New creative young chef at the Shalimar

One of Shrewsbury’s longest-running Indian restaurants is celebrating a new creative young chef at the helm as it notches up 27 years in the town.

Al-Amin Parvej, who embarked on his career in the kitchens of The Shalimar as a teenager, has returned as head chef after a number of years working in in other parts of the UK.

Al-Amin, now 33, trained at The Shalimar and rose through the ranks to become a chef. He left Shrewbury in 2013 to widen his experience with positions at reputable restaurants in Brighton and Wales.

He is revamping the menu at The Shalimar, retaining its traditional old favourites, but introducing a new gourmet selection of fusion dishes that combine contemporary Western influences with Indian cuisine.

The Shalimar, in Abbey Foregate, has been run by members of the same family since it first opened its doors in 1989 and Al-Amin is the nephew of one of the original founders, Martin Kabir.

Martin said he was excited about the future direction of The Shalimar and thrilled at Al-Amin’s appointment which would secure the business in the hands of the next generation.

“When we first launched the business there were only two or three other Indian restaurants in the town. The popularity of Indian food has grown massively since then and we’ve retained so many fantastic loyal customers,” he said.

“The Shalimar is a family restaurant, run by members of the same family who live in the local community. At a time when there’s a national shortage of good curry chefs and a lot of competition for recruitment it’s fantastic to have been able to appoint an excellent head chef from within the family.

“We’ve always been proud of the quality of our food and service and now Al-Amin will strengthen what we do best and bring fresh ideas that will take The Shalimar into the future.” 

Al-Amin said: “This is a great opportunity for me to continue the family tradition and build on the last 27 years. While customers will continue to enjoy the Shalimar dishes that they have always loved, we’re adding some exciting new dishes that bring a twist to an old tradition.”

The Shalimar has won numerous awards over the years and was also highly commended in the House of Commons 2013/14 Tiffin Cup competition which aims to celebrate the UK’s favourite Indian cuisine.

Over the years the restaurant has weathered recession, survived major floods in 1998 and 2000 and maintained its status as one of the town's best-loved Indian restaurants, despite a huge growth in competition.

A refurbishment of the Shalimar is also planned for the near future.