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The restaurants in Wales shortlisted for the British Curry Awards

Wales curry restaurants, Empire Restaurant, 157-159 Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3NT; Rasoi Indian Kitchen, Bryntirion Road, Pontlliw, Swansea, SA4 9DY; Rasoi Waterfront, Unit 3-4 J Shed Kings Road, Swansea Marina, Swansea, SA1 8PL; The Grand Sultan, Water Street, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2PA; Third Place, 130 Frankwell, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8JX, have been shortlisted for the Best Restaurant Wales award at the trailblazing British Curry Awards in association with Just Eat.

Additionally, Spirit ‘n’ Spice, Blue Bell Hotel, Neath, 16-18 The Parade, Neath, SA11 1RA has been shortlisted for the Best Newcomer award.

The Wales restaurants will be among the finest from across the UK to descend on the Capital in the hope of being recognised as the best restaurant in their region and honoured with a jewel in the crown of the UK curry restaurant industry award sector at the prestigious ceremony, which this year marks its 15th anniversary on Monday 25th November at Battersea Evolution.

Recognised globally as the originator in the UK curry business award sector and the ‘Oscars’ of the industry, as recognised by former Prime Minister David Cameron, British Curry Awards will once again welcome a guest list of leading names from the worlds of politics, sport, film, television, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs, curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country. Former attendees have included high profile guests such as current and former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Theresa May; Sir Vince Cable; Nick Clegg; Duchess of York;  David Seaman; Russell Brand; and Heston Blumenthal, to name a few.

Recognising the impact of the curry industry on local life in Britain, in former attendance at British Curry Awards, Theresa May acknowledged, “Curry is as close to this nation’s heart as fish and chips. Right now, there must be thousands of British families sitting down to a spicy meal at home and in local restaurants and curry is as popular in Westminster as it is across the country. And what makes these awards so special, better than any Michelin star, better than any accolade, better than any critic’s write-up, is that they are voted for by the public. They are the restaurants loved by local communities the length and breadth of Britain.”

As the foremost and pioneering celebration of the UK curry industry’s achievements and the best restaurants across all regions, British Curry Awards has established itself as a national institution, recognised internationally. A nationwide nominations process to honour the nation’s top curry houses is led by the loyal, local patrons of curry houses on the streets of Britain, annually invited to nominate their favourite Asian restaurants and takeaways. The process of public nominations creates an authentic list of the nation’s favourite Asian eateries, based on the opinions of local residents, leading to a rigorous vetting process by an independent panel of judges.

While celebrating the best in industry, British Curry Awards will also address the continued concerns facing local curry restaurants. While the staff shortage crisis welcomes a hopeful solution through the introduction of ‘vindaloo visas’ by Home Secretary Priti Patel before Brexit legislation is introduced, challenges continue for the local curry industry in the face of further Brexit extensions and uncertainty. On average, 30% of food imports for the UK curry industry comes from the EU and the Bank of England has raised concerns that food prices for produce such as fruit and vegetables could rise between 5% and 10% once the UK leaves the European Union, a worrying prospect for the curry industry. The industry has raised its concerns about further Brexit delays and the uncertainty this brings, keen to ensure optimum trade deals are secured with the single market once the UK leaves the European Union, to avoid rising food supply costs having an impact on menu prices for local diners.

British Curry Awards Founder, Enam Ali MBE, is the UK’s leading spokesperson and lobbyist for the curry industry and has been promoting it globally for the past 40 years. He says, “Operational concerns continue to face local curry restaurants across the UK in the face of further Brexit delays and continued negotiations. In this extended period of uncertainty, the Bank of England has raised alarm bells regarding the risk of increasing costs of food imports from the EU once the UK leaves the single market. These are essential food supplies for our industry and we worry about this prospect and the impact it may have on our diners by way of a hike in menu prices. As with all industries, we want to ensure the best Brexit deal is secured once we leave the single market, to safeguard against such issues. Continued Brexit extensions are prolonging the uncertainty that we and many other UK-based industries face.

“I am so very grateful to local curry restaurant diners who, every year, take the effort to nominate their favourite restaurants for the British Curry Awards, and who provide us with their vital feedback, letting us know about the best service, the best curry cuisine and other factors for consideration. Only with their feedback can their local restaurants also continue to optimise quality of the service they provide. It is the opinions and feedback of local diners that is paramount, and of far more significance that a critic’s review or a Michelin star rating.”