Dishoom in Edinburgh, Asha’s in Manchester and Benares in London were among the Indian restaurants to notch up big wins at this year’s British Curry Awards this week.
The UK’s favourite curry restaurants, as nominated for by the British public, were announced at the glittering ceremony in association with Just Eat, as it returned for its 17thyear after the pandemic challenges.
The finest “curry” restaurateurs from across the UK descended on London in the hope of being recognised as the best restaurant in their region and honoured with a jewel in the crown of the UK curry restaurant industry award sector at the prestigious ceremony, which took place at Battersea Evolution by the river Thames on November 29.
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Dubbed the “Curry Oscars”, the event attracted prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and restaurant owners, including TV star and model Priya Gopaldas, MP Chris Grayling and comedian Omid Djalili. Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan joined virtually to present the award for the Best Restaurant West Midlands category.
In a message of support, said: “I’m delighted that one of the greatest events in our gastronomic calendar, the Curry Oscars, is back in action and it is fantastic to celebrate the genius of our curry restaurateurs who have, for decades, offered their fragrant medleys.
Throughout the testing times of the past two years, you’ve always responded with resolve and creativity, feeding our NHS heroes and dispatching fleets of mopeds to bring spice to the lives of millions of people at home. And now I’m glad to say customers are returning en masse and curry houses the length and breadth of these islands are bustling once again, more than 10,000 of them across the whole of the United Kingdom.”
A nationwide nominations process to honour the nation’s top curry houses is led by the local patrons of curry houses on the streets of Britain, annually invited to nominate their favourite South Asian restaurants and takeaways.
Enam Ali MBE, Founder of the Awards, said: “What a year we have had – full of highs and lows as we have come out of the pandemic and had to try and rebuild our businesses after lockdowns.
“At the British Awards we have always stood up for the causes that matter to the industry. We are all now benefitting from the so-called vindaloo visa which has helped address the chef shortage problem. We will always fight your corner. And the government does listen to us.”
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Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director, Just Eat, added: “After an incredibly challenging 18 months, there’s never been a better time to recognise the resilient and hard-working individuals within the restaurant and takeaway sector.
“Despite the many obstacles faced, from shortages in the supply chain to difficulty in recruiting skilled workers, restaurants have risen to the occasion and delivered customers a taste of normality when they needed it the most. We want to ensure that takeaway – especially in this sector which contributes so much to British culture – don’t just survive, but thrive, in today’s challenging economic climate.”
Best Restaurant Scotland: Dishoom, Edinburgh
Best Restaurant North East: Mumtaz Restaurant, Bradford
Best Restaurant North West: Asha’s, Manchester
Best Restaurant East Midlands: Montaz Newmarket, Newmarket
Best Restaurant West Midlands: Pushkar Restaurant, Birmingham
Best Restaurant Wales: Purple Poppadom, Cardiff
Best Restaurant South East: Chez Mumtaz, St Albans
Best Restaurant South West: Prithvi Restaurant, Cheltenham
Best Restaurant London Central & City: Benares, Mayfair - London
Best Restaurant London – Outer & Suburbs: Shampan Bromley, Bromley
Best Newcomer: Mathura Restaurant, London
Best Delivery Restaurant/Takeaway: Maliks Express Kitchen, Gerrards Cross
Most Innovative Restaurant Concept: Khai Khai Indian Restaurant, Newcastle Upon Tyne