A NEW Indian restaurant with Michelin star aspirations has opened in Highworth.

The man behind Salam’s Bar and Restaurant is A. Salam, who has finally achieved his dream of opening a restaurant at the age of 56. 

He has run his own Indian takeaway – Kebria – which is a popular mainstay in Highworth, but has always wanted to be in charge of a sit-in venue. 

“It’s always been a passion, an aim in my life to do this,” he said. 

“It’s a great opportunity to own something like this. 

“I have the experience from being a chef, I’ve been cooking food since 1992 and have enjoyed the takeaway for 25 years.

“I’m really excited to be launching this in the community. I always say that money is today and tomorrow but loved ones are not today or tomorrow, so enjoy every day and always give back.

“It’s now time for us to enjoy the restaurant and create good memories with it.”

Salam’s pays tribute to the chef’s roots in Bangladesh. Every area and design symbolises his experience and connection with the country, including the restaurant’s logo – the country’s national lotus flower.

The building itself, located on Highworth High Street just along the road from Kebria, is of a modest but charming size. 

When you walk in you’re greeted by a stunning flower wall and a bar area on the left-hand side of the building and on the right-hand side is a small and intimate number of tables.

With a name like Salam’s it should be obvious already that the new location for Indian cuisine is a family affair, but to reiterate that point, A.Salam’s son Shahed will be managing the venue.

“I’m really excited to be following in my father’s footsteps," said the 27-year-old. "It’s been his lifetime goal to open a restaurant and to be trusted to be in charge of it for him means a lot. 

“I want to pursue that legacy."

Shakil Salam, another of A.Salam’s sons who also helps run the restaurant, spoke of the building's revamp.

“It’s a nice design, we hope people like it, the building was a bit outdated so we’ve modernised it a bit to bring some life back into it,”

Shakil also revealed the restaurant has aspirations of being a high-end, Michelin star worthy establishment, but adds it is early days yet. 

He said: “Of course that’s where we’d like to get to, but that’s easier said than done. Salam’s is brand new and we have to earn that distinction. That’s the aim.”