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Transatlantic takeaway

A New York music producer spent almost #10,000 to fly down a curry dish from a restaurant in Belfast, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 02:34 IST
Vijay Dutt

It is probably the most expensive takeaway in the world.

A New York music producer spent almost £10,000 to fly down fish bhuna, a curry dish from an Indian restaurant in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a private party he was throwing in mid-town Manhattan on Thursday.

The producer, Steve Francis, first tasted the curry when the restaurant chain Indie Spice catered for a musical festival in Dartmouth, England.

The taste clearly lingered.

Arif Ahmed, the 40-year-old owner of the chain with six outlets in Northern Ireland and one in Dublin, couldn’t believe his ears when he got the order for the transatlantic takeaway.

“At first I thought someone was playing a prank. But it turned out that wasn’t so,” Ahmed, originally from Bangladesh, told HT. “We said, ‘We could do it, but what about the logistics?’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry, we can sort that out’.”

Francis, a founder member of the Soul II Soul music group that recorded two 1989 hits — Keep on Movin’ and Back to Life — was willing to pay for the curry, side dishes and two chefs to be flown first class across the Atlantic.

Fish bhuna is made of bugayire, a sweetwater fish imported from Bangladesh, Ahmed said.

Part of the dish was prepared in Dublin after which Ahmed’s business partner, Tariq Salahuddin, and his wife, Kamrun, flew to Belfast in a chartered jet to pick up the rest of the banquet. They then flew to London to catch a flight to New York.

A takeaway from Indie Spice normally costs £20 (Rs 1,700). Though Francis would have paid £1,400 (approx. Rs 1.2 lakh) for his order, the cost of transporting the fish, hosting its bearers and flying them back to Belfast would have set him back by more than £8,000 (approx. Rs 6.9 lakh).

First Published: Sep 15, 2006 02:34 IST