WHEN Pat and Peter Blackburn retired to Spain, the one thing they missed the most was a takeaway curry.
The pair loved the dishes from Pasha in Cowplain so much that they now place their order from Spain and their son Robert Capel picks up the food, freezes it, packs it carefully and brings it out to Spain in his hold luggage.
Kaz Miah, who owns Pasha in London Road, said he was amazed by their loyalty.
He said: ‘They are more than just customers, they are my friends. They are like family.
‘We really do appreciate customers like this, it is nice to know that even though they have moved away they are still thinking of us.’
Pat and Peter, who now live in Valencia, were the first customers at the restaurant when it opened in 2004. And they say that one taste was it all took to make it their favourite. Peter, 70, said: ‘It is different from other Indian restaurants.’
Peter found a love for curries through his work for the Border Agency, which saw the pair live in India for a while.
He said: ‘Years ago we got used to north Indian food. The cooking is really quite different – the recipes they use in Pasha are different from a lot of the other Indian restaurants.
‘There are Indian restaurants in Spain but they are quite old-fashioned. It’s not the same as Pasha, its cuisine is unique. We have not found anywhere like it.’
The couple lived in Horndean for 25 years before emigrating to Spain for their retirement three years ago.
Pat says the air miles actually add to the flavour of her favourite – the lamb dopiaza – and Peter’s favourite – the raj naga.
‘It’s better as the spices are matured. There’s a wonderful flavour.
‘It’s a wonderful place, the ambiance is great as well.’
The couple still visit the restaurant when they are on their twice-yearly visit to see friends and family in the UK – and last time they even bumped into their former Horndean neighbours Anne and Richard Moss, who were also on a visit from their new home in Canada.
Pasha is part of the Red Lounge Group, which runs Kassia and Red Lounge in Drayton, Pasha, Red Lounge and Palash in Cowplain and Kassia in Clanfield. It employs 80 people across its six restaurants.
Airline passengers can take any food such as fruit, vegetables, meat or dairy in their hold luggage if they are travelling within the EU.