An owner of the first-ever Indian takeaway restaurant to hit Foxton reckons you can overdo it on the chilli.

Harjit Singh said everybody has different preferences when it comes to just how hot they like their Indian dish, whether it be mild, medium, hot, extra hot, or beads of sweat forming on your brow hot.

His own opinion was that too much heat can come at the expense of flavour.

"The hotter the better...but too much and you can't taste the flavour," he said.

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"So much time goes into making the flavours. It takes a day and a half just to make the sauces. A lot goes into it."

Go LOCAL! campaign
Go LOCAL! campaign

But the customer is always right, and if it's more chilli they want, then it's more chilli they get.

Tasman Cafe and Indian Restaurant officially opened late last month, offering traditional Indian dishes and a home delivery service.

Singh was part of a group that had originally purchased Tasman Cafe two years ago. The plan back then was to open an Indian takeaway and small restaurant to compliment the Kiwi fish and chip menu they had inherited from previous owner Kevin Gunther.

Ranji Kaur, Harjit Singh, Kishan Vir Singh, Jasram and Mahesh are some of the team at Tasman Cafe and Indian Takeaway.
Ranji Kaur, Harjit Singh, Kishan Vir Singh, Jasram and Mahesh are some of the team at Tasman Cafe and Indian Takeaway.

"Kevin has supported us a lot and we are thankful for the support of local people and the support of the staff," he said.

It took a while to gain the necessary consents and upgrade gas cooking lines, but late last month they started to roll out their very first lines of dishes like butter chicken, Rogan josh, chicken and lamb kormas and vindaloos.

Singh said he was proud to introduce traditional Indian food to Foxton. His personal favourite was a chicken tikka masala.

New chefs at the restaurant Jasram and Kashin Vir Singh.
New chefs at the restaurant Jasram and Kashin Vir Singh.

The restaurant has employed two professional Indian chefs, Kashin Vir Singh and Jasram, who both boast years of experience at five-star hotels in India, and who also have worked at New Zealand restaurants for years.

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Singh said everything on the menu was cooked from scratch and ingredients were all sourced locally where possible - the chicken from Foxton and the lamb from Ōtaki.

The two new chefs brought the total number of staff at Tasman now to nine, plus the delivery drivers. Singh said the waiting time for a delivery was around 30 minutes and they would consider delivering to Himitangi and Shannon in the future.

Harjit Singh and his wife Ranjit Kaur.
Harjit Singh and his wife Ranjit Kaur.

He also began extolling the health benefits of Indian food, and said they also had gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan options.

"It's good for you. Everything is fresh. It's healthy food... turmeric, cloves, cardamine, cinnamon, fenugreek... instead of going for the tablet all the time," he said.