Jul 22 2011 by Lisa Boyle, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
Ayrshire Indian takeaway costs £2000
A TINY village restaurant is preparing a £2000 takeaway to be flown 4000 miles to Dubai.
Mafiz Ali will satisfy an old customer’s 14-year long craving for his tasty curry.
His very special customer is a Bangladeshi pilot who now lives in the United Arab Emirates.
Captain Mustafa Azim first heard of the secret recipe when the top chef Mafiz served it up to former Prime Minister John Major on his 50th birthday.
Mustafa then sampled the fish dish for himself 14-years ago when Mafiz, 49, ran a restaurant in Essex.
And now, thanks to the power of the internet, the curry lover has tracked down the curry king to his new village eatery in Minishant.
Plans to get the extravagant order flown out are underway.
Mafiz said: “The dish is made with a special fish – air fish – which is a deep water fish from Bangladesh.
“I'm sending over a meal for six people and will first have to travel to London to get the fish.
“It's quite a sweet fish and goes well with the light spices and my curry sauce.”
But this isn't the first time Mafiz has had such an order.
He added: “Fourteen years ago I sent an order to New York which cost £2700.
“This won't be far off it. It'll cost me around £400 for flights to London and around £60 for the fish. Then there's the air fare to send it to Dubai. I'll be charging £2000 for this order.”
Although not often associated with Indian food, fish is a popular delicacy for native Indian people.
Mafiz explained: “A lot of people don't realise but 92 per cent of Bangladeshi Indians eat seafood.
“I've been experimenting with different seafood dishes in the restaurant for the last two months and mackerel is proving the most popular.
“Fish isn't something you often get much of a selection of in Indian restaurants.”
This is the most substantial order Mafiz has had since taking over and renaming the restaurant Ayr Spice in October last year.
He said: “I used to have a restaurant in Essex but moved here because I wanted a slower pace. I really like it here and things are going well.”
This is his latest claim to fame.
In 1998 he launched the British Curry Awards designed to bring together chefs of all ages, both amateur and professional, to compete for recognition of their skills and to promote Bangladeshi cuisine in the UK.
And the talented chef is also a world record holder. He went into the Guinness Book of Records when he teamed up with an engineer to create the world's largest curry pot.
On top of that, Mafiz has made 67 television appearances, most recently on STV's The Hour show.