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Food with ‘an honest feel to it’

Last update - Thursday, March 5, 2009, 18:13 By Metro Éireann

Amrik Singh has come a long way from his home and family life as a farmer in the Punjab region of India to running his business Shann-e-Punjab, an authentic Indian takeaway in the heart of Dublin’s Smithfield.

Almost 12 years have passed since Singh first stepped onto Irish soil, leaving his immediate family behind. But since that faithful day the Punjab native has changed his career, brought his family to join him and established a successful family-run business with sons Aman and Gopy by his side.
“I came to Ireland because a friend of my family was living in Cabra, he had come here a long time before I came,” recalls Singh. “We were in agriculture in India... and I only started cooking here, I never really cooked in India.”
Singh found work in a shop on Georges Street before moving to Namaste India in Smithfield where he spent six years, becoming head chef of an establishment which earned a stellar reputation.
In 2006, Singh noticed a shop up for lease on nearby North King Street and made enquiries with the landlady, before taking the decision to put his years of experience within the food trade to the ultimate test.
The result was Shann-e-Punjab, a family business run with integrity and creativity, offering its customers a wide array of dishes coming from recipes that are both original and created in-house by Singh, with all tastes in mind.
The Indian cuisine master’s choice to base his business in Smithfield has also paid dividends. “A lot of people like my food, that’s why they come back and it’s a very popular takeaway in the area,” he says. “We also have a lot of customers that came from Namaste because people see me here and in the area.”
Singh’s years spent cultivating his cooking skills, combined with his very calm and friendly persona, is reflected in the quality of his food, and customers come from the local area and further afield.
But Singh’s commitment doesn’t stop there, with Shann-e-Punjab regularly donating food to local cultural and sporting events within the neighbourhood and community.
Immediate plans for the business will see new dishes being introduced over the next couple of weeks. Singh explains that despite business being “okay and holding its own”, any future plans are totally focused on his inaugural business endeavour.
“I like small business – small family, and small business. I enjoy working with my family. I prefer it as it’s easier to run which makes it into a well-run business with a more honest feel to it.”

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