Help us raise funds for Mission Christmas

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.

UK curry restaurant kings Itihaas and Radhuni have pledged to brighten up disadvantaged local children’s Christmas by raising funds to buy them gifts.

The sister restaurants in Dalkeith and Loanhead announced they will pay £1 to Radio Forth’s ‘Mission Christmas’ appeal for each person who dines at either venue throughout the month of December.

That campaign will pay for the purchase of gifts for children who would otherwise go without them. Organisers hope this will benefit 25,000 youngsters in and around Edinburgh.

In 2022 Itihaas and Radhuni raised £2,500 for a similar campaign by donating 10% of their sit-in and takeaway food takings for almost three weeks in December.

A spokesperson for the appeal organisers said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Itihaas and Radhuni once again. The generosity of the owners and their customers is second to none.”

She added: “Local businesses supporting local children –  this is what Mission Christmas is all about, coming together to ensure no child wakes up without a gift on Christmas morning.”

Last month Matin Khan, founder and Executive Chef of both Indian-Bangladeshi restaurants, was named UK Chef of the Year by trade magazine Curry Life. The AA-Rosetted Radhuni, managed by his son Habibur, was awarded the title of UK Curry Restaurant of the Year.

Habibur commented: “Although we have won many national awards our top priority is serving local communities. All children look forward to Christmas but for those living in poverty the festive period can be disappointing and upsetting. We and our loyal customers look forward to easing some of the worries of mums and dads whose budgets are often being strained to breaking point.”

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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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