A Glasgow business has been named the best curry restaurant in Scotland at the UK’s annual ‘Curry Oscars’.
Swadish by Ajay Kumar won the accolade at the prestigious event, recognised as the industry’s foremost celebration of curry houses.
The restaurant, in the city’s Ingram Street, is no stranger to awards, having previously won Scottish Curry Champion, Chef of the Year, Scotland’s Best Indian Restaurant and most recently Best Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year and the Best Chef – Indian Cuisine.
Announcing the news, the restaurant said: “What a success! Won The Best Restaurant In Scotland at the Prestigious British Curry Awards 2022.
“It’s an honour to bring Curry Oscar to Glasgow. We are extremely excited and proud to have represented Scotland’s Curry Industry at the prestigious British Curry Awards in London last night.
“We feel privileged, and we cannot express how grateful we are for your love and support. This win is dedicated to all of our wonderful customers and supporters who helped make this possible. People really DO make Glasgow.”
In its 18th year, the event celebrates the nation’s finest restaurants, as voted for by the public.
The event took place on Monday at Evolution London in Battersea Park.
The evening also paid tribute to the late Enam Ali MBE, the award’s founder and and the UK’s leading spokesperson for the curry industry, who worked to promote the curry industry globally for over 45 years.
Dubbed the ‘Curry Oscars’, the awards are globally recognised as the most coveted in the industry.
The star-studded event was attended by politicians and celebrities alike including actor James Cosmo, Chris Tarrant and former England cricketer, Phil Tuffnell.
The event was also attended by MPs Chris Grayling and Paul Scully as well as Bangladeshi High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem.
The night was hosted by comedian Hugh Dennis and sponsored by Just Eat.
Prime Minster Rishi Sunak issued a video message in support of the awards.
He said: “The thing I’ve learnt about being Prime Minister is that the best training I ever had was working in a curry house. I know how hard every one of you works from the chefs to the waiters to the restaurant managers and the delivery drivers.
“And that experience gave me a huge appreciation of business, of the importance of treating people fairly and the value of this most iconic of British Asian industries. So I’m delighted to be supporting Britain’s ‘Curry Oscars’. I want to thank all of you for everything you do to fill our high streets and our homes with some of the best curry in the world.”
The nominations are led by local patrons across the UK before a rigorous vetting process by an independent panel of judges.
The full list of winners from the British Curry Awards 2022 winners:
- Best Restaurant Scotland: Swadish by Ajay Kumar, Glasgow
- Best Restaurant North East: Khai Khai Indian Restaurant, Newcastle
- Best Restaurant North West: Mowgli Street Food Liverpool
- Best Restaurant East Midlands: Calcutta Club Restaurant, Nottingham
- Best Restaurant West Midlands: Lasan, Birmingham
- Best Restaurant Wales: Purple Poppadom, Cardiff
- Best Restaurant South East: Shampan at the Spinning Wheel, Westerham, Kent
- Best Restaurant South West: Prithvi Restaurant, Cheltenham
- Best Restaurant London Central & City: Benares, Mayfair
- Best Restaurant London Suburbs: Copper Ceylon, Bromley
- Best Takeaway: Maliks Express Kitchen, Gerrards Cross
- Best Newcomer: Colonel Saab, Holborn
- Personality of the Year Award: Khalilur Rahman, Khalil Foods
Challenges facing the industry including staff shortages and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic were acknowledged as part of the awards.
Many business now face the rising cost of living and, with spiralling costs, it is estimated that the average price of a curry could reach as much as £30. Industry leaders fear it could lead to the closure of thousands of curry restaurants across the UK.
The Spice Business ‘Onion Bhaji Index’ indicates the average cost of an onion bhaji in the UK will jump from £4 to £12 per portion, while rising inflation means the average price of curry house favourite, the chicken tikka masala, would rise from an average menu price of £7 to £17, which diners are simply unable to afford.
Jeffrey Ali, the son of the late Enam Ali, and director of the British Curry Awards, spoke about his father and said: “His dedication for all of us was something for me to behold. We are privileged to be benefiting from his life’s work today and beyond.
“As the natural custodians of this platform, my family and I bear the weight of the curry industry’s plight. And I take this opportunity to reassure everyone how sincerely we take the gravity of this responsibility.
“We will always ensure to present a united voice for the British curry industry. And as a restaurateur myself, I am acutely aware of the adverse and unconducive economic situation we are currently facing. Unfortunately, the distant horizon shows little side of improvement. Businesses from all sectors are facing an onslaught of rising costs and slowing demand.”
Stuart Herrington, head of UK account management at Just Eat said: “Awards like this rightly shine the spotlight on the hard working people behind the restaurants and takeaways that are making an invaluable contribution to their local community and the UK economy.
“Curry is where Just Eat began. One of our first restaurants on the platform – some 17 years ago – served curry. It continues to be one of our most popular cuisines today.
“As we all know too well, the hospitality industry is facing increasingly tough challenges. Inflation has climbed to its highest levels for many years, the price of food and energy bills continues to soar, interest rates are increasing at an unprecedented speed and we are still seeing staff shortages as a result of Brexit and Covid. There is no denying that it’s an incredibly challenging outlook.”
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