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The Spice City Journal | February 26, 2018

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The business posts from around the world.

Takeaways lose nearly £300 million in refunds

May 20, 2014 | User

UK businesses are losing £291m a year as takeaways fork out refunds for wrong, cold,  late or simply poor food deliveries, research has found.

Technology has revolutionised the way people order and consume takeaway meals. With online ordering and apps making it easier for people to have food brought to their door, takeaway businesses have needed to adapt to ensure a high quality of service.

The team at polled a total of 2,031 UK adults aged 18 and over on their expectations of takeaway services in their local area. They looked specifically at factors that would cause people to complain or ask for their money to be refunded.

According to the findings from the poll, 89 per cent of the respondents said that they ordered takeaway food for delivery ‘regularly’ – which was described as at least once per month. The average spend was estimated at £11.25 per person, on a takeaway meal.

Of those polled, 58 per cent admitted to having made a complaint to a takeaway establishment and to receiving a refund within the last year. The top complaint customers made was for food being cold when it was delivered (37 per cent). Other reasons given for complaining included customers receiving the wrong order (21 per cent) and the food was undercooked (17 per cent). A few – eight per cent – said the food did not taste good and six per cent complained because the food was delivered late.

Leon Edwards, group managing director of Versapak – a food delivery bag supplier for the takeaway industry – was not surprised by the results of the study: “I wish I could say our findings were a shock but, unfortunately, the truth is that many takeaway establishments are simply not taking the best measures when delivering hot food to their customers.

With an increase in complaints and refunds being made, this is clearly putting a strain on the industry every year – almost £300m is such a huge loss. With such a wide array of takeaway options available for customers, their loyalty to one establishment will no doubt be compromised if they are continually delivered cold food.”

TV chefs and politicians line red carpet at annual Curry Oscars

December 7, 2013 | User


Michelle Allbright:

TV chef James Martin rubbed shoulders with David Cameron, whilst Anjum Anand jostled alongside Keith Vaz MP, Ulrika Jonsson and a host of other politicians and celebrities at the British Curry Awards in November 2013.

The annual event, in its ninth year, has become the most glittering of the UK hospitality sector’s calendar.  It is an event now on a scale that founder Enam Ali only dreamed of when he launched the first British Curry Awards in 2005.

Now it commands the attention of the nation, attracting big name TV presenters and personalities, and, crucially, politicians who have slowly come to recognise the importance that Curry plays in contributing to our country’s richly diverse cultural landscape, as well as an estimated staggering £3.5 billion for the government coffers, not to mention the tantalising effect it has on our taste buds that has made all this possible.

But whilst the big names might have been present in the Prime Minister and host for the evening Chris Tarrant – the accolades were all for the stars behind the spicy food served up and down the land enjoyed by the British people every day.

From a huge 236,000 public nominations received this year via app, email and post, the winners were selected from their respective category shortlists and announced at the event.  Winner of the Best Takeaway Award, in association with Just Eat, the online takeaway ordering service, was Polash Tandoori, in Dartford, Kent.  The Special Recognition Award was presented to Mohammed Aslam MBE of Aagrah Group.  For a full list of the winners visit

David Cameron, who at the awards in 2009 coined the name the ‘Curry Oscars’, which has stuck, gave high praise to all those involved.  In particular, the PM extolled the role the industry played in uniting communities. “The British Curry Industry is one of the biggest success stories of integration in any country – ever!” he said.

He further acknowledged the spirit with which it has succeeded: “The curry industry has been contributing, achieving and rising and that is the spirit we need more than ever in this country today.  I wish this Great British industry every possible success in the years to come.”

His words must have been music to the ears of British entrepreneur and restaurateur, Enam Ali MBE, who said, “If anyone had told me back in 2005 that by 2013 our awards dinner would be attended by the Prime Minister and several cabinet and shadow ministers amongst other dignitaries, media and guests, I wouldn’t have believed them.  Here you all are and The British Curry Awards have become an institution.”

When he started the awards Enam Ali wanted to provide a fitting showcase for the cuisine he believed in.

What may have started in the UK in the 60s as curry and chips has evolved with restaurants collecting Michelin stars and ‘curry’ chefs increasingly garnering accolades.

In British supermarkets the presence of ‘World Food’ aisles is indicative of the growing demand for food such as curry in the home, as people seek to experiment with spices made more familiar to them by TV chefs and the rising profile of the British Curry Industry.

The British Curry Industry is one of the biggest success stories of integration in any country – ever!” – Prime Minister David Cameron

Says Enam Ali: “When we started the British Curry Awards in 2005 we were criticised for calling curry ‘British’.  I am happy to take the blame for the changes in perception that have taken place since then because today British curry dishes such as Tikka Masala have an identity all of their own and are known and admired throughout the world.  As Enam says, curry may have been born in India, but it’s in Britain that it has grown and matured.  The British Curry Awards are recognition of that.

