Three friends from different backgrounds join forces to realise restaurant dream

Fusion Clan, Warwick, Aby Joseph

Three friends from the same town in India who all started new lives in south Warwickshire, have together realised their shared vision of running a restaurant.

Aby Joseph, Thomas Mathew and Joshi Johny have come to the business from a wide variety of backgrounds, including health care, film production, mechanical engineering and food – to open the doors to Fusion Clan in Warwick.

The co-owners are keen to bring influences from their home state of Kerala in southern India, to add a twist to the traditional authentic Indian cuisine.

Fusion Clan, Warwick, Aby Joseph

The restaurant, which replaces The Pickled Crab in Smith Street, promises a ‘unique’ menu of Indian ingredients fused with European recipes, with the emphasis on new and experimental flavours.

Fusion Clan sees the fruition of a long-held dream for the entrepreneurial trio who have all taken the leap into hospitality. And for Aby and Thomas it’s a world away from their current careers.

Aby, 37, who now lives in Warwick, relocated from Kerala to Stratford at the age of 24 to pursue his nursing career and is now Clinical Services Manager in Stratford.

Fusion Clan, Warwick, Aby Joseph
Executive Chef Joshi Johny

Aby’s selflessness, leadership, and empathy in helping with residents’ and staff’s safety and well-being throughout the pandemic, led to him making headlines last year when he was awarded the British Empire Medal. This honour recognises people who have made achievements in public life, committed themselves to serving and helping the UK, and who make life better for others by being outstanding at what they do.

Aby, who has been passionate about food since teaching himself to cook at university, is looking forward to bringing local diners in on their culinary adventure into new flavours and fusions.

Fusion Clan, Warwick
Aby receives his British Empire Medal last year

He said: “The first time I went out for an Indian meal after arriving in the UK, I really liked it. . . but it was nothing to do with India. This is not the usual thing I would eat back home, I thought, so how can they say this is Indian? There are some very popular dishes over here that are actually nothing to do with India, not authentic at all. Then I went to another restaurant and it was the same story. So wherever you go, it’s the same taste, you don’t get something different.

“I always wanted to run my own business and for the last 10 years the three of us would talk about having a restaurant. We planned on doing it much sooner but then Covid changed everything.”

Fusion Clan, Warwick

For Thomas, 47, from Stratford, the venture could not be more different from his 20 years spent as a mechanical engineer with Kuwait Airways and, more recently, as a film producer.

With his first movie, John Luther, proving popular on Amazon Prime, the second project is already under way, with Thomas set to take time away from his front of house role for filming on set, including partly in the UK, this year.

The pair have been friends since 2011 but it was only after a chance meeting with experienced chef Joshi Johny , in Stratford, that their vision began to take shape.

Fusion Clan, Warwick

Joshi, 44, was formerly a chef at the TATA Taj Residency (Cochin, India) Peacock Hotel, in Kenilworth, Ettington Chase and Crowne Plaza Hotels in Stratford and Walton Hall in Wellesbourne and is now in charge of the culinary vision for Fusion Clan.

He said: “I wanted to create dishes influenced by our roots, using unique and authentic south Indian spices but fusing them with European dishes, so adding new flavours. There has been lots of experimenting until I perfected the menu and diners so far are complimenting us on how different the experience is.

Fusion Clan, Warwick

“I’m striving to create a fine dining experience that people can afford. There’s lots of different elements, each and every one freshly prepared on the plate, right down to the sauces. We are excited to share this food because we know people are going to love it.”

Joshi oversees a menu using local meats, fruits and vegetables alongside the specially sourced spices and rices from Kerala, including jeerakasala rice, more fragrant and flavoursome rice which is included in the Geographical Indication registry of India.

Fusion Clan, Warwick

He is particularly proud of his signature recipe Kumarakom to Cornwall, Kumarakom style local preparation of Cassava and a Keralan spiced grilled seabass dish, served with tamarind-infused sauce.

Diners might be surprised to see popular British dishes such as steak, lamb shank, Cumberland sausage and roast potatoes also feature on the menu – but, of course, with Joshi’s own Asian twist!

Fusion Clan, Warwick

Plans for the future of Fusion Clan include opening an upstairs space for private events as well as introducing a takeaway menu.

In the meantime, Aby, Thomas and Joshi are content in bringing along as many people as possible on what they describe as ‘a culinary journey of discovery like no other seen before in the area.’

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