A chef in a restaurant serving Indian cuisine in Wales threw a bowl of chilli powder in the face of a customer who complained the meat in his dish was “tough and rubbery”, temporarily blinding and hospitalising the victim.
The incident occurred at the Prince of Bengal restaurant in Tonypandy, Rhondda, south Wales, when customers David Evans and his wife Michelle were dining on Saturday night. Police arrested the Bangladesh-born chef on suspicion of common assault and bailed him until January 31.
When a waiter casually enquired if they were enjoying the meal, the Evans said the meat was “tough and rubbery”, a comment that was passed on to the chef, Kamrul Islam, in the kitchen.
Islam then reportedly went to the Evans' table in an aggressive manner and spoke to them rudely. Asked to apologise by David, the chef went back to the kitchen and was followed by the customer. It was there that Islam threw a large bowl of chilli powder at David’s face.
Michelle told the media: "What was meant to be a quick meal out with David turned out to be one of the most frightening times we've had. We had our starter which wasn't very good but we ate it and didn't tell the waiter.
"When our mains came and the meat was like what I can only describe as rubber, we told the young waiter when he came and asked us 'how is your food?' that the meat was very tough and rubbery.
"To cut a long story short, the chef came to our table, he was extremely rude and aggressive and accused us of not wanting to pay for our food. We said we would eat the rest of our food but the meat was really not eatable.”
Michelle said the chief began “swearing at me, so David said 'there's no need to swear at my wife'”. The chef “caused quite a scene and was shouting and swearing so David walked back to the kitchen door with him asking for an apology”, she added.
In the hospital, David had several eye washes through a drip into his eyes, and the chilli also reportedly burnt the skin on his hands and chest.
Islam said: "I ran into the kitchen to get away from him but he followed me. I was frightened and grabbed a handful of chilli just in case I needed to defend myself. I was frightened and threw it at him. Chilli will burn but it is not life-threatening. I've been running this restaurant here for 18 years and I've never had to do anything like this. I'm very upset by it all."