Tandoori team spice up pub-sport skittles

Restaurant co-owner Mo Iqbal (left) with some of his team members
Restaurant co-owner Mo Iqbal (left) with some of his team members

The county’s first Indian restaurant to join a skittles league is spicing up the pub sport - but the team is still looking for its first win.

Family-run Royal India of Towcester, in Foster’s Booth, opened in August and its inter-pub matches have attracted plenty of supporters.

Royal India restaurant, Fosters Booth near Towcester. Mohammed Iqbal with customers. PNL-141015-223200009

Royal India restaurant, Fosters Booth near Towcester. Mohammed Iqbal with customers. PNL-141015-223200009

The team is yet to register its first win but the bhajis and samosas have proven a hit when teams travel to the restaurant, just off the A5.

Co-owner Shay Ali, 34, is normally front of house ‘making sure everyone is happy’ each evening but on Thursdays he is hurling a disc at nine wooden skittles.

“It’s like an Edam cheese,” Mr Ali said. “You throw it from eight feet away to try to knock the skittles down.

“I’ve never witnessed anyone do it in one but the boys are constantly practising during the day, in our second room.

“We’ve lost all our matches but it’s a great social event.”

Mr Ali runs the restaurant with his brother-in-law Mo Iqbal.

The tandoori chef is also a brother-in-law of Mr Ali’s and head chef Abdul Kayum was crowned Exeter Curry Chef of the Year 2012.

His signature dishes are a spicy Royal Puri and a Gholda Murgh Janeman which contains chicken cooked three ways.

But Mr Ali thinks it is the Grade II listed building, large function room and ample car parking which tempts people back.