Shahin Awal, owner of Basmati Restaurant in Palma.

Shahin Awal, owner of Basmati Restaurant in Palma.

06-10-2021Pilar Pellicer

Basmati restaurant in Calle Caro is closing its doors after 18 years in business in Palma and owner, Shahin Awal, has decided to return to Bangladesh and take care of his parents.

"Basmati was my dream come true, Mallorca is my home and Mallorcans have been my family for years, but now I need to take care of my parents,” he says.

The restaurant will close in mid-November and all of the furniture is available for sale online.

Shahin was just 16 years old when he arrived in Madrid in 1991 and says his success in Mallorca is down to hard work and a love of the hospitality trade.

"The secret of my recognition is to refine my work every day and to do this, you have to want to learn and above all do it with love. When I arrived in Spain, I brought my mother's recipes but I was also educated in Japan for a year. When I travel, I like to get to know the taste of the territory and learn about the people, which is very important,” he says.

Basmati’s reputation for good food drew people from all walks of life, including politicians, singers, footballers, bullfighters and a Nobel Prize winner and Shahin closing the restaurant was hard.

“I cried a lot when I made the decision to leave,” he says, but admits that the Covid pandemic hurt him and was the trigger for his return to Bangladesh for the first time since 2008.

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