Westminster has honoured the restaurateur responsible for the nation’s first curry house, which opened there in the early 19th Century. The Lord Mayor of Westminster City Council unveiled a plaque in commemoration of Sake Dean Mahomed, who opened the Hindoostane Coffee House in Portman Square in 1810, where customers could eat a curry or smoke a hookah. The restaurant closed due to financial difficulties in 1812, and it was not until 1926 that another curry house opened in Britain, Veeraswamy, on Regent Street, which is still in business today. Namita Punjabi, owner of Masala World, which owns Veeraswamy, said: "Dean Mahomed was an amazing man and clearly much ahead of his time. It is a pity the Hindoostane did not flourish." Mohamed arrived in the UK in 1784 having emigrated from India to Ireland two years beforehand, and taken an Irish wife, Jane Daly. He had served with the East India Company army, and after the closure of the Hindoostane, he went on to establish Mahomed’s Baths in Brighton.

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