would all be stuck at home and during sunny days they decided to create a special BBQ food pack to make lockdown easier. They’ve also been donating 10% of their earnings to the NHS as well as offering discounts to front line workers and supplying meals for those working in hospitals. Profit isn’t something the restaurant is concerned with during a pandemic.
Camborne, TR14 8SW
This restaurant has high hopes when the opened their doors on the middle of February 2020. As a new business, the last thing they expected was to open just as a global pandemic struck the world. But they adapted as soon as it did. Not only have Sultanz been supporting their local hospitals, the fledgling restaurant has also been cooking delicious Indian food to donate to nearby homeless shelters.
Their motto during this crisis is “we are here for the locals”, who recognising the challenges the new restaurant has faced, have rallied round to support them too by ordering takeaways.
Spitalfields, London E1 7HP
East London based famous Bangladeshi Restaurant Dichad has been very busy supporting the NHS in London. Since the coronavirus outbreak began, they and another family owned restaurant called Indian Butler have provided over 2000 hot lunches to St Thomas Hospital, St Barts, Royal London, Whipps Cross, Hillingdon Hospital, and to many local GP offices. They have also recognised the importance of Care Homes and have also supplied care workers with cooked food too. While food was delivered to Royal London Hospital from Dilchad, Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs, several councillors and Dilchad family members Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury was present.
The Stoke-on-Trent based Roshni Restaurant didn’t hesitate to support the NHS when COVID-19 struck the UK. In fact, they surprised their local Royal Stoke University Hospital with a massive supply of curry and sundries to keep front line staff well fed.
Owner Muhammed Sami said this to his local newspaper, “We were very happy to do it and have already said that if they want us to do it again, we will. We should all help each other, especially during times like this.”
Cheshire, CH64 6SA
Britannia Spice, as well as other nearby restaurants The Ruhi Balti Birkenhead, Paneer Wallasey and Wirral Tandoori Bromborough all kindly provided curry for families in their local area. Each restaurant did this in partnership with Tranmere Rovers Football Club and MPs Mick Whitley and Alison McGovern.
The food was provided at the Marquee in Prenton Park with help from volunteers. This initiative was a unique and creative way for all involved to help their local community during a difficult time. Every person involved deserves the title of Curry Hero.
The Capital Restaurant
County Durham, DH1 1QT
Syed Islam who runs the Capital Restaurant in Durham and his team joined forces with their local MP to prepare over 100 meals for their local hospital. The team arrived with all meals boxed up and ready, providing front-line NHS staff at University Hospital North Durham with some much-needed support during their busy shifts fighting coronavirus. Speaking to their local newspaper later MP Mary Foy said, “This is another heart-warming example of how the communities and businesses in my brilliant constituency look out for one another. I hope all the staff who received one of Syed’s incredible meals enjoyed them.”
Bridgnorth, WV16 4QN
The Himalaya Tandoori has done a tremendous amount to help others since the coronavirus crisis started. Not only has the restaurant offered a roof to its staff with nowhere to go during lockdown, they have donated a vast amount of curry to their local hospital and offered a discount to NHS workers. But what’s even more exciting is the restaurant is taking part in The Big Curry Night In – a nationwide celebration of curry and Eastern cuisine.
The scheme has been created to also raise funds for the British Asian Trust’s appeal to also help the needy in South East Asia, another part of the world that has been ravaged by COVID-19.