DO you remember the early days of this Hereford restaurant?

The Taste of Raj Indian Tandoori restaurant opened with great pomposity back in 1989, with the then-mayoress Brenda Savory making her way to the new St Owen Street eatery on the back of an elephant.

She was accompanied by Mayor John Newman, with a Hereford Times reporter remarking that the scene resembled something from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.


The restaurant was started by experienced businessman Sazzadur Rahman, who already operated a successful restaurant in Abergavenny, and was overseen by head chef Belal Uddin.

The interior was admired by locals for being softly carpeted, furnished with evocative rattan cane and wicker and boasted woodwork etched with carefully contrived Indian patterns.

Within weeks of opening the restaurant was praised for its immaculately turned-out staff and high-quality food.

As well as authentic Indian meals, the taste of Raj also served over 25 different sweets, ice creams and fresh exotic fruits.

“There is a taste of quality, and more than a taste of standards we had thought long forgotten- that is the Taste of Raj,” said a Hereford Times reporter.

“To describe the comprehensive menu is an impossibility, to recommend the sampling of it is a pleasure.

“Actually to do so represents an evening of pure delight, enjoying a selection of authentic Indian dishes, freshly cooked to order, using only the finest ingredient with herbs and spices ground on the premises and no artificial flavourings.”