Hey all, how are you on this altogether lovely Wednesday? (It’s actually a dull, grey day but this Derby foodie is choosing to ignore that.)

Do you like curries? If so, carry on reading, as this post is right up your street.

This is the sort of food that really floats my boat.
This is the sort of food that really floats my boat.

I was rather excited to hear that the finalists in the 5th Asian Curry Awards were being announced at a special networking lunch at the House of Commons on Monday 12th October. The dignified affair will be in the Terrace Pavilion, where restaurateurs will have the chance to meet the local MPs and discuss challenging issues facing the curry restaurant and takeaway industry with their fellow business owners.  Over 50 MPs have already confirmed their attendance, so it should be a pretty cool turnout.


I love curries and this is one of my favourite cuisines in the whole wide world. My mom taught me to make a good chicken curry, and I used to watch my beloved grandmama rustle up spicy, delicious Indian food that packed a punch in the flavour stakes.


If you think a curry place deserves recognition, why not show it some TLC and vote for them in this year’s Asian Curry Awards? Curry lovers still have time to vote for their favourite Indian, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Malaysian restaurants and chefs. Voting for the 5th Asian Curry Awards closes  30th September.  You can either get clickity clicking and hop online via www.asiancurryawards.com/nomination or email the name and location of the restaurant to [email protected].


The Parliamentary lunch follows a live cook-off competition that will determine the winners of the Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year, and the Young Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year (under 30) categories.

Traditional Gujarati food (just like mama makes)
Traditional Gujarati food (just like mama makes)

In London, the early front runners in public voting are Benares, Café Spice Namaste, Chutney Mary, Cinnamon Club, Masala Zone, Quilion Gymkana and Veeraswamy. I’ve heard lots of great things about all these eateries, yet having dined at only one of them, which is The Cinnamon Club. Chef Vivek Singh runs a tight ship and his food is one of the best curries I have ever tasted. I loved the dining experience at The Cinnamon Club so much, that I had to incorporate it in my debut novel, Screaming Snowflakes. Yes it’s fiction (a Gothic romance with a supernatural twist), yet I had to pay homage to that fabulous restaurant as I wrote a pivotal scene in the book where my characters dine at the restaurant and have a heart to heart).


Around the country, top Thai restaurants currently topping the poll are Blue Elephant, Busabai Eathai, Chaopharaya, Giggling Squid, Rosa, Thaikun, Thai Square and Rosa – although none have established a clear lead.


Asian Curry Awards chairman, Yawar Khan, said: “Ultimately, the winners will be decided by a team of judges led by Pat Chapman, editor of the Cobra Good Curry Guide,  but the shortlist will be determined by votes from members of the public. There’s very little daylight between them with everything still to play for.”


There are also regional award categories that will allow outstanding local restaurants and takeaways to receive deserved plaudits at the high profile, glittering awards ceremony at the London Hilton on Park Lane in Mayfair on Sunday 15th November.


Leading restaurants will be visited unannounced by a panel of judges led by customer dining experience.


“We expect top chefs to challenge existing standards and exceed them. These Awards are designed to encourage our young people into the restaurant industry and to motivate those already in the profession to set sights even higher.”


The full list of national award categories is:

  • Best Asian Restaurant of the Year
  • Best East Asian Takeaway/Delivery of the Year
  • Best South Asian Takeaway/Delivery of the Year
  • Newcomer of the Year (restaurants established less than 3 years)
  • Best Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year (International)
  • Young Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year (under 30)
  • East Asian Restaurant of the Year
  • Best International Asian Restaurant
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Spicy red chicken curry

There are also 10 regional awards for the Best South Asian restaurants in London, London suburbs, South East, South West, East, South Coast, North, Midlands, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Nominations forms and details of the whole awards process may be downloaded from the ACA website www.asiancurryawards.com. What are you waiting for? Get voting!