Over 700 VIP guests attended the Asian hospitality sector’s most prestigious event, the Asian Curry Awards in Association with Just Eat, at the Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair on Sunday 17th November.
Guest of Honour, Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, took the opportunity to attack the “Government’s ‘wrongheaded’ approach to immigration which is making it difficult to recruit the chefs and skilled workers.”
On a positive note Sadiq Khan praised the contribution of the British Asians. “By bringing the best of Asian culinary traditions to these shores, these restaurant owners have expanded not only the choice of food available to the British public, but our very identity as an open, inclusive and multicultural nation,” he said.
Benares in Mayfair scooped the prestigious Fine Dining Award. Dishoom in Covent Garden has named Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year. Three restaurants shared the Just Eat Takeaway of the Year title – Chilli Tuk in London N12, Golden Dragon in Swansea and Rogan Josh in Cheltenham. Sanctua in Leicester was name Best Vegan and Vegetarian Food Studio Cardiff, Best Vegetarian. Royal Nawaab, Manchester is Buffet Restaurant of the Year. Spice Village in Croydon won Best Event Caterer. Rehmat’s in Aberdeen was announced Newcomer of the Year.
Crooked Skewer, Hull, claimed the Innovative Restaurant of the Year award.
Individual cuisine titles were awarded to Zuma, London W1 (Japanese), Romulo Café, London W8 (Filipino), Ottoman Kitchen, Southampton (Middle Eastern), Feng Wei Shi Tang, Soho (Chinese). The Nepalese Restaurant of the Year was shared by Everest Inn, Ashford Kent and Panas Gurkha, London SE13
Zaman’s in London W1 received the Pan-Asian Restaurant of the Year crown and Hakkaland, Harrow, the Best Asian Fusion award.
Hospital Venue of the Year went to Maida in Manchester, whilst Spice Village, Croydon, was revealed as Best Event Caterer.
Shahin Malek (Rivaaz, Lymington) won Best Maitre D’.
A special Social Responsibility of the Year award went to Millennium Balti, Royal Leamington Spa and there were Entrepreneur awards for Ajmal Mushtaq (Mushtaqs, Hamilton) and Habib Chowdhury (My Curry Club, Cheshire).
There were also a number of local and regional awards. The full list can be viewed at www.asiancurryawards.co.uk
Addressing an audience of ambassadors to London, high commissioners, senior politicians, embassy officials and business, Yawar Khan, Chairman of the Asian Catering Federation, which hosts the Awards, congratulated the winners, but warned them not to rest on their laurels. He said: “We work in a dynamic, fast developing sector where customers’ dining habits are constantly evolving.” He encouraged them to embrace change and welcome the challenges.
The biggest round of applause went to the Asian Curry Awards’ longstanding Chairman of Judges Pat Chapman, editor of the Cobra Good Curry Guide – who on the eve of his 80th birthday – was too ill to attend. Accepting the award on his behalf, fellow judge George Shaw said, “Everyone who works in the curry sector owes Pat a huge debt and never has a Lifetime Achievement Award so richly deserved.”
The evening, with lavish hospitality and live entertainment was hosted by the brilliant stand-up comedian, Call Beaton.