Burnley restaurant wins top curry award

Staff from the Usha collecting the award for Best South Asian Restaurant  in the North-West. (s)
Staff from the Usha collecting the award for Best South Asian Restaurant in the North-West. (s)

A Burnley restaurant is cooking up a storm after scooping one of the UK’s most prestigious curry awards.

The Usha in Rossendale Road beat off stiff competition from some of the North-West’s finest restaurants to win Best South Asian Restaurant at the 4th Asian Curry Awards, held at the Hilton, London.

Owner Ibrahim Ali said he could not have been more proud and dedicated the award to the people of Burnley.

“I couldn’t enjoy the night until we found out we had won. I was so shocked. Two of the lads were already on the way up to the stage and somebody else had to turn round to me and say ’we’ve won’. I couldn’t believe it. It’s given the whole restaurant and a huge lift. It was a really proud moment.

“It’s thank to the people who nominated us. We’ve always said, Usha is not ours, it’s Burnley’s. If when we had opened nobody had come here then we wouldn’t be here now. The restaurant belongs to the town.”

The Usha won the award in 2011 but this win was even more impressive considering they did not even know they had been nominated.

“We had been getting nominations from members of the public since September but didn’t even know. We always push things like this but this year we hadn’t done anything. It was a huge surprise when we found out we had been nominated.

“I spoke with one of the judges afterwards and asked ‘why did we win’. He said one of the main things was that when the undercover judges came to the restaurant they ordered what you would call a basic meal and one of the specials. They said the quality of the basic meal was up there with the special one. We take great pride in that.”