‘We’re delighted’ - Indian restaurant in Suffolk makes Grand Final of awards honouring UK’s best chefs

The ARTA regional cook-off in London Picture: ARTA

The ARTA regional cook-off in London Picture: ARTA - Credit: ARTA

An Indian restaurant in Suffolk has been short-listed for an award honouring the best chefs in the industry.

The ARTA nominations launch at the House of Commons Picture: KHALID HUSSAIN

The ARTA nominations launch at the House of Commons Picture: KHALID HUSSAIN - Credit: KHALID_HUSSAIN

Bombay Nite in Felixstowe made it through a “rigorous” selection process for the inaugural Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards (ARTA), which takes place in London later this month.

The restaurant, which already has a string of awards to its name, will take part in the Grand Final after showcasing their “unprecedented artistry and culinary skills” in a bid to take the East Anglia regional title.

Etwar Hussain, who manages the restaurant, said he was “delighted” to have been short-listed.

“We’d like to say thank you to all our customers,” he added.

Hosted by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and newsreader Samantha Simmonds, the ceremony will also feature a performance from Bollywood queen Alka Yagnik and a guest-list of some of the nation’s most respected curry restaurateurs.

Nominations for the awards took place at the House of Commons in January, which opened up the public vote for people to put forward their favourite Asian restaurants and takeaways.

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Restaurants from 15 different regions in the UK and Ireland were then judged on criteria such as quality of services, product, value for money, hygiene, as well as the number of public nominations.

Regional “cook-offs” were then hosted at colleges and universities, offering restaurateurs the chance to earn the accolade of being among the region’s top dining establishments.

Following the cook-offs, finalist from each region will attend the Grand Finale ceremony at InterContinental London, The O2, on September 30, when 15 regional prizes will be announced as well as the Champion of Champions Award in honour of the most outstanding Asian restaurant in the UK.

ARTA seeks to reverse the decline in the Asian catering industry, which it attributes to a shortage of skilled workers due to the UK’s “stringent immigration policy”.

It has established a programme of youth engagement to “revitalise the food industry”.

ARTA Founder Salik Mohammed Munim said: “It is our maiden journey and we are really engaging the industry, truly recognising the people that work hard day and night, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“Our mission is not only about an award, our mission has been to introduce the industry to the regional colleges where we have staff shortages. Working together, it can help the industry by engaging youngsters with the Asian restaurant trade.”

Paul Scully MP added: “The curry industry is an industry that is so dear to my heart because I see the 11,000 or so entrepreneurs around the country that have done so well over the years.

“What ARTA is doing is actually looking at the industry in a holistic way, bringing in customers, bringing in supporters to nominate restaurants, nominate the skilled people that you have across the industry, not just in the kitchen itself.

“It is right that we celebrate the very best and inspire the next generation to make sure that this industry not only survives but thrives.”

Visit ARTA for more information.