‘Curry Oscars’ honour crème of UK’s curry restaurants, as nominated
By diners, following Covid challenges
“We’re not just building back better, we’re building back balti” –
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in message of support
Bollywood star, Abhishek Bachchan, virtually presents
Best Restaurant in West Midlands award
The UK’s favourite curry restaurants, as nominated for by the British Public, were announced at the trailblazing and foremost celebration of the industry, British Curry Awards 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 the Capital 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 that took place on Monday 29th November at Battersea Evolution.
Recognised globally as the original and most respected award ceremony in the UK curry industry and the ‘Curry Oscars’, as named by former Prime Minister David Cameron, British Curry Awards once again welcomed in person prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country. In attendance were: Cricketer, Azeem Rafiq; Love Island contestant, Priya Gopaldas, model, Danielle Mason; former The Apprentice winner, Sian Gabbidon; TV presenters, Melinda Messenger, Lizzie Cundy, Faye Barker, Hayley Sparkes and Hayley Palmer; radio presenter, James Whale; television GP, Dr Amir Khan; filmmaker, actor and presenter, Mistah Islah; music artists, Patti Boulaye and Mr Fabulous; President of Restaurant Association, Robert Walton MBE; MP’s, Chris Grayling, Foysol Choudhury; RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’s Baga Chipz; and Reality TV personality, Robbie McMahon among others. The ceremony was hosted by actor and comedian, Omid Djalili. Bollywood star, Abhishek Bachchan, joined virtually to present the award for the Best Restaurant West Midlands category.
As the foremost and pioneering celebration of the UK curry industry’s achievements and the best restaurants across all regions, with awards, deemed the most prized badge of honour across the entire industry for winning restaurants, British Curry Awards has established itself as a national institution.
British Curry Awards 2021 Winners:
Best Restaurant Scotland: Dishoom, 3A St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD
Best Restaurant North East: Mumtaz Restaurant, 386-410 Great Horton Road, Bradford BD7 3HS
Best Restaurant North West: Asha’s, 47 Peter Street, Manchester M2 3NG
Best Restaurant East Midlands: Montaz Newmarket, 30 Old Station Road, Newmarket CB8 8DN
Best Restaurant West Midlands: Pushkar Restaurant, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HQ
Best Restaurant Wales: Purple Poppadom, 185a Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff CF11 9AJ
Best Restaurant South East: 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
Best Restaurant London – Outer & Suburbs: Shampan Bromley, 38 Chatterton Road, Bromley BR2 9QN
Best 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
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 Asian restaurants and takeaways. The process of public nominations creates an authentic list of the nation’s favourite Asian eateries, based on the opinions of the public, leading to a rigorous vetting process by an independent panel of judges.
This year’s ceremony had particular significance, given the challenges faced by the industry over the past 18 months of the pandemic, and acknowledged the industry’s spirit and resilience through difficult business and personal circumstances. The industry has seen many leaders, pioneers, restaurateurs and staff tragically lose their lives to Covid. This year’s ceremony paid tribute to those that have passed away.
Additionally, operational issues such as supply chain and staff shortages and the knock-on effect of multiple lockdowns has had a lasting impact on business. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurial spirit and strong will of the UK curry community continues to work tirelessly to serve customers and diners across the UK with the nation’s favourite dish.
British Curry Awards Founder, Enam Ali MBE, is the UK’s leading spokesperson for the curry industry and has been promoting it globally for the past 45 years. Speaking at the event, he 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. The support of our customers has been incredible but the challenges are still significant.
At the British Curry 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.
This year we have received many reports that restaurants that had got high, four or five stars ‘scores on the doors’ in the past from local environmental health officers have been getting marked down to only one or two stars. It seems from the reports we are getting that, often, restaurants are being marked down for fairly minor, technical infringements. Even though these can often be quickly rectified they are having to wait up to six months to be reassessed. This is unfair and is putting many already struggling businesses as they come out of the pandemic on the verge of closure.
What we are asking for is the government to require local authorities to have a much faster appeal and recertification process, so that those marked down can be reassessed in 4-6 weeks, not 4-6 months. Otherwise we will not be able to play our part in the recovery of our high streets, as this inflexible process will prove the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
In a message of support, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson 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. That’s 200 for every city, more in London than in Mumbai and since 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 thank you all – restaurants, chefs and waiters – for blessing us with your flavoursome morsels.”
Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director, Just Eat says,
“It’s a great honour to once again be sponsoring the British Curry Awards. 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 restaurants – especially in this sector which contributes so much to British culture – don’t just survive, but thrive, in today’s challenging economic climate.”