It's five years ago this week since a South Woodford restaurateur was preparing for his 'biggest dream' to become a reality.

A Michelin star restaurateur is opening a new eatery to “bring the community together” over a love of good Indian food.

Rajesh Suri, who has lived in South Woodford with his wife Sonia for 29 years, is preparing for the grand opening of the “restaurant of his dreams” in High Road later this month.

The 55-year-old made his name in the food world when he helped secure the first ever Michelin star for an Indian restaurant as manager of Tamarind in central London.

But after he and his head chef Dayashankar Sharma decided to leave Tamarind in July last year, the pair decided to give their dream of opening their own restaurant a shot.

He said: “It’s always been my biggest dream to have my own restaurant.

“I have lived in South Woodford for nearly 30 years and people are always telling me and my wife that they are tired of having to go to central London for a really good Indian meal.

“So we decided to go a step beyond and bring the best quality Asian food to South Woodford.”

After searching for a venue for nearly a year, Mr Suri and Mr Sharma secured one at 219 High Road, where they started dreaming up their vision for Grand Trunk Road.

Mr Suri added: “The Grand Trunk Road runs 2,500km through Afghanistan, Asia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

“So what we’re doing is taking people on that food journey, with flavours from every country along the way.

“There are a lot of curry houses in our area, but nothing like what we’re going to be offering – we are going to be taking all those traditional dishes and making them relevant and modern.”

Mr Suri claims the 60-seat restaurant, which has already received over 100 reservations, will be “even bigger” than his Michelin star at the Tamarind.

He said: “Like most Asians, I am a very family driven man.

“My wife is my main support and she has helped me through everything.

“We have so many friends in South Woodford and serving them food instead of just sitting next to them to eat it is going to be such an amazing feeling.

“If a Michelin star comes, it comes, but for now we just want to be the best Indian restaurant we can be.”

His wife Sonia, who is also the founder of the South Woodford Asian Women’s Group, says her husband’s door will be “open to everyone”.

She said: “This is Raj’s dream, he has had a passion for food the whole time we’ve been married.

“This is about bringing people together over a love of food.

“Everyone is going to be welcome."

Grand Trunk Road is due to open in mid-November at 219 High Road, South Woodford.