Iconic restaurant Sachins is Newcastle’s favourite spot for first-class Punjabi food, but who is the face behind this beloved establishment? Well, that’s what we’re discovering today.

Head Chef and Owner, Bob Arora, has been heading up operations at Sachins for over 23 years now. Today, we’re sitting down with Bob and taking the time to get to know him a little better.

Bob cooking in kitchen

Was food a big part of your upbringing? Can you share any early memories of food from your childhood?

My parents had a paper shop and they used to finish late on a Friday (that was back in the day when the Pools used to be really popular!), so when I was young I used to make a meal for us all to eat in the evening. It very often may have been something from the freezer… but I always made sure to prepare something as they were exhausted after a very long day, and a wholesome meal was always an essential part of the day in our family.

You have previously shared recipes passed on to you from both your mother and your father. Did they teach you how to cook when you were young?

I grew up watching both of them cook in the kitchen, day in and day out. The recipes of theirs that I have shared here and here are exactly what they’ve both cooked on many occasions. Real staple meals in our family make me think of home.

What inspired you to become the owner of  Sachins? How did it all come about?

I had been eating at Sachins with my family almost every month or so for a very long time. I loved cooking, and I’d always say that I would buy it one day. 23 years ago I eventually did.

If you had to use a handful of words to describe your journey as the Owner and Head Chef of Sachins, what would they be?

Very rewarding and very hard work!

What have been some of the major challenges in owning and running Newcastle’s favourite Punjabi restaurant?

Having to learn Punjabi was a big challenge, but it felt very important to do so. My family have only ever spoken to my brother and me in English, and all of my previous businesses and jobs involved working with English-speaking people, so I never had to speak Punjabi. I’m so pleased that I pushed myself to learn this incredible language, it really enriches my experience as the owner of a Punjabi restaurant.

The other big challenge was learning to cook in a commercial kitchen. Having a full restaurant and being under pressure to prepare individual dishes to a consistently high standard means you have to be very focused. I like to think I have this off to a fine art now, but it wasn’t always so simple!

Can you share some of your favourite memories of Sachins over the last twenty years?

Meeting the Top Gear presenters was a big moment for me, and meeting and cooking for the incredible Raymond Blanc was another massive highlight.

In general, being able to speak to the CEOs of companies and on the other hand simply speaking to a family who has sat down at a table in Sachins for the very first time – these are all equally wonderful experiences. Meeting so many interesting and lovely people makes every day different and interesting.

Bob Arora, Head Chef of Sachins and former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson

As Head Chef you spend plenty of time cooking up a storm in the kitchen at Sachins, are you the Head Chef in your own home too?

Cooking duties are shared equally in our home, and when I come home I’m usually lucky and I have a meal cooked for me, what a blessing! This sets me up for a busy night at work which is brilliant.

Do you have any goals for Sachins for the upcoming year?

I’m committed to continuously improving and keeping Sachins at the forefront of people’s minds.

When you aren’t working, how do you like to spend your time?

I love playing squash, test-driving cars and eating out.

Would you like to meet Bob and try Newcastle’s beloved Punjabi restaurant Sachins for yourself? Book your table with us here.



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