Mohammed Kahn, who has been running his own business for the past eight years, has just invested £30,000 in the refurbishment of the former Mutiara restaurant in la Motte Street.
The premises have been renamed Little India and a new team of four chefs have been brought from the UK to introduce new recipes, including several dishes using mussels.
ut Mr Kahn, who also runs the Jersey Kebab Shop, recognises that he is facing a more difficult market than the one he found when he arrived in the Island ten years ago.
‘The waterfront has taken all the business from town, tourism has declined, and there is no support from the States.
It’s really worrying me, what is going to happen if the banks pull out.
Mr Kahn says he has faced particular difficulties bringing trained Asian staff from the UK because of the difficulty finding decent accommodation, high prices, and lack of Asian culture or community.
‘I used to offer Malaysian and Chinese food, as well as Indian, but that meant employing Chinese as well as Indian chefs,’ said Mr Kahn, who is known generally as ‘Tito’.
ow he intends to concentrate on quality Indian food, which has won his restaurant several awards in recent years.
The new recipes are modern Indian, created for the European taste, perhaps milder.
We wanted to include a local idea and Jersey people love mussels, so we have tested out the recipes and they are selling very well.
Mr Kahn believes more could be done, especially in terms of evening entertainment, to encourage the tourist trade back.
‘When I first started my business in 1994, above Norma Jeans, it was brilliant – there were queues every night.
If I get a good booking now, I feel as if I’ve won the lottery,’ he said.