A complete overhaul of the previous décor, and the addition of an upstairs dining area, has resulted in an ultramodern, stylish establishment at the premises of the old site. With only the famous tastes and flavours remaining, everything has been brought firmly into the 21st century, with state-of-the art dining facilities and even an outdoor balcony.
The Raies team spent more than two years developing the idea into a reality with more than £150,000 invested by owner Mr Max Kiani.
The official opening took place on Wednesday 20th November with a host of esteemed guests gathering to welcome the grand relaunch.
All food was served free of charge, with the evening’s event used as a fundraiser for Cancer Research, a cause the restaurateur has supported for a long time.
The following day, a similar evening was held to raise more funds for the charity and to date more than £800 has been donated. Mr Kiani also remains optimistic that the £2,000 target can be met within a fortnight.
First opened by Mr Kiani in the 1970’s, Raies restaurant has become a dining hotspot in the city, with people travelling from all over the North of England to try out the renowned dishes.
Mr Kiani has more than 40 years experience in the restaurant trade and has owned eateries in Sheffield and Leeds.
It is this passion for authentic Indian cuisine and customer satisfaction that has guided Raies to the top of the food chain.
“When people come here they know they are going to get two things: excellent food which has been carefully prepared to the customer’s request and a friendly service by Mr Max,” Mr Kiani explained.
“I have been in this business for so long and have met so many wonderful people. It is so important to have that kind of relationship and I am very thankful for that.”
Raies restaurant has seen tens of thousands of customers come through the doors since opening, all coming for the same genuine tastes that have been served since day one.
Now, with the added extension upstairs and new layout downstairs, the restaurant has almost doubled in capacity to ensure everybody can tuck into the mouthwatering delights.
“We used to be able to serve up to 40 people at once when we had our old layout but now, by having the upstairs area, we are able to cater for parties and private functions at the same time as serving smaller groups,” Mr Kiani added.
“It means we are more than just a restaurant; we can welcome groups to come and dine here which is something we are hoping to build on in the coming weeks.”
As well as an upstairs area, Raies restaurant has broadened its opening times to be able to cater for hungry eaters at lunch.
Open from 11am, local businesses, residents and passerby’s can pop in to pick up a ‘quick bite’ on the go, or even dine in, and order something off the evening menu.
The family-run restaurant has been in the heart of Leeds for almost four decades and with customers already queuing at the door to get a look at the latest revamp, a prosperous future is on the cook for Raies restaurant.