Those observing Robin Hassan or his brother Nigel behind the counter at ‘Patiala House’ in the South Auckland suburb of Manurewa may be surprised to know that the duo recently launched their restaurant business.
That may appear different to Indian Sweets & Videos just two shops away.
Indeed, the Hassan brothers own both, except that ‘Patiala House’ dates back to several decades in Fiji, named after the place of birth of their ancestors in India.
“That was more than 100 years ago when our ancestors were brought from Patiala in Uttar Pradesh as indentured labourers to Fiji under the Girmit system. It was much later that the members of my mother and her family established a restaurant business naming it after their native town in India,” Robin said.
Several years later, following their migration to New Zealand, the Hassan brothers launched Indian Sweets & Videos to cater to the growing market for quality Indian snacks and sweets and Bollywood films. Their personalised service with uncompromising stand on quality earned them a large clientele and friends.
“It was early this year that we established ‘Patiala House’ returning to the root of our family business. Indian Sweets & Videos continues to grow and availability of another showroom almost next door was a source of encouragement.
“This new venture is growing. The standard joke in the area is that ‘D J Nigel has moved from making ‘Ghana’ (music) to ‘Khana’ (food). All our products are Halal certified and we are pleased with the market response,” Robin said.
The restaurant has rapidly become the favourite place of dining for people in Manurewa, neighbouring areas in Manukau and rest of Auckland.
Open all days of the week from 10 am to 10 pm, it brings alive the flavour of Indian cuisine with a variety of dishes including Fijian chopsuey, fried rice, chili chicken and other items. Patiala House is known for its authentic Fijian cuisine.
“Along with Indian snacks and sweets, the market for Fijian food is expanding and restaurants like Patiala House that offer quality items at affordable prices will always be in demand,” Robin said.
Robin and Nigel review their operations and assure themselves that they are on the right track, doing the right thing.
Business is growing but in the food industry, consistency of taste, quality of the product and reliability of delivery are important.