News, Culture & Society

The best curry houses in the UK revealed at British Curry Awards

A family-run restaurant, a trendy chain and Michelin-starred diner were named among the best curry houses in the UK at the British Curry Awards in association with Just Eat last night.

The restaurants,  nominated for by the public, were announced at the trailblazing and foremost celebration of the industry as it returned for its 17th year after the pandemic challenges.

Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Curry World’ by former Prime Minister David Cameron,  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.  

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

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

A family-run restaurant, a trendy chain and Michelin-starred diner were named among the best curry houses in the UK at the British Curry Awards in association with Just Eat last night.

Meanwhile, the best takeaway award went to Maliks Express Kitchen in Buckinghamshire after impressing judges with their menu including succulent roasted duck cooked in coconut milk, tender lamb cooked in shallots and tandoori mixed grill. 

Elsewhere, Khai Khai Indian Restaurant in Newcastle won Most Innovative Restaurant for its Victorian dining rooms spotlighting eclectic Indian cuisine with plentiful vegan options.  

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

Their Edinburgh branch pays homage 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 the likes of Scottish scallops or Kentish lamb, which is cleverly balanced modern techniques with recognisable flavours and spicing. Shampan Bromley was named the best in greater London. 

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

In the East Midlands – often thought of as the curry capital of the UK –  Montaz in Newmarket took home the best prize, while Pushkar Restaurant in Birmingham’s Broad Street was the top in the West Midlands. 

British Curry Awards: Winners in full  

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


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

This year’s ceremony had particular significance, organisers said, given the challenges faced by the industry 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 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 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’s 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.’

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, attended virtually to present the award for the Best Restaurant West Midlands category.