Bhajee on the Beach, a gourmet British-Indian cuisine company that cooks out of the Big Bamboo on Hilton Head Island and has become rather popular at local farmers markets in Beaufort County, will finally have a permanent place to call home next month.
Owners Kishan and Joanne Shah will take over the property at 27 Market in Beaufort — the former Spaghetti Club — and plan to open their new restaurant, Vindaloo Junction, by the end of July. The owners will also keep manning stalls at the Port Royal Farmers Market and the Bluffton Farmers Market.
The new restaurant will feature a different name, menu, signage — even a logo paying homage to the London Underground trademark — but Kishan Shah said he plans to keep the location much of the same.
“It’s very nice; it’s a cute little restaurant,” he said. “There’s a nice little bar in there. We’ll keep that bar business going.”
At the Bluffton Farmers Market on Thursday, business was busy as ever for Shah.
Though it was creeping up to about 94 degrees, people still lined up at his stand for a hot plate of entrees — like chicken vindaloo, and eggplant and peanuts — made with local produce and a vegan/vegetarian focus. One customer said the food was so good she was able to get her 9-year-old son to eat spinach paneer.
Shah said that he always thought of Hilton Head as a “world-class resort” and that he wished Indian cuisine would have been on the island.
“When we moved to the island, we were surprised to see that there was no Indian food in any of the island, Bluffton or Beaufort,” he said. “We thought we’d start with the farmers markets.”
As one of the few providers of Indian cuisine in the area, Shah said it’s great to expose people to things they’ve never experienced before.
“We say to anybody, ‘Come and try it,’ and a lot of people down here have never tried it, don’t know anything about it,” he said. “It’s great to see the expressions on their faces.”