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Chester Indian hosts Borat star for late-night curry

Sacha Baron Cohen had been working in a recording studio nearby
Comic actor Sacha Baron-Cohen in the role of 'Borat'. Picture by John Ferguson

“Is nice!” came the fake foreign accent from a customer at a city centre Indian restaurant but little did the owner know he was talking to global movie star Sacha Baron Cohen.

Baron Cohen went for an early hours curry with a group of friends at the Bombay Palace in Upper Northgate Street just a few months ago.

But co-owner Earon Ali didn’t recognise the star, who first found fame on television as Ali G, which was when it was suggested the actor use some of his character Borat’s famous catchphrases.

“I thought he was taking the mickey,” said Earon, a hardworking businessman and family man who admits he doesn’t get to the cinema very often, adding: “He was funny.”

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Sacha Baron Cohen

Some time ago The Chronicle was shown a blurry photo of Earon and the humorous customer taken on the night but his daughter accidentally deleted the picture. Proving the man in the image was indeed Sacha Baron Cohen wasn’t easy.

But recording studio Faktory Studios at Great Barrow has now confirmed the star was working there that weekend and everyone decided on a late night curry once the job was done.

Having a global star eat in your restaurant must be commendation enough but Earon and his brother Zafor Ali, who both own the Bombay, are celebrating being awarded a second certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor based on customers’ online reviews.

Earon, whose 19-year-old son Naz sometimes works in the business, said: “We get a lot of people saying the food is good and the service is excellent. Everything is freshly made on the premises.”

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Celebrating their TripAdvisor certificate of excellence outside the Bombay Palace in Upper Northgate Street, Chester, are co-owners Earon and Zafor Ali with tandoori chef Shamin Ahmed and head chef Mohammed Raja Miah.

Zafor added: “It’s a good thing. It means a lot because it’s customers’ individual reviews, it’s their honest opinion.”

The brothers, who both live in Newton with their families, are proud the Bombay is the oldest Indian restaurant in Chester having been set up by their late father Akrom Ali in 1958.

They are looking forward to the opening of the new theatre and the Wetherspoon’s hotel knowing more people will be drawn into the Northgate Street area.

Among the most popular dishes are korai, jalfrezi and pathia, with chicken and salad wraps a hit with the students.

And the restaurant offers authentic curry dishes like the ones they eat at home, with the meat marinated in spices for 24 hours, but the meals must be ordered in advance. For more details, call 01244 371194.

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