A NEW restaurant is bringing the real taste of India to Taunton, with your classic korma nowhere to be found on the menu. 

Guddi and Gikki opened in the High Street on July 23 and chefs Chandeep and Manveena Walia are already feeling the tiring effects of running a busy kitchen. 

The restaurant is named after their mothers, who the couple say they learnt everything from. 

Former architect Mr Walia said the idea of the restaurant was formulated after hard times hit his industry.

“It all started when the recession hit seven or eight years ago,” he explained.

“I am an architect and as my hours were getting cut at the time, we looked for other things to do. 

“We both had a passion for cooking, so we explored the different avenues of that.”

Pop-up restaurant events followed, with the couple hosting events at a range of village halls and other venues, offering up their food.

“We spent our time hand delivering leaflets saying when we would be hosting our event and then we would hire out a village hall. When it came to it, more than 40 people attended. T, the tables were full of people,” Mrs Walia said.

“In India, it is normal for the woman to invite people to their house for food. I missed that when we moved here. 

“It is a great way to meet new people, and it feels like my family has come to dine.”

The two had a variety of pop-up stalls in Clarks Village and also hosted cooking classes.

As the events grew in popularity, the couple became celebrities across the county through the emergence of their Somerset Curry Club, with people recognising them and knowing they were in for a tasty treat. 

The classes were held in Yeovil and Exeter and Mrs Walia said once people tasted her cooking, they wanted to learn from it.

Now, the classes will continue, but will take place at the new restaurant every alternate Sunday. 

One of the things the chefs pride themselves on is the freshness and locality of their ingredients. 

They don’t present you with a massive menu with endless possibilities, they create a new menu everyday based on what seasonal and fresh ingredients they have available that day. 

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The restaurant is also open for lunch, as they wanted to change the view that India was only ideal for an evening meal.

Mr Walia said they visited every local supplier they were considering before making a decision, to ensure the hygiene and quality was up to their high standards. 

Although they want to provide a taste of India you have never tried before, they also want to keep their spices and other ingredients accessible, so those wishing to learn can make their own versions at home.

If they ever use a spice in one of their classes that isn’t something you could pick up form the supermarket, they would provide packets for people to buy and take home. 

Mr Walia said: “We like to cook fresh and we cook everything on the day. 

“We have a constantly changing menu, we want people to try something new every time they come back. Our menus are simple and concise.”

The colourful new restaurant has caught the eye of Taunton, as the couple say people are constantly looking through the windows. Once inside, an array of India-inspired pictures and trinkets line the walls set against a turquoise backdrop. 

Mr Walia continued: “We wanted to put a lot of thought into the design, not just the food and suppliers. 

“We love colours. India is a very colourful place.”