Ready to reopen to diners

Getting ready...The Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room staff (from left) Anas Mustafa, Nazim Khan, Wendy Deans, Angela O’Leary and Sarah Morgan have been select ing dishes for a new menu and preparing the restaurant for re-opening next week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room in Gore reopens next week.

A shortage of staff resulted in the temporary closure of the Mataura Licensing Trust-owned restaurant last month.

MLT general manager Mark Paterson said the trust was delighted to reopen the restaurant on January 31.

“It’s a showpiece for Gore.”

The establishment will be managed by Angela O’Leary who has previously worked as an assistant manager there.

Head chef Nazim Khan and sous chef Anas Mustafa lead the cooking team.

Mr Khan grew up in Fiji where he trained to be a chef 18 years ago.

He has also worked in the Cook Islands and for the past seven years throughout New Zealand.

While he enjoyed cooking a range of international dishes, his favourite was one many people would also like .

“I love a nice Sunday slow roast.”

Mr Khan liked to serve Yorkshire pudding with the lamb roast, even though it was traditionally paired with roast beef.

“There’s no right or wrong when it comes to food.”

He was looking forward to the reopening.

“It has lots of potential.

“It has a very good reputation.”

The best part of his job was satisfied customers.

“I love people enjoying food because food connects people and brings them together.”

Working as a team was another enjoyable aspect of the job and he liked passing on his cooking knowledge.

Mr Mustafa is from Jordan and has been in New Zealand 10 years.

Making people “happy when they try my food” was an important part of the work for him.

Mr Mustafa was regularly challenging himself to improve his skills.

The chefs have been finalising a new menu. It includes a range of international dishes as well as favourites including beef Wellington and blue cod.