Lasan Group launches £1m flagship restaurant
Starting with just £11,000 and a lack of business acumen but plenty of enthusiasm, Lasan boss Jabbar Khan says it was his naiveté and absence of knowledge starting out that probably helped his success.
Establishing Lasan on a quiet street in the Jewellery Quarter with little through traffic has taken years of effort, but Khan credits the struggles not the successes for helping to pave the way to their current venture – the £1million Nosh and Quaff, in Colmore Row.
The group were able to invest in the new site after
the eventual success of Lasan restaurant – helped in no small part by being named Gordon Ramsey’s ‘Best Local Restaurant’ on his television series The F Word. The group has gone on to hit £8million turnover.
With renowned chef Aktar Islam at the helm, generating further publicity through appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu, Lasan has become firmly established as a top food destination.
Nosh and Quaff will mark another step forward for the group, which also owns Raja Monkey, in Hall Green, and Fiesta del Asado, in Edgbaston.
They expect to take on between 40 and 60 new members of staff, bringing the group’s total workforce to more than 100.
Mr Khan said the inspiration to open an Indian restaurant was to get away from the sort of cuisine associated with the subcontinent but not really served there.
He explained: “A lot of what I have learned is what not to do. I have learned from customers who come in and see 150 dishes on a menu who say ‘I have been to India and never seen any of these’. So I thought I will never serve any food I don’t enjoy eating myself. How else can you expect customers to enjoy it?” Birmingham Post
Despite its success, Mr Khan and the group have opted not to try and repeat the Lasan model in other towns and cities, arguing that maintaining a consistent standard across several outlets would be hard. Instead they have focused on serving food that “excites” them.
“Given the shortage of Indian chefs, we decided there was no reason we should just do Indian food.
“We decided just to serve things that excite us”, Khan told Birmingham Post.
Khan and Islam have focused on a variety of concepts in their home city. The first was Fiesta Del Asado, Birmingham’s first Argentine Asado restaurant, based in Hagley Road.
Nosh and Quaff at more than £1million marks their largest investment to date and will be an ambitious venue spread across four floors with the restaurant at ground level, a bar-restaurant above and the chefs working their culinary wizardry at the top.
3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Paul’s Square Birmingham, B3 1SD. Tel: 0121 212 3664. www.lasangroup.com
Source: Birmingham Post