The neighbourhood Indian restaurant in Reading that found nationwide fame for its takeaways

William Sitwell
·2 min read
Nandana and Sharat Syamala, owners of Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen
Nandana and Sharat Syamala, owners of Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen
Biting Talk: Hyderabadi Kitchen
Biting Talk: Hyderabadi Kitchen

A small neighbourhood Indian restaurant in Reading has taken the concept of delivery to new heights by delivering its curries nationwide.

Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen is well-known to locals around London Street in the Berkshire town but, using an overnight courier service, is now delivering food across the country, from Devon to Scotland.

‘People told us we were taking a massive risk and that it was foolish,’ co-owner Nandana Syamala tells me on the latest edition of the podcast Biting Talk.

‘But we know that we cook great food so we thought we would give it a try,’ she adds. Aside from a kitchen porter there are no other staff apart from Nandana and her husband Sharat.

Each dish is vacuum-packed and insulated, leaves the restaurant at 5pm and arrives at its destination the following morning, to be reheated for dinner or frozen for future meals. The innovation, spurred by lockdown, has stunned friends and neighbours.

‘We have done no marketing. It’s only word of mouth and sales now are massive,’ she says, adding that the furthest they have dispatched their food so far is to 'an aristocratic family in Scotland.’

The couple plan to continue the service after lockdown in addition to serving regular customers at the restaurant and have no plans to take reduce their 15-hour days, although they do both take Saturdays off.

You can hear the full interview on Biting Talk which this week also features London restaurant Blacklock’s Gordon Kerr on his passion for chops, Cardiff-based former bad-boy chef Tommy Heaney, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims Thom Eliot, and mixologist Farhad Heydari of the House of Heydari mixology emporium. Click on the audio player above to hear more.