Another person one step ahead, like Enam Ali, was Her Majesty The Queen who has sent a message of support for the souvenir programme in each of the years the awards has run.

It seems the rest of the nation is finally catching up with her.


The Best Chefs and Caterers Announced at the BCA Awards 2013 Inspired by Passion, Thriving through Unity

November 5, 2013 | User

November 3rd 2013: the Bangladesh Caterers Association hosted their 8th Annual BCA Awards at one of London’s finest hotels, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel. The night celebrated 53 years of the finest British Bangladeshi Cuisine.

Chief Guest RT Hon Justine Greening MP delivered a very positive, inspiring and supportive speech. Special guests RT Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for local communities and Mohamed Mijarul Quayes Bangladesh High Commissioner also graced the event with their support along with a host of dignitaries, parliamentarians and the curry elite and loyal BCA members.

Guests together joyously applauded 14 Best Restaurants named the BCA Caterer of the Year, 11 optimum chefs named BCA Chef of the Year with this year a Special Chef Award presented to Tipu Rahman for being recognised by the Guinness Book of Records for building the tallest poppadum tower. Also honoured on the night were three outstanding individuals who have contributed and supported the British Curry Industry, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP amongst the three respected winners.

With a fusion of amazing entertainment, from a duo contortionist act that wowed the audience with their unique and phenomenal act, breathtaking sounds from rising vocal talent, Taal Toronga, a Bangladeshi infused dance group to Sky One’s Got – to Dance Semi Finalist Gaana Raja’s that amazed the audience with their unique Gaana dance style bringing beats from the streets.

The BCA Annual Awards as always provide a fabulous platform to recognise and commend the entrepreneurial talent of the UK’s best Curry Houses who have played an instrumental role in bringing curry to the forefront and tickled the taste buds of the nation leading curry to the pinnacle as one of Britain’s favourite dishes.

Hosted by Bangladesh Caterers Association supporter and renowned presenter Tasmin Lucia Khan together with co-host Kulvinder Ghir, famously known for his role in ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, the talented duo bought the event alive and welcomed 1000 guests to what was a spectacular evening.

Mr Pasha Khandaker, the President of the BCA expressed at last night’s ceremony: “It has been overwhelming to see the support our industry is receiving from so many Parliamentarians, Sponsors and of course our members, making me feel immensely proud to be the leader of this organisation. Together in unity everything is possible, we will keep working hard to create solutions to keep our industry alive and thriving”

The event emphasised the importance of keeping the Bangladesh Heritage and culture alive for generations to come. Another young and talented Chef, Shahena Ali who has modernised the authentic Bangladeshi taste, graced the Awards Ceremony by delivering a few motivating words for next generation chefs and also paving the way for more Bangladeshi women to join the heritage founded by their ancestors. She spoke about the future of the Bangladeshi Cuisine and the significance of getting young and talented people to go forth and represent this industry in order to secure its survival and allow it to flourish and prosper in its years to come.

Together in unity everything is possible, we will keep working hard to create solutions to keep our industry alive and thriving” – President of the BCA

The night enticed taste buds and warmed souls through a fusion of traditional and contemporary entertainment. It allowed us to really celebrate the UK’s leading Curry Industry’s entrepreneurs as they have successfully immigrated and integrated into Britain’s culture yet maintaining their heritage and roots through their fantastic cuisine.

A special raffle enabled the BCA to raise funds of £2,600 for the Rona Plaza victims and their rehabilitation; it gave the BCA great pleasure to be able to provide some form of solace for such a tragic disaster in their home nation.

A special thank you to our sponsors who have displayed their commitment and support to the BCA; Cobra Beer, Square Mile Insurance, Bartercard, Kansara’s, Bangladesh Biman Airlines, Canary Wharf Club, Chivas Regal, Community Skills Development Agency, Ellwood Foods, N Power, Metro Bank, Madhus.

