Rajastan Royal wins takeaway crown
Rajastan Royal chef Afjal Khan with the award
A DOWNEND takeaway has been named the region's best in the annual Asian Curry Awards.
Rajastan Royal in Westbourne Road took the West of England Takeaway of the Year title at the awards, which were announced at a virtual ceremony in December.
As well as celebrating exceptional food, the awards, which are in their 10th year, also recognised those who worked hard to help their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Free meals were delivered for key workers and homeless people during lockdown under the Food 4 NHS Project led by Rajastan Royal manager Naseem Talukdar, involving teams from takeaways and restaurants across Bristol.
Naseem said: “This is a proud moment for our team and our customers, who voted for us.
“We have worked hard over the Covid-19 period and it’s great to get such recognition.”
Organised by the Asian Catering Federation, the awards cover a range of national cuisines, including Chinese, Bangladeshi, Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern.
The judging panel, chaired by Curry Club founder and Good Food Guide author Pat Chapman, included chefs, restaurateurs and food critics, including Bristol food writer Emily Knight.
Hundreds of establishments across the country took part.
Fishponds resident Naseem is also a project manager for charity Plastic Pollution Awareness and Action Projects, which looks at alternatives to single-use plastic in the food industry.
He also campaigns for greater support for homeless people, organising the provision of hot meals and essentials for people on the street, and works with campaign group UK Curry Connect to raise awareness of skills shortages in the Asian catering.
Naseem, who has received a Bristol High Sheriff’s Award in recognition of his contribution to the city, said: "It’s a great boost to confidence to receive such an award and we couldn’t have done it without the support of people in our community.
"We’ve received lots of positive messages, both in person and online. This event is an opportunity to see what others are doing in the industry and keep on improving our work."
Asian Curry Awards chairman Yawar Khan said: "The team at Rajastan were deserving winners, as they have given back to their community over the years and have upped this support since the coronavirus outbreak.
"In turn, their community showed their appreciation and voted for them to win this award."