December 3, 2021

Zaika

Livingston

How I Got Here with Amar Takhar co-founder of London Dalston restaurant Angelina and Soho cocktail bar Golden Gai

3 min read

Why restaurants?
I was working in property for six years, I loved it, it was comfortable and a decent living, but I never felt fulfilled or motivated. My best friend Josh, who I’d known since I was four, had always worked in restaurants and had an idea to open his own Italian-Japanese concept, which everyone else thought was crazy, but I loved. He needed some investment and I provided some funds, but the more we discussed it the more I felt the desire to give up my career and start fresh with something that I’d truly love and feel motivated to do and I haven’t regretted it since.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
I wish someone had taught me the importance of discipline and working hard from the very start. At school and university I never really applied myself, didn’t really revise much for exams and was more focused on having a good time with my friends and this impacted my early career hopes.

What motivates you?
The success that you dream of, becoming an established, recognisable brand and maybe one day attaining that Michelin star.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
I had never worked a day in hospitality in my life, and I somehow persuaded my friend Karam (Sethi) to wangle me a job at Brigadiers as a waiter. When I showed up, I couldn’t even hold two plates properly let alone a tray of drinks. I could tell all the staff were growing impatient with me and didn’t particularly want me there and I couldn’t blame them. But the team persevered with me everyday, helped me grow, helped me become better, taught me so much about the steps of service, gave me a chance (no matter how many glasses I smashed) and for that I owe them so much and I wouldn’t have been able to hit the ground running when we opened Angelina with such a small team.

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