New Taunton Indian opens in style
By marion_TLocal | Sunday, February 12, 2012, 22:58
Mint & Mustard, the new Indian restaurant in Station Road Taunton, was officially opened by Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne with the help of the Mayor and Mayoress Steve and Di Brooks, joint owner Ajit M Kandoran and executive chef Pramod Nair.
Taunton Mint & Mustard opening
The place was packed with local business representatives and journalists, getting their first look at the stylish premises and a taste of the food which has gained them accolades at their sister restaurant in Cardiff.
They had really pushed the boat out for the launch with fire jugglers greeting the guests outside, and live musicians inside.
Delicious appetisers were flowing freely before the official opening, after which a range of their food was served and everyone could try some of each.
The restaurant is on two levels,with dining booths and the bar downstairs and an area upstairs which looked like it could be arranged to accommodate larger parties and a separate coffee table area. For the opening,as much floor space as possible had to be made available and every inch was filled.
The Mayor and Mayoress said they were very impressed and enjoyed the food, Di Brooks, like me,said she can't take hot food and we were both pleased that there was something we also enjoyed. We particularly liked the chicken appetisers which were very tasty with only a hint of heat and deliciously juicy. It certainly gave me hope, as I tend to avoid Indian food as a rule.
The opening ceremony was interesting,aside from the traditional ribbon cut,there was the lighting of a four wick lamp which symbolises a new beginning.
Welcoming all his guests,Mr Kandoran who is also a surgeon at Musgrove Park Hospital,said how delighted he was that the Mayor's charities for the year were the Friends of Musgrove Park and The Dorset and Somerset AIr Ambulance, both close to his heart. He said : " Ever since we opened in Cardiff, it's always been my dream to have a restaurant in Taunton, the place where I both work and have lived for the past 11 years. All these years we have been very well supported both in the community at work and am very privileged to be a tauntonite. I'm very delighted to be able to give something back to Taunton and this is the Michelin awarded Mint and Mustard.
"We pride ourselves in our innovative,authentic and exciting dishes and have we have very talented and dedicated chef to take Mint and Mustard forward,they're the best."
He then presented the chef who has catered for the Queen on her visit to India and the ex president of India, he thanked everyone for coming and said: "The idea is to give you authentic cuisine in a creative way,we will be different from others and I will let the food speak for itself."
He handed the mic to the Mayor who was next to speak and welcomed them to Taunton Deane saying:"Having looked at all your accolades in Cardiff, I think this is going to be a fantastic venue,I've had a look around and it's huge, a lot bigger than I expected and I'm sure you are going to be successful.
"On behalf of Taunton Deane and everyone here tonight I want to thank you for inviting us and we wish you every success.
Taunton is a growing town,we are all going through economic difficulties at the moment but I think in Taunton we are bucking the trend slightly. Just around the corner we've got an exciting project going on with the vision for Taunton where the old market was. It's beginning to take shape,it's going to take a bit longer than we thought because of the money situation but once it's built it's a once in 100 years lifetime opportunity to make an improvement to a town. It's a principle town,recognised by the Government,so money is coming in and I look forward to coming back again as an individual when my mayoral year is up rather than just coming for a freebie tonight,and enjoy a meal with you."
MPJeremy Brown said:"Thank you very much for hosting us all this evening,it's huge effort and its a terrific evening. As well as being MP for Taunton Deane I'm a Foreign Office Minster and I'm the Minister for India; I think I'm the first Minister for India to open and Indian restaurant on Station Road in Taunton.
I'm actually about to go to India and I was doing an interview in London this afternoon for and Indian newspaper and I was sounding very enthusiastic about the close ties that exist between Britain and India, so he asked me to give and example; I said any moment I'm going to shut up and jump on a train to go down and open an Indian restaurant in Taunton.
"What a fantastic investment this is, Steve was just saying how big it is inside compared to what you might expect walking down Station Road but also what a big substantial investment it is to have the building transformed into such a stylish restaurant as this. I hope and believe it will be extremely popular, it's exactly the type of regeneration of the town that I think everybody welcomes and Taunton is going in the right direction,even though we live in austere economic times, you see the developments, whether its Project Taunton or smaller bits like Goodlands Gardens or restaurants like this opening. I think people are enthusiastic about the town,enthusiastic about the possibilities for the future and I really really do wish you well here, I think it's a fantastic venture and I look forward to coming here and enjoying the food for many years to come,congratulations".
I heard many positive comments and remarks about Station Road being on the up as well as the fact that the Indian across the street had ballonsaround the door on Friday night,so perhaps it would make others up their game as well.