London is a kaleidoscope of people, places and food, every juncture enticing you to deviate from the norm. New restaurants and eateries are in abundance and the trend tends to be “the quirkier the better.” Personally I think that home-cooked food wins hands down, every time. So when a friend informed me about Flamingos Eatery and their traditionally inspired Caribbean food I had to hot foot over to W9 to see what all the fuss was about.
Located on the ground floor of the Yaa Asantewaa Arts Centre in West London, Flamingos Eatery is run by co-owners Duda Tehrani and Sharea Samuels. Providing good food and an accommodating service is a trait that comes natural to this winning team.
I caught up with Duda, who took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer some questions.
1. What came first, the friendship or the business?
Friendship came first – around 6 years ago. We both worked on a project in Dubai together and from then we have been inseparable!
2. What inspired you to work together?
Our love and appreciation of Caribbean culture and travel along with our joint interest in food.
3. When did you launch the business?
Flamingos launched 5th February 2015.
4. Do you both still have day jobs? If so, what are they?
Sharea works as an actress part time shooting TV commercials.
5. The restaurant trade in London is very competitive. How does Flamingo differ from the crowd?
In regards to Caribbean food Flamingos will always have a full menu you won’t come in and ask for food that we never have. We also pride ourselves on offering high levels of customer service with a smile. Our style is unique from your typical Caribbean restaurant we aim to set trends in regards to presentation and delivery.
6. Where do you see the business in 3-5 years?
We see Flamingos growing to become an internationally recognized brand with eateries crossing the globe.
7. Can you give me some information on your pepper chutneys? Inspiration, flavours, prices and availability?
Flamingos currently have a few sauce based products in production; however we exclusively stock Aunty D’s Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam which is currently available at Flamingos. The inspiration for this came from Sharea’s mother who is a genius in the kitchen hence the brand is named after her; everyone calls her Aunty D. The flavours Aunty D produces is Roasted Red Pepper; Mango & Ginger; Kiwi, Apple & Lime. Currently the roasted red pepper is available at Flamingos; it compliments a lot of the dishes we serve, it is also a great snack choice with many products including cheese and wine.
8. On reflection is there anything you would have changed during the start up?
We wouldn’t have done anything differently as we were well prepared before starting and for anything to go wrong. The small changes we have made were natural growth and progression as opposed to regrets.
9. If you were given the opportunity to launch another business in a completely different industry, what would it be and why?
I would design lingerie and nightwear collections for women as it has been a passion of mine for a long time and there is a limitation of creativity with what’s on offer at the moment, in the market for young women.
Sharea would want to open up a yoga retreat in Hanover up in the hills of the Jamaican countryside. This retreat would offer classes, spa treatments, accommodation and healthy organic food.
For further information please visit: www.flamingoseatery.co.uk