What do we all want for the new year? What will be the food trend of 2015?
Is it Caribbean food in North London- Why don't we find out?
This week I will be interviewing the owner of new Caribbean Restaurant in north London- Lulu's Caribbean cuisine. Mr Monir Uddin.
Who is Lulu?
Lulu isn't a person but an object, a very rare and beautiful thing.
It means Pearl in Arabic and when I came up with the name I wanted the restaurant to be rare and beautiful experience for the customer.
What led you to open a restaurant?
The kitchen isn't a foreign territory to me, growing up in a big family with an emphasis on food and gathering, I always had an interest. My father was a restaurateur too. So I had an insight into the business at an early stage. I have worked in the retail sector for more than a decade now. Working with people, motivating them, bringing the best out of them, providing customer service and ultimately leaving a smile on the customers face is what I do best.
When did you decide to open a restaurant?
I decided to open a restaurant by chance having spoken with my then wife to be that I wanted to start my own business. We decided that with my retail and family connections that we could really make this work. Our intention was to open an Bengali restaurant, however having chosen the location of our business we started to understand the history of The Hummingbird and its impact on the local community. Opening in 1983, first as Hannahs Caribbean then The Hummingbird it was one of the first Caribbean restaurant to open in North London and was a very successful venture in the 80's and 90's I really wanted to bring it back to its glory days but also add a modern twist and bring Caribbean food to the wider audience. I cannot thank the previous owner enough for his continued help and support without whom none of this would have been possible. He has taken me under this wing and been like an older brother to me, Thank you Mark Ramgoolie.
Where do you see Lulu's in five years time?
I always struggle with this question because my ambitions are constantly evolving. With every new position, I learn more about my field, and redirecting my course to meet the changing customer focus. Also, I find that the opportunities available in my field really influence my career path. I try to jump on a great opportunity when I see it – and it’s impossible to know what opportunities I’ll find in the next 5 years. Focusing on skill acquisition is a much better strategy.
But to answer your question simply, I would like to see Lulu's restaurant as a real focal point for great food and outstanding service. I will be starting a catering arm in the next 3-6 months catering for small and large functions from birthday parties to grand weddings again with the aim of delivering great food that catches the imagination.
Why should Londoners come to lulu's for food?
The atmosphere is intimate and friendly but it is the food that makes it worth the trip to Lulu's. Delicious and fragrant home cooked food infused with love and care that will leave you full and content."(that sounds puffy) Ha"
Which dish in the restaurant is your favourite?
Every dish is amazing (I really want to say amazeball). But what people associate with Caribbean food is Jerk Chicken or Curry Goat, they forget that the Islands are surrounded by sea and that the islanders make great fish dishes; with that being said I would highly recommend the Jerk Red Fish or Snapper slow oven cooked wrapped in foil to really capture the favour of the sauces truly does wet my appetite.
Thank you so much Monir and to all my readers- this is a place i would definitely recommend for food. From amazing ribs to start with and great jerk, to the delicious and juicy rum cake at the end. ALL GOOD.