Ruby M’s Golfing Hero

Posted on Front of House Jun 2011 - by Tandoori Magazine
Ruby M’s Golfing Hero

He owns Ruby M’s bar and restaurant in west London, loves his golf with the restaurant’s very own golfing society and a game of bridge. Umesh Jivraj tells us more

Opening a restaurant in a suburban town centre is no mean feat. You are always surrounded by competition, not to mention having to deal with today’s harsh economic conditions. But Ruby M’s has gone against the grain.

Launched over 12 years ago in west London’s Rayners Lane area, it’s done very well for itself while a countless number of neighborhood competitors have come and gone.

So what’s been Ruby’s secret? Without a doubt its very personable owner Umesh Jivraj. Not only does he have a very good team of chefs churning out some very fine north-Indian style cooking – peppered with some African influences reflecting Jivaraj’s own Ugandan background – there are also a host of well-made Indo-Chinese dishes on the menu introduced a couple of years ago.

Judging by how packed Ruby gets and the surrounding restaurants don’t, Jivraj pretty much has things nailed.

“I have always had a very positive outlook,” he says. “So my attitude is that considering there are so many eating places in the area, what it does is to bring in more customers. As long as I do my bit of offering food they like and an atmosphere they want then the rest will take care of itself.”

Just in case there are any queries over the name, Ruby Murray – the latter shortened in the restaurant’s case - is classic cockney rhyming slang for curry. But then that’s just one of the establishments interesting characteristics. Take for instance the Indo-Chinese dishes. Ever since they were put on the menu, Ruby’s turnover has increased by 25%. That said, there are some other, more notable points to take account.

Golf for example!

“Golf is my passion,” admits Jivraj. “The year after Ruby opened, I founded a golf society with some friends. There are five core members but as we have grown in popularity, our membership has also increased to what are now 35 members. We play once a month at various gold courses in and around the M25, normally on the last Thursday of the month and some Sundays too, and then come back to the restaurant for dinner. We also have trophies we give out sponsored by various companies.”

Fixtures remaining for this year include Mill Ride Golf and Country Club in Ascot, Berkshire, The Shire London, in Barnet, Hertfordshire and Silvereme Golf Complex, in Cobham, Surrey.

Jivraj’s other  love of game is bridge.

“We are closed on Monday nights. So what a group of us will do is get together and have a game of cards. With the kitchen closed, we tend to order food in. It’s a fun night and very enjoyable.”

For someone who has come from a background of working in the City for an insurance company, why the restaurant business?

“It was something I always wanted to do,” states Jivraj. “My friends and I would often frequent places similar to Ruby’s and think that we can do better. Of course, it’s always easy to say when you are on the other side. But the right opportunity came along at the right time for me.”

 

Sample Menu

 

Starters

Mushkaki

Sizzling chunks of spring lamb served on a bed of onions

Marii Chicken

Pan-fried strips of chicken cooked in black pepper

Chilli Scrunchies

Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese in a crispy coating

 

Mains

Handi Lamb

Lamb on the bone cooked with herbs and spices

Haka Fish/Prawn

Stir-Fried with garlic and fresh green chilli flavoured in a light soy sauce

Kung Pou Lamb

Consisting of cashewnuts and cooked in a hot chilli and garlic paste

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