Romford restaurants awarded best group and best restaurant titles
- Credit: Tandoori Lounge
Two Romford restaurants have been crowned winners of national restaurant awards presented by BBC news anchor Samantha Simmonds.
Hornchurch-based Tandoori Lounge won best restaurant in the south east of England region and Indian restaurant chain Kushi, which has branches in Gidea Park, Brentwood and Grays, secured the title of best restaurant group at the Asian Restaurant Awards 2021.
Organised by the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), which represents over 30,000 restaurants, the awards were held at the Manchester Mercure Piccadilly on August 31.
The event was attended by 500 leading restaurateurs, chefs, food writers and VIP guests and was ACF’s first awards with a live audience since 2019.
Tandoori Lounge is owned by husband and wife Sukh Uppal, 41, and Honey Uppal, 40.
Honey said: “All I can say is there are no words to describe winning this title.
“We’re only four years old, we have gone through a pandemic and obviously the strangest time in history, and we’ve still come out great on the other side.
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“We only have our customers, regulars, family and friends to thank and also the hard work of our kitchen staff, chefs and front staff.
“It isn’t just ourselves - it’s the whole team."
Kushi's owner Sharif Uddin said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised as the best Asian group restaurant in the country.
“It’s only possible with great chefs on the team - Kamrul Hoque, Abdul Ahad and Dilder Meah.
“A fantastic event, showcasing talent across the country - well done everyone and thank you to all our great customers for voting.”
Addressing the hospitality sector’s “resilience, innovation" and "generosity” in the face of the pandemic, ACF’s chairman, Yawar Khan, spoke of how some Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants adapted to offering takeaways, finish-at-home meal kits and pop-up delivery kitchens.
He said despite the general reopening since lockdown, restaurants face “more adversity” in the form of “rising prices” and “worsening staff shortages”.