Previously the site of Imran’s, a popular Pakistani-owned restaurant run by a former junior chef at Musa Patel’s The Famous Clifton, Moon Light opened in 2008.
The small restaurant is run by two brothers, both of whom were born in Sylhet and travelled to Britain as young children through family reunification schemes. Both attended school in Tower Hamlets and, like all kitchen and front-of-house staff at Moon Light, they live in the borough. One of the brothers previously worked as a waiter at The Famous Clifton.
The restaurant is open 365 days each year, including Christmas Day. Supplies are sourced from local shops like Taj Stores and from South Asian food stores in Barking.
Moon Light’s customers are typically in the 35-45 age range. It is estimated that around 70% are white British/white European and around 5% are foreign tourists. The restaurant has a small number of South Asian customers who work as IT professionals in the City or as doctors at the nearby hospital.
Moon Light serves a classic curry house or ‘Anglo-Bangla’ menu. The restaurant’s most popular dishes are lamb and chicken biryani. Over the last 12–18 months, there has been a significant increase in demand for vegan dishes. The restaurant offers a takeaway and home delivery service.
The restaurant is the first one that you encounter in the south part of Brick Lane. Since the opening of Shoreditch High Street station in 2010, the number of visitors to Brick Lane using Aldgate East station has fallen significantly, which has impacted trade at the Moon Light and other eateries in the area. On the other hand, Moon Light’s owners are optimistic that the imminent arrival of Crossrail and the relocation of the Town Hall from the Isle of Dogs to Whitechapel will increase customer numbers.