Indian eatery could taste award success

Some of the team at Lal Khazana.
Some of the team at Lal Khazana.
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An Indian restaurant is cooking up a fine reputation for itself, after being shortlisted for two regional prizes in a national industry competition.

Lal Khazana, in Shilbottle, is in contention to be crowned the North East’s Restaurant of the Year, while its head cook, Abdul Khalique, is in the running to be named the North’s Chef of the Year, as part of the English Curry Awards 2016.

Being named as a finalist in two categories is a glowing endorsement of Lal Khazana, which only opened its doors earlier this year, following a major transformation of the building which was previously Bengal Cottage.

Delighted staff will find out if victory is on the menu during the awards ceremony in Manchester on Monday.

Owner and manager Mohammed Hussain said: “I am honoured that Lal Khazana and head chef Abdul Khalique have been recognised by the prestigious English Curry Awards. It makes me believe that all the hard work and dedication from the team has been acknowledged.

“I would like to thank our customers. We could not have come this far without their support and nominations.”

In the North East Restaurant of the Year, Lal Khazana is up against Jashn Restaurant, Gateshead; Kamal Balti House, Fenham; Angeethi, Newcastle; Zeera, South Shields; Goa Exemplary Indian Cuisine, Sunderland; and Cinnamon Spice Club, Durham.

In the North Chef of the Year section, Abdul Khalique is a finalist against Tariq Mahmood, Kiplings Indian Restaurant, Halifax; Noim Ullah, Cutlers Spice, Sheffield; Jamie Palmer, Indian Express, Preston; Adbul Latib, Viraaj, Sheffield; Shohid Ahmed, Shikara Indian Restaurant, Whitley Bay; Mohamed Miah, Aman Indian Restaurant, Manchester; Nixon Choudhury, Blue Tiffin, Oldham; Mohammed Salman, Bombay Spice, York; and Rofik Ali, Forts Of India, Manchester.