Visitors to the Victorian Market in Inverness will soon get a taste of Delhi street food with the opening of a new business.
Namaste Inbhir Nis is the first solo business venture for chef Hemant Chawla who has worked at a number of four and five-star restaurants.
He and his wife, Pooja, a teaching assistant at Drummond School in the city, hope to open in the market’s food hall next week.
From the Taj Mahal to the Victorian Market
Hemant has been a chef for 20 years. He grew up in India and studied for a master’s degree in hotel management.
Heman started his career as a kitchen assistant and progressed through the ranks to work as a head pastry chef.
He has worked at leading businesses including the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, near the Taj Mahal. He also worked at the Turnberry Hotel and the Fairmont St Andrews.
Heman also had stints with Carnival and Cunard cruises and Macdonald Hotels and Resorts in Aviemore.
He said: “We moved to Inverness two years ago and thought we would like to do something here and give people the opportunity to taste authentic Indian food.
“It’s a good market and growing. It’s exciting to have this opportunity to do something we have been thinking about for a long time.
“The Victorian Market is an ideal location to start our new venture. It’s in the heart of the city and brings together a wide collection of food choices for all age groups and dietary requirements.
“Being a chef for more than 20 years, I believe the way to win everyone’s heart is through their stomach.
“My wife and I hope to win a place in everyone’s heart by bringing our authentic flavours to Namaste Inbhir Nis.”
More new businesses coming to the food hall
It is one of four new businesses expected to open by Easter in the growing food hall.
Victorian Market manager Cameron Macfarlane welcomed the new outlet.
He said: “It’s an exciting addition and adds to the diversity of food being offered at the market which is going from strength to strength.”
The refurbished food hall is expected to be fully occupied in the first quarter of 2024 with increased seating capacity.
In January, vegan restaurant Salt N Fire moved to a new bigger unit in the food hall.
Shoppers are also awaiting the arrival of a new model train in the early part of this year.
The train is a much-anticipated addition to the food hall which re-opened in September 2022 after a £1.8 million refurbishment.
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