Awais Dean talks to Tandoori

Posted on Movers and Shakers Sep 2009 - by Tandoori Magazine
Awais Dean talks to Tandoori

Tandoori talks to Awais Dean, who not only owns the famed Karahi King in Wembley, but also the Manaco supplies warehouse in north west London.

What made you want to become a restaurateur?

It’s practically in my blood! My grandfather used to run a restaurant in pre-partition India and its just second nature to me. I never felt I needed to be trained. You develop a palate and your very own standards, and carry on from there. Even the cooking comes instinctively for me. It’s never been a hurdle.

You also have a very successful warehouse supplying other restaurants and businesses. Which of your two operations do you prefer?

The warehouse seemed like a natural extension of my restaurant business. In comparison though, the restaurant side wins hands down. When I come to Karahi King, I get such a buzz from it. I can talk to my customers there, whether it’s newcomers or regulars and seeing that look of satisfaction on their faces really makes me happy.

Isn’t running more than one business stressful?

It can be, but it’s also very rewarding. It gives me a challenge. There is always something happening that I need to deal with. You have to be on your toes all the time, but then that suits my personality because I never like to take a back seat!

What’s a typical day like in your life?

I get at 6am. I make myself a cup of tea and then listen to the news as I like to keep up with what’s happening around the world. Then I go to the gym where I like to work out for a couple of hours. Then I go straight to Manaco by 10am, where I remain till 6.30pm, before leaving to come to Karahi King.

What do you like to eat and drink yourself?

Just about everything, but then I don’t like to step out of line either. One’s intake should always be in moderation and everything should be balanced. I must admit though, that what I do like to have regularly at my restaurant with every dish, is a side helping of dal. This I can’t resist with a large plate of salad.

How do you relax?

I’m very sports orientated. I play tennis at least once a week, go the gym daily and also love to play cricket.

In terms of your domestic life, are you wellsettled?

My kids are grown up. My daughter got married recently and my son is at university. So I have plenty of time to devote to my businesses.

Who would be your ideal dinner guests?

I have already had so many well-known personalities dining at Karahi King that it’s hard to name anyone who I would still want - ranging from Bollywood film stars to singers and all sorts of other famous people. However my regular customers will always be my favourite dinner guests. They have always been very supportive of me.

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