Indian restaurant lauded by critics and celebrities closed amid rumours it was serving dog meat

Bomra's diner closed while investigation examine into exactly what seared beef and crispy belly pork was

Colin Drury
Saturday 24 November 2018 18:18
Jude Law (back) with Bawmra Jap (front) at Bomra's
Jude Law (back) with Bawmra Jap (front) at Bomra's

It is one of India’s most famous restaurants, lauded across the globe by critics and celebrities alike for its seared beef and crispy belly pork.

But Bomra's – a Burmese eatery in the state of Goa – may not be serving its five-star fare to patrons such as Jude Law and novelist Amitav Ghosh again for some time.

It has just been closed amid rumours it was actually serving diners dog meat.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India took action after an unannounced inspection found shortcomings in the restaurant’s hygiene measures on Thursday.

The raid was carried out after an apparent tip-off that the diner – which has been feted as one of the world’s best by Conde Nast Traveller magazine – was using canine as a meat substitute.

Although the authority found no evidence to support the allegation, the restaurant’s licence was temporarily cancelled because of the other concerns.

“We are sending the meat samples to the Hyderabad- based ICAR-National Research Centre on Meat for analysis,” the health minister, Vishwajit Rane, said on Friday. “It is just an allegation. The picture would be clear when we receive a report … I appeal to people not to panic over this issue.”

But the restaurant's owner, Bawmra Jap, said its reputation had been damaged by the action – and claimed the tip-off was made by a jealous rival.

Speaking to The Navhind Times newspaper, he said: “I am shocked. How could somebody stoop so low as to complain that dog meat is served?

“I have been a chef for 20 years, and how could I do such a thing? This is bad for business. I have contributed to the tourism industry of Goa. Somebody must be jealous of me to tarnish the image of my restaurant.”

Mr Jap, himself from Burma, launched Bomra's in the beach-front town of Candolim in 2003 and has since seen it lauded across the planet.

In 2017, Conde Nast Traveller placed it number four on its Top Restaurant Awards list, calling it “a beautiful experience”.

Before that, in 2011, Timeout India rated the establishment as the country’s best restaurant.

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“It is completely different from other restaurants,” Mr Jap said of the praise.

“Bomra’s serves authentic food of South Asia. I use herbs grown in my garden. Herbs were brought in from Burma, even local herbs are grown. My dishes are of unique South Asian recipes.”

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