A NEW Hereford restaurant promised a true taste of India when it opened its doors in the city in 1984.

The Kamal Tandoori Restaurant welcomed its first customers to its Widemarsh Street venue in May that year, bringing the city a formula that had already proven itself in Leominster, where the same team ran the popular Asha Tandoori.

Phyllis Eddy and Monuhar Ali at the Kamal in Hereford on its opening in 1984

Phyllis Eddy and Monuhar Ali at the Kamal in Hereford on its opening in 1984

Monuhar Ali, in partnership with Phyllis Eddy, had been running the Asha for the past two years and said patrons had previously travelled from Hereford and beyond to sample the restaurant's fare.

Specialities on the menu centred around northern Indian tandoori and tika dishes, but the restaurant also promised a wide range of dishes from across India, with curries to meet every taste, with a lunchtime and evening service as well as a takeaway option.

For those with more conservative tastes, it also offered English dishes including T-bone steaks, roast chicken, and scampi.


The restaurant opened with a ground floor dining area but, the team said in 1984, they were already preparing an upstairs dining area to meet expected demand.

"We want to offer the people of Hereford something very special," said Mr Ali at the time.

Staff Asrak and Jomir Ali at the Kamal in Hereford in 1984

Staff Asrak and Jomir Ali at the Kamal in Hereford in 1984

And special it proved to be, with the Kamal Tandoori becoming a Widemarsh Street institution for more than 30 years.

The owners announced they would be closing permanently in June 2015, when Mr Ali, then in his 70s, decided to retire.

In an announcement at the time, they said working full-time each day had become a difficult task for Mr Ali, and that they had decided not to pass the business on after his retirement.

"It is because of you that we were such as success in Hereford and the Herefordshire county," they said in a message to customers at the time.

"We hope we have contributed to the economy and the society of Hereford and Herefordshire over the past few decades and have achieved bringing closer ties to the wider community.

"We have been proud to have served Hereford over these many years and we hope our customers understand the decision we have made.

"Thank you very much for being a part of the Kamal Tandoori Restaurant and we hope our food and service have been of the very best of standards throughout these years."

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