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Another round of national food awards cements city’s place in curry hall of fame
Shimla Spice's Shipley manager Mohammed Akhtar, left, and Keighley manager Faisal Hussain with the English Curry Award
Bradford has once again sealed its reputation as the best place in the country to grab a curry.
Shipley restaurant Shimla Spice has been crowned the best curry house in England at a national ceremony.
Meanwhile, Bradford-based restaurant chain Akbar’s has picked up an award for best marketing campaign.
And Visit Bradford, the Council-run tourism initiative, has been named Curry Lover of the Year for its enthusiastic support for the local Asian food scene.
The trophies were handed out at the English Curry Awards 2013, held in Manchester.
Shimla Spice manager Faisal Hussain said he was delighted when the restaurant was revealed as the best in Yorkshire. To top it all, at the end of the night they were also named the ‘winner of winners’.
He said: “I thought we would win the best restaurant in Yorkshire award, because we have won many local awards, but it came as a shock to me that we were the best restaurant in England.
“It takes a lot to win an award like that. You have got to have everything right. They come out with secret diners and check every pin-point thing.
“We were competing with some of the best restaurants in the country – in the Midlands and in London. It’s an honour to win such a big award.”
He praised the work of all the staff in impressing the judges.
Shabir Hussain, owner of Akbar’s, said they used all kinds of media to market themselves.
He said: “We are always coming up with new ideas – on national TV, billboards, buses, massive radio campaigns. We run campaigns similar to the big blue-chip companies.”
He said his Manchester restaurant had also won an award on the night.
Visit Bradford, based at the Bradford Visitor Information Centre, Britannia House, is responsible for developing tourism and promoting the district as a visitor destination.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for culture, said: “We are delighted that our Visit Bradford team won this award. Bradford is a city of curry lovers and we work to promote our fantastic curry restaurants which are a big attraction for both visitors and local people alike.”
In a separate contest, Bradford is also seeking to be crowned Britain’s Curry Capital once again. The winner will be revealed next month.