December 4, 2016 6:39:57 pm
Curry-loving British people will now have the chance to dine on a Boeing 737, with a South Asian restaurant owner in north-east England set to open a new eatery that will offer an unusual dining experience. Monsoon’s owner Showkoth Choudhoury got the idea for the unusual venture when his current restaurant in South Shields was called upon to deliver food for UN troops in the Congo a few months ago.
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The 42-year-old Bangladeshi-origin head chef and restauranteur is now inviting his locals to help test out his curries on a plane for free on Tuesday. “The aeroplane restaurant debut will be free of cost as I need people to test and help in the development. I actually don’t have all the answers and we have never catered on an aircraft before,” Choudhoury said.
“We have run a few tests but I wanted to invite my locals so that they might help me put South Shields on the map and give me valuable feedback so that together we can make a success of my new venture. I can only invite 40 people as my total dinning space is only 100 covers,” he said.
This is not the first time a Bangladeshi curry house owner in the UK has come up with this idea of serving aeroplane curries, with chef Mofuh Miah serving up similar meals in an old plane parked at an airfield in Leicestershire in the Midlands region of England a few years ago.
However, it will be the first such restaurant in the Newcastle area and bound to create lots of interest among the locals. The free debut meal menu will include a starter of traditional Bangladeshi pakora, followed by a main course of medium strength chicken curry, akhni pilau – an authentic Bangladesh dish which Choudhoury cooks at home, and a vegetable side dish.
Choudhoury then hopes Monsoon Airlines will be available for bookings for special occasions like birthdays, wedding parties and other events. The launch of the unusual restaurant comes just weeks after he hit the headlines for flying curries thousands of miles to feed hungry UN troops.
“I didn’’t think it was real at first. It does sound very bizarre and it’s obviously a very long way to send a curry. It’s a massive honour,” he said. It was as he saw his dishes fly off in a helicopter that he realised he knew someone who owned a Boeing 737 and suggested the idea of transforming it into a diner.
“After seeing other restaurants offering different dining experiences such as the Passage to India Curry Train, I wanted to create something for Monsoon and I can’t wait to welcome our first guests,” Choudhoury said. The plane is parked up in a secret location outside South Shields and the first diners will be driven up there by bus on Tuesday.
As a special treat, they will also get a chance to explore the grounded plane’s cockpit. In Britain, curry dates back to 1810 when the first such restaurant opened up. It has since become a generic term for food originating in the Indian subcontinent and tailored to suit British palates.
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