Did your favourite Asian restaurant take home an award?

The Asian Restaurant Awards were presented in Manchester last week, as the British-Asian community celebrated the individuals and restaurants involved in producing some of the nation's favourite cusines.

The evening was attended by 500 leading restaurateurs, chefs, food writers and VIP guests.

Compete on quality not price and train and reward your loyal, hardworking staff well

Greater Manchester favourites such as Binary in Castlefield, Little Yeti in Chorlton, Gupshup in Hale, Lily's in Ashton, Zouk, Sigiraya and Scene Indian Street Kitchen were all nominated.

South East Asian food was represented by noms for Thaikhun, Red Chilli, Phetpailin and Wings Kitchen in Macclesfield. 

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A spread from nominees Thaikhun

Notable Manchester wins included Royal Nawaab, Levenshulme, for Best Asian Buffet Restaurant and Kebabish Original, Blackburn, for Best Casual Dining. GupShup in Hale won the award for Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the North of England.

Two Best Chef awards were taken home by Mofizur Rahman of Chutney Masala in Wilmslow and Ashwani Rangta of Asha’s, Manchester

Community Heroes

Hassan Choudhury, director of Al Maidah in Bolton, took home a Community Hero award for leading his team to help feed NHS staff during the pandemic.

Al Maidah, a banquet hall and restaurant, stopped offering any services to the public in early, keeping their redeploying chefs to create over 1000 meals a week. All meals were given away for free, either to NHS staff across the region, or to local foodbanks.

Hassan Choudhury, director of Al Maidah, said: "A lot of NHS staff don’t have time to cook, shop and are self isolating from their families... The idea is, albeit a very small gesture, that it is one less thing for the NHS to worry about."

In a similar vein Mahi Masum, a Manchester-based community organiser, was also given a Community Hero award for organising the provision of hot meals to staff at Salford Royal.

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A feast from nominees Lily's

Addressing the Asian Catering Federation’s (ACF) first awards ceremony with a live audience since 2019, Chairman Yawar Khan acknowledged the Asian hospitality sector’s resilience, innovation and generosity in the face of a global pandemic.

He said that in order to survive, some Michelin-starred fine dining Indian restaurants began offering takeaways for the very first time. Others sold meal kits, or operated pop-up delivery kitchens, based in locked-down pubs.

He warned that despite the general reopening since lockdown, that restaurants face more adversity in the form of rising prices and worsening staff shortages.

“Compete on quality not price and train and reward your loyal, hardworking staff well – because if you don’t, someone else will,” said Khan.

Congratulations to all the winners - and those that didn't win this time have another chance to take home a much-coveted accolade. Confidentials will be bringing back its popular Twitter tournament - that saw a pizza Battle Royale won by Double Zero in its original inception - for Manchester's best Indian restaurant. Get voting!

North of England winners

Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to the industry (North of England): Mohammed Aslam of the Aagrah Group

Curry King: Shabir Hussain Akbar’s Group

Best Asian Buffet Restaurant: Royal Nawaab, Manchester

Winner Best Casual Dining: Kebabish Original, Blackburn

Community Hero Award: Hassan Choudhury, Manchester

Community Hero Award: Mahi Masum, Manchester

Best Asian Fusion Buffet Chef: Xiang Yang Liu, Panda Mami

Asian Chef of the Year: Mofizur Rahman, Chutney Masala

Asian Chef of the Year: Ashwani Rangta, Asha’s, Manchester

Asian Chef of the Year: Mohammed Iftekher Hussain, Baby Kingfisher Restaurant, Blackpool

The awards were sponsored by Just Eat, Cobra Beer and Booker Wholesale

Read now: Winner? Winner? Lily’s vegetarian dinner

Read next: Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2021 award nominations announced

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