Monday, 28 April 2008

Community helps restaurant with graffiti clean-up

RESIDENTS in Wiveliscombe have been praised for coming to the rescue of a soon-to-open restaurant which suffered graffiti vandalism.
The Moorkhana restaurant in Silver Street is due to open mid to-late May, offering authentic Indian food cooked from family recipes.
But owners Mignon and Andrew Johnson were shocked to find that under the cover of darkness one night, vandals had graffiti-sprayed every window of the restaurant frontage.
Although some of the graffiti was particularly offensive toward the couple, Mignon – who is an Indian national - did not believe it was racially motivated.
And she praised local residents who expressed their disgust at the incident and who helped to clean the spray paint from the building.
Moorkhana is currently being converted from a former office and has already created an employment boost for the town by recruiting local staff.
Mignon said: “We have been overwhelmed by the kindness of our neighbours after this happened and quite a few of them came along and offered their help in cleaning it up
“It was quite a shock to see what had been done, but we understand that it was probably just the antics of some high-spirited youths who had been to a local party and had too much to drink.
“It has not put us off and work is now back on schedule for us to be ready to serve our first customers during the middle to late part of May.
“We have a CCTV system being installed in the restaurant and we will now adapt this so that if this sort of thing does happen again we will know who has done it.”
Moorkhana is still keen to hear from people who are interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant trade, especially anybody who could assist Mignon in the preparation of her authentic Indian cuisine.
Mignon said: “There is a shortage of curry chefs in the UK at the moment, so this would be a rare opportunity to acquire a culinary skill which is currently in great demand.”
The couple will be offering samples of their restaurant fayre when they take part in the Milverton Street Faire on the bank holiday Monday.
Moorkhana the trading name of The Saffron Kitchen, which built its reputation over the past few years through private party catering and regularly attending farmers’ markets in Taunton, Wellington, Cotford St Luke, Minehead, Exeter, Crewkerne, and Glastonbury, as well as by supplying select delicatessens.
The business has recently also been awarded five stars under the district council’s ‘scores on the doors’ scheme of inspecting food businesses, which means it is rated as having an ‘excellent level of compliance’ and being ‘highly confident in management of food safety’.
Moorkhana will be a family-friendly restaurant where children will be welcome. It also has a function room which can be used by local organisations. Customers will also be able to order takeaway dishes.
Any chefs who would like to work in the Moorkhana restaurant should contact Mignon and Andrew Johnson by telephoning 01984 623648.
More information about Moorkhana is available by visiting the website
  • Our photographs show (TOP) Andrew Johnson cleaning away some of the graffiti, and (BELOW) some of the Wiveliscombe residents who have been helping with the clean up at Moorkhana. Photos submitted.

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