BCA Chef of the Year Award 2013 Winners
Kamrul Islam of Blue Chutney in Wickford, Essex
Abdullah Mokul of Shafiques in Worthing, Sussex
Abul Monsur of Taj Cuisine in Chatham, Kent
Asharaful Choudhury of Aroma of Bengal in Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Mohammed Salik Ahmed of The Taste of India in Loughborough, Leicestershire
Liyakat Ali Khan of Rose Indienne in Swansea
Sundar Ali of Rishi Restaurant in Norwich
Raju Miah of Gatley Tandoori and Restaurant in Gatley Cheadle, Cheshire
Muslim Miah of Royal Tandoori Restaurant, Whyteleafe, Surrey
Syed Moin Uddin of Kingsthorpe Spice in Kingsthorpe, Northampton
Alfas Miah of Guru Tandoori in Finchley Central, London
Tipu Rahman, Special Award for being included in the Guinness Book of World Records
BCA Honour Award 2013 Winners
Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP in East Ham, for his outstanding contribution and support to the British Curry Industry
Bazlur Rahman Chowdhury, for his lifetime contribution to the British Curry Industry and British Bangladeshi Community
G N Chowdhury Humayun, for his lifetime contribution to the British Curry Industry and British Bangladeshi Community
BCA Caterer of the Year 2013 Winners
Doros Ahmed of Ruchi Restaurant in West Hampstead, London, London Region 1
M Ali Akbar of Neel Akash Restaurant in Ware, Hertfordshire, London Region 2
Jubair Zaman of Curry Inn 84 in Cranleigh, Surrey, South East Region 4 (Surrey)
Iqbal Miah of The Shalimar Restaurant in Waterlooville, Hampshire, South East Region 6
Asjad Choudhury (Siyam) of Raj Pavilion in Turnridge Wells, Kent, South East Region 7 (Kent)
Dudon Ali of Shakil’s in Bicester, Oxon, South East Region 8
Syed Mohammed Foysol of Bayleaf Lounge in Macclesfield, Manchester, The North West Region
Kazi Wahiduz Zaman of Cinnamon Lounge in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, East of England Region 1 (Herts & Beds)
Shahab Uddin of Rasal in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, East of England Region 1 (Herts & Beds)
Miftaur Rahman Choudhury of Lalbagh in Cambridge, East of England Region 3 (Suffolk, Norfolk)
Robby Malique of The Melford Valley in Long Melford, Suffolk, East of England Region 3 (Suffolk, Norfolk)
Rokib Ali of The Biplop in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West Region 1 (Swindon)
Ahmed Ali of Masala in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales Region
Abdul Matin Shahid of Mahmaan in Oakwood Derby, East Midlands Region

UK restaurants waste 600,000 tons of food a year

September 6, 2013 | User

Spice Desk:

A recent report claims that huge US-style portions and careless kitchen habits is resulting in a staggering one-third of all wasted food being left on customers’ plates.
New research has shown that super-sized restaurant portions are contributing to an annual waste pile that sees chefs throw away hundreds of thousands of tons of food that is fit to eat.

Britain’s restaurants reportedly throw away more than 600,000 tons of food each year, or 22 tons per eatery, which means that half a kilo of food is wasted every time someone eats out.
Nearly a third of all wasted food comes back from customers’ plates, suggesting that British restaurateurs are following the lead set by their American cousins and serving portions that are too large for customers to finish. The bulk of the rest is thrown away during the preparation stage, according to a report published by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), a new body set up by a group of restaurateurs including Henry Dimbleby, of the seasonal fast-food chain Leon, and Mark Sainsbury, co-owner of the Zetter hotel in London.
Simon Heppner, the SRA’s managing director, said not all of the country’s 27,000 restaurants were equally careless: “There’s definitely a difference between different types of restaurant. Independents want to put more on plates to show they are offering good value.”
Food waste has become a hot topic in recent years. British households throw away 12 million tons every year, at a cost of £12bn. Manufacturers waste a further 5 million tons, with the entire catering industry, including pubs and catering facilities in offices and at sports centres, throwing away a massive 3 million tons, and retailers a further 1.4 tons. Supermarkets have come under pressure to stop Bogofs – buy one get one free offers – because the Government’s waste reduction agency, Wrap, believes encouraging customers to buy more than they need exacerbates the problem.
The SRA analysed how much food was discarded at 10 big London restaurants, and found that 5 per cent was out of date or unusable. It worked out that if an average restaurant could reduce the amount it throws away by as little as 20 per cent, it would potentially save more than 4 tons of food waste annually and cut its shopping bill by more than £2,000.
Some big chains are already trying to cut down on the amount of waste produced. Pizza Hut is running a pilot scheme to get rid of waste at one of its restaurants. Mr Heppner said it would be good if the rest of the sector could learn from Pizza Hut’s example, but also pointed out that “Those sorts of resources are still not available to independents that are running hard to stand still.”
Not everyone in the restaurant business accepts that food waste is a problem. Peter Backman, head of the food service consultancy Horizons, claimed “Caterers are doing a reasonable job. They don’t like to throw things away because it costs them money. Plus quite a bit of what is discarded during preparation is things like bones and fat, which you can’t use anyway.”
Celebrity chef John Torode, owner of Smiths of Smithfield in London denied that waste was a big problem. “You don’t waste food for the sake of it. Any restaurateur or chef who wastes food won’t last very long because you can’t make money.”

