Food & drink

Restaurants in Belfast and Bangor crowned gold at the Irish Curry Awards

Irish Curry Awards founder Askir Ali, with head judges Paul O'Connor and Joris Minne presenting Abdul Kabir of the Indian Ocean chain of restaurants a Lifetime achievement award.

Indian restaurants in Belfast and Bangor have been crowned the best on the island after competing against 700 other curry houses in the second annual Irish Curry Awards.

The not for profit event, the brainchild of Belfast based restaurateur and entrepreneur Askir Ali, was held in the Crown Plaza hotel in Belfast this week, with Nu Delhi in Belfast city centre and Bangla in Bangor receiving a joint Gold award for the Best Restaurant in Ulster.

A total of ten Asian eateries in the Ulster category won gold or silver awards.

Tulsi in Hollywood, Co Down won Best Newcomer with Bangor based Bangla best young chef and Indian Ocean, in Glengormley winning best front of house. Spice in Lisburn won best chef with Asha, in Bangor winning best take away.

Abdul Kabir of the Indian Ocean Group, which has restaurants across Northern Ireland, was also awardeda Lifetime Achievement Award.

Speaking afterwards Askir Ali said: "Curry may have been born in India, but it has grown and matured across Ireland. The Irish Curry Awards are recognition of that.

"I was really surprised and thrilled to see the level of support that was out there for the Irish Curry Awards and I am delighted that year two has been just as successful as the first.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank all our judges for taking time out of the busy schedules, to all our supporters that have helped make this year’s awards possible and to all the restaurants that took part along with congratulations to all this year's winners", he added.

Irish Curry Awards host Pamela Ballantine presenting best young chef award to Bangla, Bangor with judge Allison Morris of the Irish News.

Judge Martin Breen presents Asha in Bangor with the award for best take away.

Head judge Joris Minne presents the Gold award for best restaurant to Nu Delhi

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