Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has praised the success of Britain's curry restaurant industry for its outstanding contribution to the UK economy and culinary experience at the inaugural Asian Curry Awards, which took place at London's Lancaster Hotel last Sunday.
"The Federation of Bangladeshi Caterers UK Gala Dinner is a fitting way to celebrate and promote the success of the UK curry industry. It helps to recognise the excellence of some of the UK's favourite restaurants and take-aways and the outstanding contribution of key figures in the sector to the UK economy and the UK culinary experience," Clegg said.
"This occasion rightly recognises not only the importance of the Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani sector but also Chinese, Malaysian and Thai catering communities whose contribution is also outstanding."
The Asian Curry Awards recognise excellence in the UK's Asian catering trade. The event, hosted by Federation of Bangladeshi Caterers UK, awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award to Saad Ghazi, founder of the Asad Ghazi Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping the underprivileged and needy as well as orphans in Bangladesh.
The award for best Thai restaurant went to the King and Thai in Broseley, Shropshire, while best Malaysian restaurant was Satay House in London. Best Nepalese restaurant was Everest Inn in Ashford, Kent, with best Japanese restaurant going to Cocoro in London. Meanwhile, the Young Restaurateur of the Year award went to Azad Miah of Amani in Epsom Downs, Surrey.
Yawar Khan, chairman of the Asian Curry Awards, commented: "These awards will set a precedent for a series of events in years to come. We will build the scale of these events by adding categories, opening up the awards to a wider audience, including the UK's high-street supermarkets. Ultimately we want to see ‘Winner: Asian Curry Awards' stamped on the country's most popular Asian food products and in the window of all the best restaurants."
The best Bangladeshi/Indian restaurants regional awards were:
Scotland & Northern Ireland Nawaabs Tandoori, Aberdeen, and Cinnamon Restaurant, Belfast
South Wales Bokhara Brasserie, Pen-f-fai
London: Tamarind, Mayfair
London suburbs Indian Room, SW11
South East Tarana, Crawley
South West Rajpoot, Bath
Cornwall and Devon Jaipur Palace, Plymouth
North West Usha, Burnley
North East Last Days of the Raj, Gateshead
Midlands The Mint Restaurant, Mansfield
East Midlands Saffron, Northampton
By Kerstin Kühn
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