OSTRICH, duck and venison will all be on the menu at a new Indian restaurant and takeaway set to open this month.
Bosses at Amaya, which is set to open in Dig Street on Monday, September 29, say the new nightspot will give Ashbourne a taste of “traditional Asian cuisine with a modern twist”.
The unusual menu items will sit alongside familiar Indian choices such as jalfrezi and korma.
Owner Arfan Ali, whose family has been in the restaurant business for 60 years, says he hopes his new venture will be a hit with Ashbourne diners.
He said: “Ashbourne deserves a good restaurant. I think people are moving away because Ashbourne doesn’t cater for their needs well enough.
“There is a lovely nightlife here, the local bars and pubs are doing really well.
“I’m not a city-centre sort of person. I’m about working with the community. I like towns and villages.”
At a restaurant in Loughborough, Mr Ali held “Pink Tuesdays” once a month – a ladies night out raising around £600 a month for Breast Cancer Research UK, and he hopes to set up something similar in Ashbourne.
This will be Mr Ali’s seventh restaurant, and his first in Derbyshire.
When refurbishment is completed, the restaurant will seat up to 100 guests and will also include an upstairs function room with an additional 60 seats.
The restaurant will feature LED mood lighting, white leather seating and glass panelling, to create a “ modern, luxury dining environment”.
He says he spent seven years searching for a suitable place in Ashbourne and is glad to be finally close to opening after applying for planning permission eight months ago.
He says getting the official go-ahead was “not easy”, with concerns raised over the need for a third Indian restaurant in the town.
The restaurant will occupy the premises of the former Ashbourne Bookshop, next to The Coach and Horses.
Mr Ali said the building was ideal for his new restaurant.
He said: “Obviously, I wanted a central location and the fact that it is ground floor means it is more accessible to the elderly and disabled.”