Into the Spotlight, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Scriba PR, highlights some great businesses and here we introduce Huddersfield-based Green Island which is about to open what’s believed to be the first Mauritian restaurant in the North of England.

A family-run restaurant is to bring new flavours and an authentic dining experience to Huddersfield town centre.

Green Island café is about to open as a restaurant with an evening menu serving traditional Mauritian food.

The restaurant in New Street is believed to be the only Mauritian restaurant in the North of England. Its opening night is Friday May 20 and bookings are being taken now.

Green Island, previously based in the Packhorse Centre, is run by Ramesh and Savina Ghoorbin and their daughter Jennifer Wolstenholme.

Jennifer said: “We’re really excited and a little bit nervous but we can’t wait to welcome people into our restaurant.

“As far as we can tell there is no other Mauritian restaurant in the North of England so we hope people might travel into Huddersfield from outside the town.

“On our opening night we will have invited guests and friends and family but there will also be tables available to anyone who wants to come along. We are also offering complementary drinks on the night.”

The Ghoorbin family are originally from Mauritius – a tropical island in the Indian Ocean – and they moved to Huddersfield in the early 2000s. Savina is the chef while Ramesh is front of house.

Savina and Jennifer have worked on the new menu and there will be octopus and other tropical fish on the menu, subject to availability.

Savina Ghoorbin in the kitchen

One of the specialities will be 7 Cari, which translates to ‘seven curries.’ These flavoursome dishes – which include butter bean and aubergine, rougaille (tomato-based), pumpkin, green chilli pickle and mango – are typically served at Mauritian weddings on a fresh banana leaf.

Another special dish is a briani, a rice-based biryani that takes all day to cook. The basmati rice absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients such as saffron, cumin, mint, cinnamon, cloves and many others. It is slow-cooked with a choice of beef or chicken and carrots, green beans, potatoes and a hard-boiled egg.

Jennifer said: “The food is what people in Mauritius would have on a special occasion. The quality of the food will be fine dining but the portions are generous. We want people to experience an authentic taste of Mauritius.”

Curries and a chilli pickle

Prices are being kept as low as possible too and Jennifer added: “We want it to be a casual dining experience that is affordable for families.”

The restaurant is now licensed to sell alcohol which will include Mauritian rum and cocktails.

The café will continue to be open throughout the day with the evening menu starting from 5pm. At least initially it’s likely to close around 8.30pm.

Bookings can be taken via social media or on the website HERE.