Burnley restaurant crowned country's best

A Burnley restaurant has once again shown it knows the recipe for success after being crowned the country’s best.

Usha Indian restaurant in Rossendale Road scooped Outstanding Restaurant of the Year at the 7th English Curry Awards, beating off stiff competition from nine other nominees.

Usha staff following their award

Usha staff following their award

It was a memorable night for the Usha team, topped off when owner and head chef, Ibby Ali, walked away with the North West Chef of the Year award.

“It was such a fantastic night,” said the dedicated dad-of-five. “They did the big awards first so we had the lifetime achievement award and then it was straight on to the ‘Outstanding Restaurant of the Year’.

“It was incredible to win it – to be named the best restaurant in England. Winning it so early on meant we could relax and enjoy the rest of the night as well.”

The glitzy awards ceremony was held at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester on Monday.

“It was brilliant, going up and collecting the award in front of everyone. There must have been over 1,000 people in the room. There were singers and dancers; it was one of the bigger events we have been to.”

Since opening in 2002, Usha has landed numerous awards but this was the first time the restaurant had left an awards night with two prizes.

“We would have been happy with one award but after winning the first one, you start thinking about the next one,” said Ibby.

“To win the North West Chef of the Year is, personally, a huge honour but it is still a team award.

“I am only as good as the rest of the team. One of my dishes is always accompanied by somebody else’s dish and without them, mine would not taste as good. Everything is a team effort.

“I would also like to say thank you to our customers because they are the ones who nominated us and without them we wouldn’t still be here.

“The whole night was perfect and hopefully there will be plenty more in the future.”