Amir Khan on his favourite restaurant The New Dhanak Deira in Bolton
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 October 2016
Amir Khan follows a strict diet. But between fights it is food from a Bolton restaurant that knocks him out. Emma Mayoh reports.
Amir Khan has to watch what he eats. As a professional championship boxer every last ounce of food is accounted for to make sure he puts in his best performance in the ring.
‘I have to watch everything when I’m preparing for a fight,’ said Amir, 29. ‘There is lots of food that I have to eat but I just don’t think it tastes good. I force myself to eat it because it is what I need to fuel my body and it will help improve my fitness and performance. I have things like kale salad, celery, broccoli and carrots.
‘I have juices and protein shakes too and a fair amount of ginger and turmeric, which are really good for you. A lot of things are good for me and I have to have them but they taste disgusting. It’s just something I have to do. It’s there to help me be in my best shape.’
But when he gets time off it is cheesecake and doughnuts he loves to feast on. But top of the list is a good curry from The New Dhanak Deira, an Indian and Chinese Fusion restaurant in Bolton that reopened recently.
The restaurant, in a former church dating back to the early 1900s, is run by Amir’s friend Omar Shahid and fellow directors Matthew Chen and Nadia Liu. Amir has eaten at the restaurant for several years since it was run by Omar’s father, Mohammed.
‘I’ve been visiting for a long time and the food is amazing,’ said Amir. ‘The new fusion menu of Indian and Chinese food is superb. The chefs do an amazing job. I couldn’t wait to eat there.
‘It’s great for Bolton too. At the moment, I believe a lot of people travel out of the town to get a nice meal. This is just what Bolton needs.’
Owner Omar took over Dhanak Deira after his father passed away in 2010 and he has given the restaurant a large scale renovation to offer a value for money but sophisticated dining experience.
‘It had always been my father’s dream to run a restaurant,’ said Omar. ‘He wanted to leave behind a legacy and it is really important for me to continue that in his memory.
‘Having Amir’s support is absolutely fantastic and knowing he loves our food is wonderful.
Amir has also done a lot of philanthropic work that has packed as much of a punch as his boxing career. He has supported charities including the NSPCC, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Islamic Relief’s Philippines Appeal following Typhoon Haiyan and has done work for Oxfam, helping to deliver aid to communities in Kashmir and Pakistan as well as flood-hit Cumbria. He also has The Amir Khan Foundation, an organisation dedicated to empowering young people around the world who are disadvantaged as well as supporting emergency disasters. The Foundation is also currently supporting The Penny Appeal, a project in The Gambia to build a complex for 100 orphans. It will include a community centre, school and clinic as well as small orphan homes.
‘This kind of work is the most important for me,’ said Amir, who lives in New York with wife, Faryal Makhdoom and daughter, Lamaisah. ‘I am fortunate enough to have had a successful career and have a good life.
‘It’s important to me to try and make an impact and help. I’m in a position where I can help. I want to give something back.’
In the same vein, Amir is currently in the process of opening a multi-million pound banqueting hall in Deane, just outside Bolton town centre. The new development will have a restaurant and bar, an 800-seater function hall and VIP restaurant. The restaurant will bring around 300 jobs to the community.
‘I want to give opportunities to people in Bolton by creating more jobs and helping the community,’ said Amir. ‘I want people who are struggling to get employment to be given a chance.
‘I love Bolton. It’s where I grew up and a place I still have a very strong connection with. I want to be able to do something to help my home town as well as provide first class food that is affordable for everyone. I’m hoping to open in the next 12 months - I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together.’
The New Dhanak Diera
486 Blackburn Rd, Bolton BL1 8NW dhanakdeira.com