Hot stuff! Midlothian Indian restaurant takes top curry title

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.

matin bca award - Itihaas - Edinburgh

Itihaas in Dalkeith, opened just three years ago, has been named the top Bangladeshi restaurant in Scotland.

Director Matin Khan received the award at a presentation dinner in London organised by the Bangladeshi Caterers’ Association (BCA), the umbrella organisation for some 12,000 Bangladeshi restaurants across the UK. Awards were given on a regional basis and Itihaas (www.itihaasrestaurant.com) won the section for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“We are extremely proud to have been given this honour. It is a tribute not only to our hard working and consistently professional team but also to our customers who have supported us throughout our culinary journey,” Mr Khan commented.

Mr Khan, who moved to the UK from Bangladesh at the age of 13 in 1984, added: “It is particularly encouraging to have the quality of our food praised by experts and such a prestigious trade association. We try all the time to create an atmosphere in which dining is a pleasurable and rewarding experience,  using the finest herbs and spices, all backed up with first class customer service.”

The restaurant is a major sponsor of many sports, social and other clubs in and around Midlothian.

The BCA was established in 1960 to represent restaurants run by ethnic Bangladeshis. The industry now employs more than 90,000 people, mostly of Bangladeshi origin, with an estimated yearly turnover of £3.5 billion.

The London event marked the 200th anniversary of the opening of the UK’s first curry house in Portman Square London in 1810, as well as the BCA’s 50th anniversary.

ENDS

Media queries to Matin Khan.

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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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