AN INDIAN restaurant has offered a £400 donation to two men who will be taking on a difficult challenge.

Kuti’s Brasserie has donated the money to two Southampton men, who are preparing to take on the Mongol Rally.

Ian Orchard, 47, and Chris Lappage, 46, will take part in the event which involves driving in a car less, with an engine smaller than 1-litre, all the way to Russia from Prague.

As part of the challenge starting on July 22, they will be raising money for Cool Earth which is a charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction, and for Scratch, a Southampton-based charity who help relieve the effects of hardship, disadvantage and poverty for individuals and families.

The Nissan Micra they are set to drive cost them £280 and is bright pink with graffiti of characters from the Muppets.

Kuti himself, who owns Kuti’s Brasserie, shook hands with Ian and Chris on the evening of Thursday July 4 to seal the £400 donation deal.

Chris, who works for Network Rail, said: “We have had some amazing donations from our local community and £400 is a lot of money to us.”

The pair have never taken on a challenge like this before.

Ian, who is a builder, said: “We are going to have to drive through some extreme climates but hopefully we will meet lots of amazing people.”

They have also received support from Bitterne Park Scouts, £250 from engineering company Erik’s, an MOT from JRL Autos, a service and new tyres from Midanbury tyres, D&G Autos for fixing the car’s brakes, and raffle donations from Bitterne Balti, Crafty Fox, The Dolphin, and other businesses.

To donate, visit