“a unique dining experience”

01268 794541 or 01268 792141


Mr Ali

Siraj has been making an impact in the Indian catering industry, with a career spanning 45 years. Widely regarded as the man who made a mark in the concept of corporate social responsibility in UK Indian restaurants, Siraj has raised over £3 million pounds for hundreds of charities, hosting numerous events at the Maharaja. He has championed causes including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Motor Neurone Disease, NSPCC, British Red Cross and Breast Cancer Awareness, amongst others.

Siraj is viewed as one of the great pioneering forces of the Bangladeshi restaurant industry,  helping to introduce and popularise Indian and Bangladeshi food in the UK through the decades. His hard work received public recognition over the years and he has garnered a plethora of accolades, including the ‘Channel S Award’ for his years of charity work, and the British Bangladeshi Who’s Who ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Award for his achievement in Hospitality and Catering.

Siraj’s first restaurant was the popular ‘New Curry Centre’ restaurant in Stanford-le-hope opened in 1979, where he introduced the idea of Indian restaurants within Thurrock for the first time. Having owned 5 restaurants in the borough, he moved onto his biggest project, The Maharaja, Benfleet, in 1995, which celebrated it’s 20th anniversary recently.

The Maharaja has featured in the ‘Best in South East’ top ten lists at the British Curry Awards several times. In 2009, Siraj won the Bangladeshi Caterer’s Association ‘Caterer of the Year’ Award, one of the most respected accolades in the Bangladeshi restaurant sector, and more recently, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Currylife magazine for his contribution to the industry.

Siraj also holds the position of Chairman of The Bangladesh Catering Association (Essex Region), which aims to provide a service for the Bangladeshi Food industry, also acting as an information source for the public to learn about Bangladeshi Cuisine.

In 2008, Siraj was officially listed as no 32 most influential British Bangladeshi in the British Bangladeshi Who’s Who publication, by the British Bangla Mirror Media Group. The publication lists the top 300 most influential British Bangladeshis in the UK, supported by the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron and the High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

“I’m delighted to have introduced Indian food to Thurrock and in turn been able to us my business to give something back to society to help those in need, all whilst raising awareness of our great heritage and food.” says Siraj.

“At the Maharaja, we want to ensure that everyone that visits us, leaves feeling like they have been fed and treated like royalty, our recipes date back to the Moghul times, a period in history when luxury and exquisite taste was the order of the day and we hope that each of our guests enjoy a flavour of this unique period in history, both in food, service and ambiance. We have been proud to serve the residents of Essex, the finest Indian cuisine for over 20 years and have been rewarded with multiple national awards for our dedication to taste and service, thanks to our customers”, he added.