Talha Pasha, General Manager, Michael’s Of Mount Merrion
Tallha Pasha is the General Manager at Michael’s of Mount Merrion.
There are a few things you should know about Talha Pasha. He comes from Pakistan, is the eldest of three children (each of them high achievers), he works hard and revels in excellence. He loves olive oil and has managed to convince me that black chickpeas are better than their regular counterpart. They’re hard to find but worth the hassle, because Talha is right. They are far nicer.
He is fortunate in that he has found his passion at a young age in life. Hospitality is not for everyone but he is Team Front Of House for life. Back home in Pakistan, hospitality is a serious thing.
His family is very large and when they get together, it is always a party. Talha Pasha feels he gets his love of the service industry from watching his mum get ready to host their guests and the joy she got from a successful reception.
He came to Ireland at the start of the century to study accountancy, however he quickly realised that his passion lay in the hospitality sector. He started his career in 2008 when he joined Kinara Kitchen. He moved to Michael’s in 2014 and stayed on as General Manager when Gaz Smith bought the business in early 2017.
The two of them have a chemistry that few have and the result is a smashing restaurant, winning prizes left, right and centre and at the forefront of the Irish food movement. In 2018, Talha Pasha won the RAI Award for Best General Manager in Dublin and the Food & Wine Host of the year award.
I asked a few people to give me a quote about Talha. Here’s what they had to say:
“He means a lot to me, knowing that somebody is at your shoulder in full support of what we’re doing is very reassuring, he’s family. Don’t get me started on his natural hospitality, watching him interact with our guests makes me so proud every day.” Gaz Smith, Michael’s owner and head chef.
“There are certain qualities that all great Front of House require- Professional but friendly; On the ball but calm; Customer centric while leading your own team. Many managers spend years honing this skill set. The amazing thing about Talha is: he’s managed to do this by the age of 27. We spoke about it recently and he says that the thing that he is the most thankful for was the ability to work with other inspiring Front of House workers and he learnt so much from them. I was reminded of the quote by Isaac Newton: ‘If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”, Andrew, regular.
“Talha has a way of making you feel you are already an old friend when you first meet him. A talented general manager who imparts culinary and wine pairing guidance in the subtlest of ways to enhance your meal. He somehow manages to be at every table at just the right time and you automatically want him to pull up a chair for a chat. A pleasure to be around.” Rory, first time customer.
“To visit Michael’s is to experience hospitality at its finest. Talha’s welcome is as unique as it is warm, as genuine as it is professional. I left after my first visit feeling as if I’d met someone I’d be only too happy to meet again. I’ve observed talha in operation on several occasions. Chatting to a variety of customers – knowing who is up for trying something new and guiding them, ensuring those who want to play it safe that they’ve made a good choice, suggesting a wine accompaniment without trying to upsell and break the budget. I’ve also observed Talha train and guide his team with professionalism and encouragement. Having worked in hospitality for many years I can say that I wish I’d had more managers like him. He’s a pro, a gent and a gem.” Niamh, regular.
With the opening of Little Mike’s a few doors down from the restaurant, I’m excited to see what’s next for Talha Pasha. I would bet that whatever it is, it will be achieved with warmth and flair.