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The 35 finalists for this year’s Leicester Curry Awards were announced earlier, causing the competition to really heat up ahead of next month’s grand final.

Indian restaurant and takeaway owners gathered in the Mattioli Woods Sky Lounge to discover who would make it through to the prestigious culinary event on September 26.

Picture: Pukaar News

Five finalists were revealed in seven categories, starting with ‘Best Takeaway,’ a category sponsored by Bond Adams. They were; Hannans Spicy Cuisine, Anika Balti Express, Masalas, Khyber Nights and Aylestone Spice.

‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant’ was sponsored by Kings. The five finalists were announced as; Shiv Sagar, Shivalli, Tangoe, Sharmilee and Desi Bites.

Sabitha Rao of Shivalli shared her delight at becoming a finalist with Pukaar News.

“We are very happy, and we are over the moon!” she said.

“If we are announced as overall winners, we will be even more delighted.”

“The credit goes to our team because without them, we wouldn’t have got this far,” she added.

In the ‘Best Pub Restaurant’ category, sponsored by Cobra Beer, the finalists were revealed as ‘The Indian Chef at 3 Kilns’, ‘Paddy’s Marten Inn’, ‘Gurkha Curry – The Wyvern’, ‘The Broadway Bar and Grill’, and The Woolpack.’

When it comes to ‘Best New Restaurant’, sponsored by John Lewis & Partners, the five establishments with the most votes were named as Tandem, Everest lounge (Market Harborough), Friends Tandoori, The Taj Bar and Grill and Saffron Ivy.

“It just feels really good to be named as a finalist,” said Kamini Mandalia of Saffron Ivy.

“All credit goes to my Dad, because he’s the chef, who’s originally from India,” she added. 

“Just to win an award and to be here tonight among all these other brilliant finalists just feels amazing!”

In the category of ‘Best Street Food’, which was sponsored by Pukaar Group, the five finalists were named as ‘Desi Street Food’, Mumbai Sandwich Station, Indian Rooster (Queens Road), Chatwala (Gypsy Lane) and Momma’s Kitchen.

‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ was a category sponsored by Mattioli Woods. The successful finalists were announced as Soi Indian Restaurant, Avatar Dining, Heritage India, Mumbai Inn and Salim’s.

Finally in the coveted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ category, sponsored by the University of Leicester, the finalists were revealed as; Indian Fusion, Chutney Ivy, Dine India, Spice of India (Syston), and Shimla Pinks.

“We have been finalists before, but it’s always a huge honour,” revealed Sufyan Rehman of Shimla Pinks.

“Now I can’t wait to see who wins next month!”

This year’s Leicester Curry Awards will take place at Athena Events Venue on September 26.

View the event gallery using the following link: