jane daly

The first Indian restaurant was opened in George Street in London in 1810. It was called “Hindoostanee Coffee House” and was opened by a Bengali Anglo-Indian writer and entrepreneur, Sake Dean Mahomed.

According to the menu, it served, amongst other things, “the Hookha with real chilm tobacco, and Indian dishes, … allowed by the greatest epicures to be unequalled to any curries ever made in England.” Contrastingly, the first fish-and-chip shop, often characterised as a quintessentially English dish, wasn’t opened until the 1860s.

Other than being a restaurant entrepreneur and travel writer, Sake Dean Mahomed also introduced shampoo baths and massages into Europe. He opened the first “shampooing” vapour massage baths in England, in Brighton. It was so successful that he was later appointed as the official “shampooing” surgeon/masseuse of King George IV and King William IV.

He married an Anglo-Irish woman, Jane Daly and they had 5 children. He had to outwardly convert to Anglicanism as Protestants like Jane Daly were prohibited from marrying outside of their faith by law. His grandson, Frederick Henry Horatio Akbar Mahomed, was an internationally renowned physician who contributed greatly to research on high blood pressure.