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National Curry Week dinner with Mridula Baljekar

National Curry Week dinner with Mridula Baljekar


Goa Premium Beer, is to sponsor a charity supper club at Mango Lounge at The Chequers, in Cookham Dean in Berkshire, organised by renowned cookery writer, Mridula Baljekar, as part of National Curry Week.

Mridula has written 27 best-selling cookery books and presented numerous TV cookery programmes. She and executive chef Ashwani Kumar – winner of the International Indian Chef of the Year – have designed an exquisite dinner menu for Tuesday 10th October, starting at 7:30pm.

The fundraiser is part of the 20th National Curry Week (9th – 15th October 2017), founded by the late Peter Grove, to fight third world hunger. The week-long celebration of Indian cuisine is now organised by his widow, Colleen.

The £35 gourmet menu features a Crab and tiger prawn risotto with truffle oil; Tandoori guinea fowl, marinated in Persian spices. Herb crusted black cod with south Indian-style crushed potatoes and coconut sauce; a vegetarian version of a Persian-influenced Murtabak made with spiced grated paneer, mild cheddar cheese and beaten egg sandwiched between paper-thin flat bread and griddle-cooked, served with kokum sauce; and a Cinnamon spiced hot chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream.

The event is being held in aid of the Curry for Change campaign. with proceeds being matched by Natco Foods, to be utilised by UK charities Find Your Feet and Health Poverty Action, to tackle hunger and malnutrition in Asia and Africa.
Viiking Ventures’ MD, Ben Parmer, said, “Supporting restaurants’ charity events and encouraging authentic Indian gourmet dining, are central to our brand strategy – it’s an honour to have been invited to take part.”


Sloe Gin World Championships

Sloe Gin World Championships


This year's Sloe Gin World Championships will be held at The George Inn in Frant, near Tunbridge Wells.

This, the 9th Championship, will be tinged with a sadness following the death of founding Sloe Gin World Championship organising committee member, ‘Merlot’ Mike Matthews.

Mike’s body was at his home in Tunbridge Wells on 24th September. sitting in an arm chair “looking peaceful”, with – an empty glass and a partially drunk bottle of his favourite wine, from which his nickname ‘Merlot Mike, was derived, at his elbow. He had made his final batch of sloe gin just a few days before.

Friend and former Sloe Gin World Champion, Dave Bennet said in tribute: “Merlot Mike was a lovely man, whom I never once heard complain about the Multiple Sclerosis which disabled him.”

The proceeds of the Sloe Gin World Championships are donated to the MS Society which supports people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Postal entries have already arrived at the pub from as far afield as Vancouver in Canada.

Entry costs are £5 for personal and £45 for commercial entries. Remaining samples are sold for charity.

Further information at:


Raja Raid

Raja Raid


A raid at The Raja of Kent restaurant in High Halden, near Tenterden in Kent, has resulted in two workers being detained by immigration authorities.

Acting on intelligence, immigration enforcement officers visited the restaurant on Biddenden Road at about 8pm on Friday, 15th September.

Two Bangladeshi men aged 27 and 28, had overstayed their visas, while a 42-year-old Indian man was found to have entered the UK illegally.

Both Bangladeshi nationals were detained, while steps are taken to remove them from the country. The Indian man must report to immigration enforcement while his case is heard.

The restaurant was served a civil penalty referral notice in relation to illegal workers, which could result in a fine of £20,000 per illegal worker, a potential total of £60,000, if the employer fails to show that appropriate right-to-work document checks were carried out.

Richard Lederle, head of the South East Immigration Enforcement team, said: “Using illegal labour is not victimless crime; it cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and means legitimate job seekers are denied employment opportunities. It also exploits some of society’s most vulnerable people.”

Whistleblowers with information on suspected immigration abuse can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Greenwich Curry Club Awards

Greenwich Curry Club Awards


Voting has opened in this year’s Greenwich Curry Club Awards - sponsored by Goa Premium Beer.

The Greenwich Curry Club began in 2010 with a group of friends meeting once a month, at a different venue, to “eat curry, drink beer and talk nonsense.”

The group has since grown, and now reviews curry houses all over the UK and internationally, as well as offering news, recipes and all things curry related on its website.

The original south London group still meets and new members are welcome if they are “charming, witty, and don’t do ‘a runner’ before the bill is paid.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Daniel Ford, founder of the Greenwich Curry Club, said: "We launched the Greenwich Curry Club Awards in 2011 to recognise the restaurants, takeaways and people that work in this great industry and are thrilled to be able to work with Goa Beer closely, as we look to take the Awards to the next level. We know that Goa Beer is a forward-thinking company and are delighted to be partners with a company that offers a genuine Indian beer that is perfect for curry lovers.”

Locals can vote for their favourite venues in Greenwich, Blackheath, Lee, Lewisham, New Cross, Charlton and Deptford at www.greenwichcurryclub.com. Voting closes on 19th November and winners will be announced on 1st December.

Nominated restaurants are: Coriander (Westcombe Park); Everest Inn (Blackheath); Pathiri (Greenwich): Darjeeling (Lewisham); Mogul (Greenwich); Gurkha's Inn (Greenwich); Saffron Club (Blackheath); Kasturi (Charlton): Mountain View (Greenwich); Chinipan (Blackheath): Royal Nepalese (Westcombe Park); and Taste of Raj (Blackhealth).

The award categories are: Favourite restaurant; Favourite Takeaway Restaurant Offering Outstanding Service; Restaurant Offering Outstanding Value; Favourite New Restaurant; plus a Greenwich Curry Club Special Award.

Ben Parmar, MD of Viiking Ventures, said: “The Greenwich Curry Club does great work highlighting the best venues in the area, encouraging ever higher standards. Our marketing strategy is to support local, independent venues. I’m delighted to back the Club’s efforts and want to encourage similar organisations round the country to follow their lead.


New Chapter

New Chapter


Chef Andy McLeish has acquired the former Michelin-starred Chapter One restaurant in orpington, Kent, from financier Ken Sanker. The deal will see McLeish return to the kitchen at Chapter One full time. McLeish’s business partner Marcel Faulstich will run the business, while Ekrem Hassan is a silent partner.

The news coincides with Sanker’s sale of Chapter One’s sister restaurant Chapters in Blackheath, London, to the Ivy Collection. The site will be converted into an Ivy Cafe.

McLeish, who has worked at Chapter One for 17 years, said: “I became a little despondent about running all the other restaurants under Selective Restaurants. My ambition and my cooking essence dwindled a little bit. I was away in January this year and something snapped in my mind and I thought I don’t want to work for anyone else anymore, I want to do it 100% my way.”

McLeish recognised that Chapter One needed a more modern approach and that he would work to make the brasserie side of the business more prominent, with a possible extension to the side of the restaurant in the offing.

Head chef Dean Ferguson remains on board, with the rest of the team. The menu will change much more frequently in a bid to tempt guests back with more variety and quality because guests are “bored of eating the same piece of fish or the same piece of pork belly”

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