Food & Drink

Indian restaurant hosts free buffet monthly for those in need

An independent Indian restaurant located in Whitton hosted its second free buffet for those in need on April 2.

Spice Up, which opened in February 2023, began its monthly buffets in March 2024 for those finding it challenging to afford a meal.

The restaurant is a short walk from Whitton station and hosts the buffets on the first Tuesday of every month in the main hall of the restaurant between 5 and 8pm.

Sheetal Arora, owner of Spice Up, said: “The idea to run the buffet came about during Christmas – we wanted to ensure that no one was alone during the holiday season.”

For Christmas day 2023, Arora similarly offered a free festive meal for those in need.

On Spice Up’s Instagram page they posted: “We extend an open invitation to anyone who may find themselves alone or unable to afford a festive meal, for any reason.

“No questions asked, no judgements made.”

Arora said: “By hosting these events, we aim to provide a sense of community and support to those in need.

“People are appreciative of the effort.”

This is not the first community act that Arora has done, as she serves at community picnics, sponsored Whitton’s Christmas market for the lights turning on, and has catered for many charity events.

Spice Up restaurant in Whitton

Arora first began her culinary journey by starting successful catering company Homemade Curries in 2018 from her kitchen.

Dependent upon word of mouth for growth and providing samples to friends and locals, she eventually created a supper club that fostered the community spirit from an early point.

By 2023 when she opened Spice Up, Arora aspired to make the restaurant encompass the heart of North Indian cuisine, and highlight her own personal journey too – she refers to her “humble beginnings” as a core component of the restaurant.

The buffet offers a variety of food including rice, chicken curry, tadka daal, and a few starters, but they change the menu every month in order to keep it fresh.

Arora said: “We plan to continue hosting these events regularly and hope to expand to hosting other charitable events at the restaurant as well.”

Currently, the restaurant does not receive any support from the local borough or community for hosting these free buffets with members of the staff hosting them.

Arora explained that not many people have turned up to both of the events so far, as they are still spreading the word about it, encouraging people from individuals to families to come along.

Featured image credit: Elif Karakaya

Related Articles