The inaugural Irish Curry Awards, in association with Cobra Beer, took place this week at the Ramada Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge, and celebrated the best restaurants and curries on the island of Ireland.

An estimated 500 curry houses operate successfully between Ballyferriter in Kerry and Ballycastle in Antrim. These awards were created by Belfast-based restaurateur Askir Ali to recognise the contribution made to Ireland’s food scene by hundreds of Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and other Asian chefs, restaurant workers and managers.

Speaking on the event, Founder 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.

“The nomination process for Irish Curry Awards invited members of the public to nominate their favourite local curry restaurants. In this, the inaugural year of the awards, there were 60,000 public nominations received with a total of over 200 restaurants being nominated.

The standard was extremely high and we had in place a broad mix of judges and food critics who’s score after reviewing each of the shortlisted venues, combined with the public vote, determined the winners.”

Commenting on the calibre of entries and judging process, head judge for Northern Ireland, Joris Minne, said: “These all-Ireland awards have been a great start to a campaign which is about acknowledging the curry restaurant sector and what better time to do this than during the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016.

“Irish people love curry as much as anyone else and the fact that the quality of the sector is now viewed as on par with the best of European and Irish cooking, is a tribute to the Asian community which is integrated here. And integration is the crucial word here when some would criticise the sector for not providing authentic Asian food.

These awards reflect reality and three decades of evolution and integration. Curry in Ireland has developed its own authenticity and I’m very proud to be part of these awards.”

Adding to this Sharon Machala from Food NI, says: “Taste of Ulster is delighted to be involved in the inaugural Irish Curry Awards, it’s great to see Indian restaurants being recognised as part of our Year of Food and drink celebrations.”

These awards were in association with Cobra Beer and supported by Yelp!, Food NI, Tanqueray and BD Seafood.

Winners List

ULSTER

Best Restaurant 

  • WINNER: Bengal Brasserie (Ormeau Road)
  • SILVER WINNER: Indian Ocean (Holywood)

 

Best Chef  

  • WINNER: Indian Ocean (Holywood)
  • SILVER WINNER: Mama Masala (Derry/Londonderry)

 

Best Front of House 

  • WINNER: Archana (Belfast)
  • SILVER WINNER: Nu Delhi (Belfast)

 

Best Young Chef 

  • WINNER: Chandpur (Donegal)
  • SILVER WINNER: Masala Hut (Moira)

 

Best Takeaway 

  • WINNER: Asha (Bangor)
  • SILVER WINNER: Amina’s Tandoori (Lurgan)

 

Best Newcomer

  • WINNER: Pink Garlic
  • SILVER WINNER: Mayur

LEINSTER

Best Restaurant 

  • WINNER: Cinnamon Garden
  • SILVER WINNER: Rasam

 

Best Chef 

  • WINNER: Indie Spice (Sandymount)
  • SILVER WINNER: Curry House (Ranelagh)

 

Best Front of House 

  • WINNER: Vermilion
  • SILVER WINNER: Rasam

 

Best Young Chef 

  • WINNER: Tamarind

 

Best Newcomer 

  • WINNER: Indus Spice

 

Best Takeaway 

  • WINNER: Bombay Pantry
  • SILVER WINNER: Ajanta

 

MUNSTER
Best Restaurant

  • WINNER: Planet Spice
  • SILVER WINNER: Bollywood Temple

 

Best Chef 

  • WINNER: Bollywood Temple
  • SILVER WINNER: Peppers

 

Best Front of House 

  • WINNER: Pepper
  • SILVER WINNER: Saffron

 

Best Young Chef 

  • WINNER: Peppers

 

Best Newcomer 

  • WINNER: Saffron

 

CONNACHT

Best Restaurant 

  • WINNER: Palak
  • SILVER WINNER: Eastern Tandoori

 

Best Chef 

  • WINNER: Nokshi
  • SILVER WINNER: Palak

 

Best Front of House 

  • WINNER: Santori
  • SILVER WINNER: Nokshi

 

Best Young Chef 

WINNER: Kustori