'We're not closing' - bosses of Ipswich Indian restaurant reassure customers

The team at the Dhaka in Ipswich, from left, Foez Haque, Anchor Ali and Harun Mahmud

The team at the Dhaka in Ipswich, from left, Foez Haque, Anchor Ali and Harun Mahmud - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Owners of popular Ipswich Indian restaurant The Dhaka want to reassure customers they are going strong, with no plans to close.

The trio running the Grade II listed restaurant in Orwell Place, which is a local institution, have been "overwhelmed" with messages of support since this newspaper reported it was on the market.

However, they want to emphasise that they aim to sell the business as a going concern, and have no thoughts of closure.

The team at the Dhaka, from left, Harun Mahmud, Anchor Ali and Foez Haque.

The team at the Dhaka, from left, Harun Mahmud, Anchor Ali and Foez Haque. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Foez Haque, who has run The Dhaka since the 1980s, said: "We have been getting so much response, we are overwhelmed. It's been amazing.

"Customers and friends in the area have made lots of lovely comments, but a lot of people have said they are sorry to hear we are closing - and we are not closing. 

"We have all reached the golden age of 60, so we are thinking of handing over to a younger generation who would take it on as a going concern."

Foez Haque of The Dhaka Restaurant in Ipswich

Foez Haque of The Dhaka Restaurant in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Harun Mahmud and chef Anchor Ali now run the restaurant and Foez is helping them. He said things had been going well since the restaurant reopened following easing of lockdown restrictions. 

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He added customers were still being careful and wearing face masks. "It has been good - people are starting to come back and I think they are feeling more confident now about eating out."

Foez has seen many changes since he started in 1987. He said one of the biggest is that curry is no longer seen as a late-night meal, eaten after people have been to the pub.

Chef at the Dhaka, Anchor Ali. 

Chef at the Dhaka, Anchor Ali. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

This has become an even more marked change following lockdown. "Before Covid, we used to do two sittings, but now it's usually just one, because people don't want to stay out late. Most people now want to eat between 6 and 7.30pm."

More varied Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine is now also more popular than back in the 1980s.

As well as the traditional chicken tikka masala, people are moving on to dishes like chicken shaslick masala  and shaslick chicken Madras. 

The Dhaka Restaurant is on the market with Penn Commercial, on a new lease at £39,000 per year exclusive. To arrange a viewing, call 01473 211933.

Harun Mahmud of The Dhaka in Ipswich

Harun Mahmud of The Dhaka in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant



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