Scottish Restaurant Awards 2011 Result

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.

itihaas scottish restaurant awards 2011 CIMG1130 - Itihaas - Edinburgh

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.

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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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