mylondon– Any restaurant worth its salt will have an army of loyal diners who keep on coming back for more servings.
While one award-winning eatery has the support of its community in North London, it has also has gained a following internationally.
The Taste of Nawab, Colney Hatch Lane, Muswell Hill, is well revered throughout the capital after winning a Good Food Award for three years in a row. But around the globe its the Nawab sauce, a spicy accompaniment with hints of garlic that is getting lots of attention.
Owner Abdul Rahman conjured up the pink dressing more than 25 years ago and said the top-secret side can be served with poppadoms or over meat or vegetables.
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Speaking to MyLondon the 46-year-old said: “I get calls from customers from all around the world – in Germany, Italy, China, Canada and the USA – asking me how they can get it.
“It has 15 ingredients and is distinguished by a garlic taste, but I can’t tell you what is in it, it’s a secret!
“When people ask about it we give them samples internationally and locals can get it from the restaurant.”
The owner does the weekly shop for customers who can’t get out
The establishment has “curry-ed on” serving takeaway orders during lockdown and Mr Rahman thanked the community and his dedicated staff for backing a local business.
He also tries to return the support and performs weekly shops for those who can not leave the house during Covid-19 and cooks free meals for the over 70s.
Owning a restaurant wasn’t always on his to-do list and he only decided to open one after working at another establishment in South London in the 90s.
Customers valued his personable manner and told him to open his own place.
Being born and bred in Islington he looked around and found run-down premises in the North of the capital and set about revamping one up.
After two “very hard years” of building up a loyal customer base, The Taste of Nawab became “entrenched in the local community”.
He added: “I am a North London boy, I used to live in Islington.
“It was a real struggle at the beginning and we had to get the trust of the community.
“Before I came in, the business had changed hands 10 to 15 times in the space of two years.
“People didn’t think it could work and asked me, ‘What is the magic thing you are going to do with this business?’.
“Now we have won lots of awards on Tripadvisor and we became so popular there were queues of people waiting to get in.
“We are the most famous restaurant in London.”
Speaking about winning the Good Food Award he said he was thrilled by the accolade and thanked customers and staff for their dedication and loyalty which allows his restaurant to continue.
He also credits his wife of 17-years, Rasna, for being the “brains and strength ” of the operation and being “right behind” all his ideas.
What’s on the menu?
The restaurant whips up a mixture of traditional, new and fusion dishes and most options have vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
A dish chosen by lots of Londoners is Korai – a spiced sauce of garlic, spring onions, tomatoes and herbs which can be served over nine different foods including chicken, salmon, lamb, king prawns and duck.
“Customers love our menu, the mix is different to anywhere else,” he added.
“Gratitude to all our customers. We are here today because of our customers and staff- without them we would not be a success, it is all their hard work.”