Archive for Awards
Matin Khan receiving his award from Eugene Reddington, Sales Managing Director of sponsor Molson Coors breweries.
Midlothian restaurateur Matin Khan has been voted the best Bangladeshi chef in Scotland.
The director of Dalkeith restaurant Itihaas received the award at the annual dinner of the Bangladeshi Caterers’ Association (BCA) in front of 1,000 guests at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.
Mr Khan, who moved to the UK from Bangladesh at the age of 13 and recently opened the Radhuni restaurant in Loanhead, Midlothian, commented: “Bangladeshi food is an increasingly important part of the Asian cuisine offering, so winning this award is yet another tribute to the high standard of food consistently served at our restaurants in the Lothians.
“I believe cooking is an art form which needs to be created from the heart and perhaps that is the secret of this success. Curry is the spice of life and this shows that my team and I are better at making it than the rest!”
Last year Itihaas was judged the top South Asian restaurant in Scotland by Spice Times magazine and was one of four finalists in the Indian category of the 2011 Scottish Restaurant Awards.
Eric Pickles, UK Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, guest speaker at the London event at which awards were presented to regional winners, said: “Curry may not have been born in Britain but it has found a home here. With over 12,000 establishments turning over £4.3 billion each year it’s not difficult to see that British curry is a great success story.”
The BCA awards, which featured ‘Bollywood’ entertainment, were hosted by Tasmin Lucia Khan, of ITV’s Daybreak.
Itihaas was recently awarded the EatScotland Award for quality food and service by VisitScotland (operated by the Scottish Tourist Board)!
We’re glad our great Indian food and service has been recognised by an organisation such as the Scottish Tourist Board while not even serving traditional Scottish food.
Here’s what EatScotland had to say.
Itihaas, just a few miles from Edinburgh, offers a contemporary and comfortable dining experience. Those who wish to enjoy high quality Indian food, will do so at this restaurant, where they will find a warm welcome and attentive service awaits them.
“Served in a stainless steel bowl on a warming plate, with the rice in its own dish. The dish was colourful.” “Good quality tender pieces of lamb.” “A medium spiced sauce with a good consistency. The evident coriander gave the dish a strong flavour with the lemon segments in the dish adding a touch of sharpness.” “A well balanced dish which allowed the flavour of the lamb to come through the mild spices.” “A very well cooked dish that had a good balance with the lamb retaining its tenderness.”
Matin Khan celebrated his Dalkeith restaurant being named one of the best in Scotland and then urged other restaurant owners in and around Midlothian to follow his lead.
Itihaas in Eskbank Road, opened just three years ago, was one of four finalists in the Best Indian category in the Scottish Restaurant of the Year Awards and was only beaten by long established Glasgow chain Balbir’s. It was the only one of 38 finalists in all categories based in Midlothian. Just one of the 38 came from East Lothian and none at all from West Lothian. More than half are based in or around Glasgow.
Around 400 guests, including some of the country’s best known restaurant owners and chefs, attended the Awards ceremony at the Glasgow Science Centre. More than 1,000 restaurants were nominated. “We’ve made tremendous progress at Itihaas in a relatively short time,” Matin said. “ Our team has had to match great skills with flair, creativity and hard work, and has shown that a Midlothian restaurant can compete with the very best. “I’d encourage other restaurants and hotels throughout the County to keep raising their standards and reach out to more guests by entering – and hopefully winning – prestigious competitions like this. Major cities like Glasgow have some great places to eat but restaurants outside them can be just as good.”
A spokeswoman for the organisers said all finalists had shown they had what it took to be successful, even in challenging economic times. “You have proved that quality will always shine through, especially when customers have more dining options than ever before,” she commented. Initial assessments in the Restaurant of the Year Awards are based on customer feedback followed by unannounced judges’ visits. Matin added: “The team and I are very grateful for the tremendous support we received from customers near and wide. It has made us more determined than ever to provide a memorable dining experience for every guest.” He added that Itihaas planned to enter the Awards next year when it would have high hopes of victory.
Happy New Year to all of our readers – all the very best for 2011. Before we talk about our plans for the year ahead, we are going to celebrate last year. 2010 was a very busy year here at the Itihaas Indian Restaurant with all manner of things going on.
We’re not ones to boast – but we were delighted to win two different awards in 2010, these being the Best Caterer of the Year from the Bangladeshi Caterers Association as well as the Best Restaurant in Scotland from the Spice Times magazine.
The more observant amongst you will notice that we redecorated the restaurant to ensure that it meets the highest standards that it can. We also took the opportunity to relaunch our website – which you are currently visiting – so thank you!
Plans for 2011
Our main focus for the year ahead is to keep working on ensuring that a visit to Itihaas is as perfect an experience as it can be. We are also delighted to be finalists in the 2011 Scottish Restaurant Award for Best Indian Restaurant of the Year so fingers crossed!
Our main plan for the year ahead is to continue delighting our customers – we look forward to welcoming you soon.
A recent video made for our Spice Times Restaurant Awards 2010, Winner of Best Scotland Restaurant award.
See if you can spot yourself!
After spending 2010 celebrating a number of very prestigious awards – we are delighted and excited to say that we have been nominated for another! We are one of the 4 restaurants in line for the ‘Best Indian Restaurant of the Year’ at the Scottish Restaurant Awards 2011.
The Scottish Restaurant Awards celebrate all that is great in dining across Scotland, so we are really excited to be on their list. The nomination process includes a mystery shopper style visit to our restaurant where unknown to us, some of the most experienced food critics in the country scrutinize every aspect of the restaurant. We are delighted to have made it through to the final 4, and look forward to a very special evening, whatever the outcome, at the award ceremony in February.
Here at Itihaas Bangladeshi and Indian Restaurant we are flattered and delighted to be celebrating another prestigious award. The Spice Times is a quarterly publication supporting and celebrating South Asian restaurants and catering businesses across the UK and they know the industry better than most. Each year they have an awards ceremony to celebrate the best restaurants across the country as voted by the public.
The Spice Times Restaurant Awards 2010 have announced the winners and Itihaas has been named the Best Scotland Restaurant in their regional winners range. We continue to pride ourselves in making everything perfect for all of our customers and are delighted that this effort has been recognised by such a prestigious body.
We would like to thank the public who voted for us to help us win this award.
Our regulars over the years have appreciated and enjoyed our great curries and other treats, relishing our great freshly prepared breads and enjoying the ambiance of eating in a really good restaurant. Recently we found we had another major fan as well as the Bangladesh Caterers Association of the UK celebrated the 50th year of the BCA awards. The BCA represent over 12,000 restaurants across the UK and their judges are some of the most demanding and knowledgeable anywhere.
And the winner is…
At the ceremony our humble little restaurant was recognised by the expert judges as being the Caterer of the Year for the North of England and Scotland. We have enjoyed a number of evenings of celebration as the news sinks in, and we look forward to maintaining our high levels in everything that we do.
We had invited David Hamilton, Labour Member of Parliament for Midlothian, and his wife Jean to our recent win at the Bangladeshi Catering Awards. Here is a thank you letter from David.