Curry fan has dishes driven 300 miles for £170

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FEW curry fans would be willing to wait five hours for their takeaway delivery before happily forking out £170 for it.

But when your favourite Indian restaurant is in Leicester and you live in Livingston, you really have to go the extra mile – or 300.

Martin Collins made the journey. Picture: Lesley Martin

Martin Collins made the journey. Picture: Lesley Martin

Ken Downie, 56, loves the grub served up by the English city’s Khyber Tandoori Restaurant so much that he regularly has it couriered to his front door.

The latest delivery was a bit special as the restaurant turned it into a fundraising trip and sent one of its other devoted customers, Martin Collins, on a motorbike to deliver a banquet in person.

Pharmaceutical consultant Ken first fell for the curries more than 20 years ago when he attended the restaurant with a business contact.

Last night he and his family tucked into their dinner-for-six after Martin braved lashing rain and freezing wind on the trip with his precious cargo.

Ken Downie. Picture: contributed

Ken Downie. Picture: contributed

Mr Downie said: “I first went to the Khyber years ago. When I was back in Scotland I ordered regular meals, but I let it lapse because I was travelling all over the world for work.

“The owners and staff at the restaurant are very friendly. I’ve been well known to them for a good number of years. The food is different to Scottish curries.

“It tends to be milder than the ones you get in Scotland. It just tastes different to other restaurants I’ve been in.”

Mr Downie also paid tribute to his dedicated delivery driver Martin, adding: “The last one I ordered was back in April, so when I rang the owner Dinesh to order a new one he told me he’d send one up, but this time Martin would be delivering it.

“The cost of the meal has been matched by the Khyber and given to charity.”

Kind-hearted father-of-two Martin, 42, from Leicester, decided to make it a fundraising trip for HoverAid, a charity that uses hovercraft to deliver aid to the poor in hard-to-reach parts of Madagascar.

He set off from Leicester yesterday morning after 10am and pulled in to Livingston shortly before 3.30pm.

There were no fancy contraptions or mini-ovens used either – just a plastic bag and his trusty bike box.

Martin said: “It was very wet at times and I was worried that I’d open the box and it would be soaking wet, but thankfully it was okay.

“It was worth it to raise some money for charity. I quite enjoyed the trip to be 
honest.

“HoverAid is run by an old school friend and when I heard Dinesh talking in the restaurant about how he regularly couriers a delivery to a man in Scotland, I piped up and said that I’d be happy to bike the next one up. Everyone’s a winner really, aren’t they? Ken got his curry, the restaurant gets to complete its order and the charity gets a couple of hundred quid.”

Andy Mayo, of HoverAid, said: “Thanks to Martin, Ken and the Khyber, the money raised will be put to good use.”

Those wishing to donate to Martin’s Curry On Up The Khyber fundraising effort can visit www.justgiving.com/
Martin-Collins4.

You’d be madras not to like this feast . .

THE meal Ken Downie and his family tucked into has special salad baby corn pakora, mixed pakora and chicken wings as starters.

A main course of Indian mixed vegetable curry, lamb curry masala, lamb chops curry, chicken tikka, vegetable kadai and chilli chicken is included, with sides of mushroom pilau, saffron and pilau rice, and garlic and kabuli naan (peshwari).

The food travelled 315 miles and took Martin a total of five hours and one minute door to door on his trusty BMW motorbike.

The cost of the meal – £140 and a £30 delivery charge – has been matched by the restaurant.