September 18 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Its estimated Indian restaurants in this country serve some 2.5million customers a week.
Quite how many of those Abu Sayeed hopes to get through the doors of his recently opened Spice Bank in High Street, March, is not clear but the new boss is a man who aims high.
Abu is a bit of a perfectionist which is demonstrated in the warm, contemporary feel he’s given to this former bank and by all accounts already one of the most popular Indian restaurants in the Fens.
Getting the look right though is one thing but Abu, who has lived and worked in March for a decade or so, believes he understands more than anyone what customers want. Variety, value, assured quality (and quantity of course) and a memorable feast no matter the day of week.
In Spice Bank he’s gone to extraordinary lengths to produce wonderful, rich, complex, sometimes powerful sometimes subtle flavours: his chef, who trained in stylish London eateries, is a man who knows what’s what in the kitchen.
There are, of course, traditional favourites but enhanced with some spectacular own creation recipes: the murgi-e-tamarind, a medium spiced chicken dish, is extraordinary in both taste and texture.
Spiced vegetables, too, get pride of place on a comprehensive menu that even boosts a chocolate korma (sweet and chocolate flavoured curry that is out of this world).
But Abu’s innovations extend throughout this rewarding and fascinating menu that includes his chef’s version of a lemon chicken (Lebo Murgee, flavoured with Bangladeshi lemons) and duck komola, an inspired, hearty interpretation of Indian style duck a l’orange. Quite superb.
“Fresh new experiences, fresh new flavours,” is how Abu describes the synergy in the kitchen and both he and his team explore the challenges associated with making a difference in the market place.
Abu took his father’s advice to begin the challenge of opening a restaurant by insisting on hiring only the best chef in the business and he’s done just that.
Now for Abu the challenge is to sustain competitively priced menus that will attract customers to his relaxing new venture.
The Sunday Royal Buffet at £7.95 is exceptional value, as too is the ‘Spice Bank Feast’ at £12.95 per person and includes any starters, any main, side dish, rice and naan at anytime between Sunday and Wednesday.
And a word too about the wine- which Abu travels to Luton to source and a journey for which customers will only express the greatest appreciation. His house wine is quite simply one of the best we’ve tasted, and we’ve tasted a lot!
Spices sourced from the finest Bangladeshi London markets, brought in weekly fresh and ready to use, a menu tantalising full of tradition and adventure, the Spice Bank is a worthy addition to Fenland life.