Ipswich: Is this the longest running Indian restaurant in East Anglia?

Mayor Bill Quinton at the Taj Mahal celebrattion night, and it was also his birthday

Mayor Bill Quinton at the Taj Mahal celebrattion night, and it was also his birthday - Credit: Archant

Golden anniversary celebration at the Taj Mahal

Glasses were raised, and a great deal of fine food was eaten, as the Taj Mahal in Norwich Road, Ipswich celebrated 50 years in business.

The mayor of Ipswich Bill Quinton, and mayoress Barbara were there for a double celebration, as it was also his birthday.

There was appropriate live music, from the 1960s, from a live duo, including Beatles hits incluiding Love Me Do.

The restaurant was packed twice during the evening and there was fundraising for the mayor’s charities.

Mayor Bill Quinton’s charities are the local branches of The Alzheimer’s Society, Suffolk Family Carers and the RSPCA.

The mayor welcomed the guests and paid tribute to the long-running Ipswich business.

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“It is a tremendous achievement to be running that long.

““It was a great night for both the Taj Mahal and myself … a birthday celebration for two great Ipswich institutions! Everybody had fun, ate well and we have raised money for my charities. My thanks to all involved.”

Owner Syed Robbani, business partner with chef Askor Ali, thanked the many customers who had been supporting the restaurant over the years for their loyalty.

“We are very grateful to you all,” he said.

Also among the guests was Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times editor Terry Hunt.

He said: “I grew up in the middle of the Suffolk countryside, in Cretingham, near Framlingham. One day when I was still quite small – so it must have been the mid-1960s – my mum came home from Ipswich to say that she’d been to an Indian restaurant and eaten a curry!

“This was incredibly adventurous back then. Of course, the restaurant, I realised later, was the Taj Mahal, which had only recently opened.

“The anecdote demonstrates how the Taj not only broadened people’s horizons in terms of the types of food they ate, but also played an important part in helping to move Suffolk from a very narrow community to the broad-based multicultural society we know today.”

Another guest was Dave Ashford, a stalwart of football in Felixstowe, and now president of Felixstowe and Walton United.

“I have been coming here since 1966,” he said, “And there is always a warm welcome and great food.

“We try to get in once a week.”

Some of the guests had been customers since it first opened.