Hear ye, hear ye ... for the first ever hungryhouse.co.uk English Curry Awards took place this past Monday, and verily were there plenty o' winners. This newborn sassenach sibling of the Scottish Curry Awards was held at the opulent Sheridan Suite venue in Manchester, with over 700 guests on-site to celebrate the occasion. The requisite spicy banter came from compere Jeff Mirza (who is also headed for Edinburgh for the Fringe) and a commendable amount of money was raised for the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Sounds like a good bash!
Sadly, the Tramps weren't able to attend but thanks to our Twitter buddies at the Curry Council – deservedly nominated in the Curry Lover of the Year category, and pictured above looking way smarter than the Tramps ever did at either of the Curry Awards they attended – there was a blow-by-blow account of the warm-up, the meal, the entertainment and the award proceedings.
(It would be nice if TATTGOC's interest was predicated entirely on the general celebration and promotion of curry, but the Tramps were also keen to keep a close eye on the various English winners, the better to assess what cities posed a significant threat to Glasgow's teetering Curry Capital crown. Keep your jalfrezis close ... but your nooris closer.)
So ... who won what, then?
Here's the rundown, with some sudden congestion when it comes to the Takeaway of the Year and Restaurant of the Year categories, because there were also many well-deserved regional winners. As with the Scottish Curry Awards, the first one to be announced on the night was Curry Lover of the Year, where the nominees were the Curry Council, cricketer Mike Gatting and The Soldiers' Charity (organisers of recent the Big Curry initiative). So how did it go down?
Curry Lover of the Year: The Soldiers' Charity
Best Supermarket Curry: Waitrose
Team of the Year: Nawaab, Manchester
Chef of the Year: Gurpareet Bains, Indian Superfood (and creator of "the world's healthiest meal")
Caterer of the Year: Chak 89, London
|No ties on us! Cafe Masala bagsied the Takeaway of the Year award|
North East: Cafe Spice Heaton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
North West: Saajan, Manchester
Yorkshire: Cafe Masala, Sheffield
East Midlands: Out Of India, Leicestershire
West Midlands: Malik's Indian Takeaway, Chesterton (here's the proof)
East: Moghul Tandoori, Cambridge
London: Tiffin Tin West, Hampstead
South East: Tehani, Southampton
South West: Papa Raj, Plymouth
Overall Takeaway of the Year Winner: Cafe Masala, Sheffield
|Naan solo: Bradford's Mumtaz claimed the overall Restaurant of the Year|
North East: The Rupali Restaurant, Newcastle
North West: Indian Ocean, Ashton-Under-Lyne (be like us and follow them on Twitter)
Yorkshire: Mumtaz, Bradford
East Midlands: Curry Lounge, Nottingham (featured on Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares)
West Midlands: Asha's Restaurant, Birmingham
East: The Curry Queen Restaurant, Cambridge
London: Tamarind, London (they've got a Michelin star!)
South East: 4500 Miles From Delhi, Oxford
South West: The Eastern Eye, Bath (hey, we've reviewed these guys!)
Overall Restaurant of the Year Winner: Mumtaz, Bradford
|Sanjay Anand MBE (left) cradles his Lifetime Achievement award|
|Akbar's founder Shabir Hussain (left) receives his Curry King gong|
So, what have we learned? Bradford and Sheffield have made a strong showing, so we should keep an eye out for them when it comes to the Curry Capital. Also, seriously, if you haven't visited the Mumtaz website to check out their impressive testimonials (including David Cameron, Dawn French, Frank Bruno and Queen Elizabeth II) and the awesome background music, with sax solo and a female voice intoning "Mumtaaaaz" like it was WipeOut 2097, you really need to do it RIGHT NOW.
On a semi-serious note, every winner (and many of the nominees) in the regional categories already had their own dedicated website. And while it might not seem that important to have a web presence if you're running a restaurant focused on serving the local community, it's generally much nicer if the very first search result in Google is your own modest, dedicated homepage rather than some ill-informed, poorly-spelled review from some half-assed restaurant-aggregation site.
Until next time ...
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Goin' For The Double With Curry Capital 2011
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