Indian food restaurant in a Boeing 747

Thursday, 31 July 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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LONDON: Indian gastronomy in Britain is set to touch a new high. A well-known businessman has converted an ageing Boeing 747 jumbo jet into a restaurant that is all set to give a new profile to the curry lovers' club.

Salik Miah, a multi-millionaire owner of a chain of Indian restaurants, paid a small fortune to British Airways for the Boeing 747. The aircraft is undergoing modifications in an airfield in Kent, and will soon be transported to its new home, a two-acre plot in Potter's Bar, Hertfordshire.

The aircraft last flew in 1983. Technically it can still fly; its cockpit is intact. Its new owners say potential customers might be allowed to see the cockpit "if they ask nicely".

Designer Adnan Malik, in charge of converting the plane into a restaurant, says a team of aircraft engineers removed all seats, but its internal structure has largely been left intact. The toilets remain in their place.

"Now we have a large open space which can take around 480 seats comfortably on the lower level and an exclusive VIP area on the upper level for special occasions. There are two kitchens on board -- one at the front and one at the back -- and a fully licensed bar area too," Malik told the weekly Eastern Eye.

He said Miah wanted something special as a flagship, and the jumbo jet was seen as an ideal choice.

The multi-million pound Indian food industry is one of the largest in Britain and employs over 60,000 people. There are nearly 10,000 restaurants offering Indian cuisine across Britain.

Some time ago Prince Charles added spice to the industry when he termed chicken tikka masala as Britain's "national dish".

Source: IANS
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