Dalkeith chef is Bangla’s best in Scotland

Matin Khan, who runs two restaurants on the outskirts of Edinburgh, has been named the UK’s top curry chef by the industry’s trade magazine.

Executive Chef of Itihaas in Dalkeith and The Radhuni in Loanhead, he was given the accolade on Sunday 15 October in front of an audience of 500 at the Curry Life Awards at the Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Mayfair.

In a double triumph for Scotland, Radhuni was awarded the title of the UK’s best curry restaurant.

Since Matin opened the 80 seat Itihaas in 2007 its titles have included Scotland’s Curry Chef of the Year, Best South Asian Restaurant, and Restaurant of the Year in the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Awards.

His son Habibur, who accepted the award on his behalf, has managed Radhuni since it opened in 2011. At the age of 23 in 2019 he became the youngest person to win a major award in the British Curry Awards.

The audience at the awards, which celebrate the best of the UK’s multi-billion-pound curry industry, included Minister for London Paul Scully, former UK Health Secretary Baroness Virginia Bottomley, her MP husband Sir Peter (longest serving Member of the House of Commons), four other MPs and Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer and a former President of the Confederation of British Industry. The event was hosted by ITV news presenter Lucrezia Millarini.

A chef for over 40 years, Matin was born in Bangladesh.  After his family moved to Cambridge when he was a teenager, he began honing his cooking skills in the family home.

“It’s a great honour to be described as the finest curry chef in the United Kingdom,” he commented. “There are so many wonderful chefs working in thousands of restaurants all over the country that I am truly humbled and very proud. My emphasis has always been on developing authentic recipes and working with the finest kitchen and front of house staff.”

The 120-seat Radhuni (its name means ‘passionate cook’) is one of only three Indian-style restaurants in Scotland to have been awarded an AA Rosette for culinary excellence.

Regularly placed in the British Curry Awards’ “Hot 100”, it was named Scottish Curry Restaurant of the Year in 2020 and 2021 and in July this year took the same title in the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

Habibur Khan commented: “These are remarkable achievements for my father and the restaurants he established. His legacy is assured. Helped by my father’s guidance, the team at Radhuni have worked tirelessly and with great skill to create a constantly first class dining experience. We are overwhelmed by this latest honour.”

Curry Life magazine reaches 10,000 Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and Pakistani restaurants serving millions of customers a year.

The ‘curry industry’ is said to account for two thirds of all eating out in the UK. Indian-style restaurants get through more than 200,000 tonnes of rice a year.

BCA Chef Year 1 - Itihaas - Edinburgh

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.

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Indian Restaurant Edinburgh

17-19 Eskbank Road, Dalkeith, EH22 1HD | 0131 663 9800

Monday – Thursday || 12pm-2pm || 5pm-10:30pm
Friday – Sunday || 12pm-2pm || 4:30pm-10:30pm
Closed Tuesday

17-19 Eskbank Road, Dalkieth, EH22 1HD
0131 663 9800

Monday – Thursday || 12pm-2pm || 5pm-10:30pm
Friday – Sunday || 12pm-2pm || 4:30pm-10:30pm
Closed Tuesday

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