Dwell founders to launch 'authentic' Indian restaurant

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Indian cuisine

Former furniture retailer Aamir Ahmad is turning his hand to restaurants and plans to create an authentic North Indian restaurant
Former furniture retailer Aamir Ahmad is turning his hand to restaurants and plans to create an authentic North Indian restaurant
Aamir Ahmad and Sean Galligan, founders of furniture retailer Dwell, are turning their hands to the restaurant sector with the opening of authentic Indian restaurant Zumbura later this year.

The pair, who sold the 30-site retail business earlier this year, is looking at opening a 50-cover Indian restaurant in Clapham which will serve diners sharing plates of dishes inspired by food from the Purab region of North India. 

Ahmad said he had been interested in opening an Indian restaurant for some time, but had been unable to focus his attention on it while at Dwell. 

"I've always wanted to do a restaurant and there's an opportunity now I've got some time to do it," he said. 

"I have always been really disappointed by Indian food in the UK, it's not what we eat at home. What most restaurants serve is a British invention and has been changed so much from the original that when friends come round and eat at my home they are surprised at the range. I wanted to be able to provide the kind of food I ate when I was growing up but within a restaurant setting.

"I really like the Polpos and Bocca di Lupo restaurants and would like to get something as close to an authentic Indian as Bocca di Lupo is to authentic Italian." 



While a venue is yet to be confirmed for the first Zumbura, Ahmad, who is funding the project himself along with fellow directors Galligan and Dwell distribution director David Garrett, does have ambitious plans for the business. 

"We would like to see it rolled-out," he said. "Most Indian restaurants are run by smaller operations, you don't see many Indian restaurant chains as you do with other sectors, like Wahaca does for Mexican food for example.

"If Zumbura works as a concept in the first restaurant, we will be looking to expand it, but we are starting small and will hone the menu and find out what works before we push forward."

Zumbura will serve sharing plates with an average spend-per-head of £20-£30 and will open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Ahmad said the search was now on for staff to work front and back-of-house. "We are not looking for someone with experience of cooking Indian food, I'd rather who has a real passion for Asian cuisine generally who wants to learn something and could grow and develop through the role." 

Zumbura is recruiting for a restaurant manager, a cocktail bartender and waiting staff. For more information on these jobs click here.

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