By PHILIP CHANDLER
Guess who came to dinner?
When popular Arrowtown Indian restaurant Mantra reopened late last month, its first customers were well-known former regulars Christine Lady Hill and her hubby Sir Michael Hill.
They’re pictured with new owner Saroj Kumar, who owns six other Indian restaurants — Bombay Palace in Queenstown, Frankton, Wanaka and Invercargill and Queenstown’s The Taj and Mirch Masala.
Long-time Queenstown restaurateur Shammi Sandhu started Mantra in 2006, but closed the doors last October, saying she was ‘‘emotionally drained’’ after the death of her husband, Maninderjit Singh Sandhu, aka ‘MJS’, four months earlier.
Kumar says he’s ‘‘mixing and matching’’ dishes from his other restaurants but also offering some new items like Indo-Chinese dishes.
He’s employing staff from Mirch Masala while it’s currently closed.