The UK’s best curry houses unveiled at British Curry Awards

A family-run restaurant, a trendy chain and a Michelin star restaurant were voted one of the best curry houses in the UK last night at the British Curry Awards in partnership with Just Eat.

The restaurants, nominated by the public, were announced at the groundbreaking and most significant celebration of the industry’s 17th year return from the pandemic challenges.

Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Curry World’ by former Prime Minister David Cameron, restaurateurs from across the UK flocked to the capital in hopes of being recognized as the best restaurant in their region and honored with a jewel in the crown of the British curry restaurant industry .

Saturday Kitchen star Atul Kochhar – the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star – was among the winners as his recently opened restaurant in Westminster.

Mathura Restaurant, in the old Westminster fire station, won the Best Newcomer award for showcasing the cuisines of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar.

A family-run restaurant, a trendy chain and a Michelin star restaurant were voted one of the best curry houses in the UK last night at the British Curry Awards in partnership with Just Eat.

Meanwhile, Maliks Express Kitchen in Buckinghamshire took the prize for best takeaway after impressing the judges with their menu, which included succulent roast duck cooked in coconut milk, tender lamb cooked in shallots and tandoori mixed grill.

Elsewhere, Khai Khai Indian Restaurant in Newcastle has won the most innovative restaurant for its Victorian dining rooms that showcase eclectic Indian cuisine with plentiful vegan options.

Scotland’s best curry restaurant went to Dishoom – a trendy chain that started in London 10 years ago.

Their Edinburgh branch is a tribute to Iranian food served by Zoroastrian immigrants in Bombay – as well as general Indian street food.

Meanwhile, Benares was named the best curry restaurant in London. The Michelin-starred Mayfair curry house serves things like Scottish scallops or Kentish lamb, a cleverly balanced modern technique with recognizable flavors and spices. Shampan Bromley was voted the best in Greater London.

In the North East, Mumtaz Restaurant in Bradford got the highest gong, while Asha’s in Manchester was named the best in the North East.

In the East Midlands – often regarded as the curry capital of the UK – Montaz in Newmarket took home best, while Pushkar Restaurant on Broad Street in Birmingham was the best in the West Midlands.

British Curry Awards: Full Winners

Best restaurant Scotland: Dishoom, 3A St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD

Best restaurant Northeast: Mumtaz Restaurant, 386-410 Great Horton Road, Bradford BD7 3HS

Best restaurant Northwest: Asha’s, 47 Peter Street, Manchester M2 3NG

Best East Midlands restaurant: Montaz Newmarket, 30 Old Station Road, Newmarket CB8 8DN

Best West Midlands restaurant: Pushkar Restaurant, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HQ

Best Wale restaurants: Purple Poppadom, 185a Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff CF11 9AJ

Best restaurant Southeast: Chez Mumtaz, Centurian House 136-142 London Road, St Albans AL1 1PQ

Best Restaurant South West: Prithvi Restaurant, 37 Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7HG

Best restaurant London Central & City: Benares, 12a Berkeley Square, Mayfair W1J 6BS

London’s Best Restaurant – Suburbs and Suburbs: Shampan Bromley, 38 Chatterton Road, Bromley BR2 9QN

Dear newcomer: Mathura Restaurant, 4 Greycoat Place, London SW1P 1SB

Best delivery restaurant/takeaway: Maliks Express Kitchen, Shop 5, Marsham Way, Gerrards Cross SL9 8AB

Most innovative restaurant concept: Khai Khai Indian Restaurant, 29 Queen Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 3UG

Purple Poppadom in Cardiff was voted the best in Wales, while Chez Mumtaz in St Albans was the best in the South East and Prithvi Restaurant in Cheltenham the best in the South West.

This year’s ceremony was of particular significance, organizers said, given the challenges the industry has faced over the past 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

British Curry Awards founder Enam Ali MBE told FEMAIL: “What a year we have had – full of highs and lows as we came out of the pandemic and had to try and rebuild our businesses after the lockdowns. The support from our customers has been incredible, but the challenges are still great.

“At the British Curry Awards we have always stood up for the things that matter to the industry. We are all now benefiting from the so-called vindaloo visa which has helped tackle the problem of the shortage of chefs. We will always fight around your corner. And the government is listening to us.

“This year we have received many reports that restaurants that had historically received high ‘scores’ of four or five stars on the doors from local environmental health officials have been downgraded to just one or two stars. From the messages we get, it appears that restaurants are often discounted for fairly minor technical violations. While these can often be remedied quickly, they must wait up to six months before being reassessed. This is unfair and is putting many already struggling businesses on the brink of closure as they emerge from the pandemic.

“What we are asking is that the government requires local authorities to have a much faster appeals and recertification process so that those discounted can be reassessed in 4-6 weeks, not 4-6 months. Otherwise we cannot play our part in restoring our shopping streets, because this inflexible process will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.’

In a statement of support, Boris Johnson said: “I’m delighted that one of the biggest events on our gastronomic calendar, the Curry Oscars, is back in action and it’s fantastic to celebrate the genius of our curry restaurants that have been making their fragrant medleys for decades.

“Through the tribulations of the past two years you have always responded with determination and creativity, feeding our NHS heroes and sending fleets of mopeds to brighten the lives of millions of people at home.

“And now I’m happy to say that customers are returning in droves and curry houses are bustling again the length and breadth of these islands, over 10,000 across the UK.

“That’s 200 for any city, more in London than Mumbai and as the British Curry Awards are now in their 17th year with a record number of nominations, we’re not just building back better, we’re building back Balti and I want to say thank you to all – restaurants, chefs and waiters for blessing us with your tasty snacks.’

Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director, Just Eat said: ‘It is a great honor to sponsor the British Curry Awards once again. After an incredibly challenging 18 months, there has never been a better time to recognize the resilient and hardworking individuals within the restaurant and takeout industry.

Despite the many obstacles, from supply chain shortages to difficulties in recruiting skilled workers, restaurants have provided the opportunity and given customers a taste of normalcy when they needed it most. We want to ensure that takeaways – especially in this sector that contributes so much to British culture – not only survive, but also thrive in the current challenging economic environment.”

The star-studded ceremony included guests including cricketer, Azeem Rafiq, Love Island star, Priya Gopaldas, model, Danielle Mason and former The Apprentice winner, Sian Gabbidon.

The ceremony was hosted by actor and comedian Omid Djalili, while Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan was on hand to present the award for the Best Restaurant West Midlands category.

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