The winners of the English Curry Awards 2013 are… -Winners of the 3rd annual English Curry Awards are announced-

September 4, 2013 | User

The winners of the 3rd annual English Curry Awards 2013 were announced on the 2nd of September 2013 at a swanky bash at the Salford City Stadium in Manchester.

Over 7000 nomination came in from all over England and the race to be crowned at this year’s awards ceremony was an extremely tight contest.

“To be amongst such passionate people who love what they do is truly inspiring. The English Curry Awards aims to recognise that dedication.” commented Yasmin Mahmood, Operations Director of event organisers Oceanic Consulting.
“It was a fantastic evening and I would like to thank everyone for attending and a big thank you to our sponsors. Congratulations to all our winner and finalists, and I hope to see you next year!”


There were thirteen categories presented on the night and the winners are…
Curry Lover of the Year presented by Sunny and Shay winner is: Visit Bradford

Team of the Year presented by The Spice City Journal winner is: Lal Qila (Manchester)

Healthy Curry Provider presented by Saffron Events UK winner is: Zouk Tea Bar & Grill (Manchester)

Best Marketing Campaign presented by AsiansUK winner is: Akbar’s

Best Restaurant Design presented by DESIBlitz winner is: Rajdoot Tandoori (Birmingham)

Maitre D’ of the Year sponsored by The English Asian Business Awards winner is: Azhar Mahmood (of Aakash, Bradford)

Chef of the Year sponsored by Goldstar Chefs winner is: Stephen Gomes (of Meluha, Bristol)

Caterer of the Year presented by Asian Image winner is: Payal Event Management & Catering

Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Oceanic Consulting winner is: Pat Chapman

Curry King or Queen 2012 presented by ARY Network winner is: Frank Khalid (of Chak 89)

The Best of Manchester presented by Sunny and Shay winner is: Akbar’s

Takeaway of the Year presented by Sunny and Shay
North East winner is: The Indian Cottage (Crook, Durham)
North West winner is: Sajaan (Manchester)
Yorkshire winner is: My Lahore Deli (Leeds)
East Midlands winner is: Spice Takeaway (Nottingham)
West Midlands winner is: Malik’s Indian Takeaway (Chesterton)
East winner is: Masterchef (Luton)
South East winner is: Masala Bay (Kent)
South West winner is: Bombay Balti (Bath)
London winner is: K2 Indian Takeaway
Overall winner: My Lahore Deli (Leeds)

Restaurant of the Year presented by The Well Foundation

North East winner is: Jashn Restaurant (Gateshead)
North West winner is: Vatikka Restaurant (Merseyside)
Yorkshire winner is: Shimla Spice (Shipley)
East Midlands winner is: Lime Restaurant (Nottingham)
West Midlands winner is: Pabna Restaurant (Staffordshire)
East winner is: Lalbagh Restaurant (Cambridge)
South East winner is: Jai Ho (Surrey)
South West winner is: The Eastern Eye (Bath)
London winner is: Tayyab’s
Overall winner: Shimla Spice (Shipley)

Guests from all over England attended the glamorous event, including the lovely hosts and radio presenters Sunny and Shay Grewal.
As well as recognising the curry industry in all its facets, the event also raised over £2,000 for the official charity partner The Well Foundation.

Other sponsors of the event include: Goldstar Chefs, Pepsi, Evritt Mitchell, Oceanic Media Consulting, Highland Spring, Tilak Foods, Levenes Solicitors, Grafx Media, Saffron Events UK, De:strukt, the TV partner ARY Network, and media partners AsiansUK, DESIBlitz, Asian Image, Spice City Journal and Probash Bangla.
Entertainment of the night was provided by the fabulous Desi Nach.

Nominations are coming to a close for The English Curry Awards 2013

July 19, 2013 | ahmed

There is just over a week left until nominations come to a close for the third annual The English Curry Awards. With thousands of nominations flooding in from all over the country, the awards are set to be the spiciest evening of 2013!

The glittering ceremony will take place on the 2nd of September at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, highlighting the value of all those who work tirelessly to provide us with the perfect dish. In addition we want to recognise those individuals who consume it with great passion.

Nominations are due to close on the 29th July and the public are encouraged to nominate their favourite curry restaurants and takeaways to help them be recognised as the best in the country.

There are thirteen categories this year are:

Curry Lover of the Year
Team of the Year
Chef of the Year
Takeaway of the Year
Restaurant of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
Curry King or Queen 2013
Best of Manchester
Healthy Curry Provider
Maitre D’ of the Year
Best Restaurant Design
Best Marketing Campaign
Caterer of the Year

As well as all things curry, the event will help raise money for the official charity partner The Well Foundation.

For further information or to nominate your favourite curry house please visit our website

Thirty Years In The UK Curry Industry

September 25, 2012 | admin

Thirty Years In The UK Curry Industry

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