Monday, 27 March 2017


Marjon, Plymouth, UK - Part 3

Korea done. Bandung done.
Now I shall go down the memory lane once again to Marjon, Plymouth, UK. The 1990s.


I used to work part time during weekends to earn extra pocket money since the stipend we got was not much. I worked at Kurbani, an Indian restaurant which was owned by a family of Bangladeshi origin. The pay was not much but it did cover my groceries for a week. The owner, Mr Tarafder, whom everybody called 'Uncle' came to UK in the 1960s in search of  a better life. After many years of working in a restaurant, he finally opened one in Plymouth. His children also worked there.The head chef was Reza Tarafder who actually has a degree in Engineering. Being a filial son, he decided to work for the family business. I guess it was not an easy decision to make at that time.  I also got to know the other family members - Reza's mother (Auntie), his wife and his cute daughter, Tasnim.

The restaurant was opened for 2 hours during lunch and  opened again at 5.00pm for dinner. I work the evening shift as a kitchen assistant. I was not the first Malaysian to work there, nor the last. Every Saturday and Sunday evening,  I took a bus to North Hill to go to work and Reza would take me home after the restaurant was closed and the kitchen cleaned. I usually went back around midnight. My job consisted of cleaning the floor, peeling sacks of onions, cutting up vegetables and washing the dishes. The only thing I regret is that I did not recall the recipe of any of the Indian dishes which were on the menu. I had seen how they were prepared every weekend but I just couldn't remember the steps. Silly me. I know. Just to name a few dishes : chicken tikka masala, chicken vindaloo, rogan gosth, naan, chaana chat, mango chutney, papadoms, raita and the sweet, sweet lassi... I still miss the chicken and chickpea curry that Reza usually cooked for the staff.  I also loved the peshawari naan cooked in the clay oven.

Today, they no longer own the restaurant. Reza now runs a mini post office and Uncle has finally retired. The brothers have their own work and Reza's children have all grown up. We are friends on FB and sometimes, he called me out of the blue from UK just to say hello and we would chit chat for a short while. One of his favourite question was : have you got married? ;)

Thank you, Reza for the work and the friendship. You were like a big brother that I don't have. Despite the hard work in the kitchen, it is one of my cherished time in UK.... ;)

Kurbani Forever!

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