The Irish Curry Awards, in association with Cobra Beer, UTIS Holdings and BJ Productions, took place this week at the Crowne Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge, and celebrated the best restaurants and curries on the island of Ireland, for a second year. Twelve Dublin eateries took home gold awards on the night including; Indie Spice Grill Swords, Masala, Kathmandu Kitchen, Kasturi, 3 Leaves, Banaras, Veda, Indie Spice Sandymount, Chameleon, Nightmarket, Tamarind and Saba To Go.
An estimated 700 curry houses operate successfully between Ballyferriter in Kerry and Ballycastle in Antrim. These awards were created by Belfast-based restaurateur Askir Ali to recognise the contribution made to Ireland’s food scene by hundreds of Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and other Asian chefs, restaurant workers and managers.
Speaking on the success of the event, Founder Askir Ali said: “Curry may have been born in India, but it has grown and matured across Ireland. The Irish Curry Awards are recognition of that.
“I was really surprised and thrilled to see the level of support that was out there for the Irish Curry Awards and I am delighted that year two has been just as successful as the first. Nominations were up this year and the standard was too. We had in place a broad mix of judges and food critics onboard again this year.”
UTV’s own Pamela Ballentine oversaw hosting duties for the glamourous event, allocating awards which covered a wide range of categories including Best Chef, Best Restaurant and Best Newcomer, among others. Asian restaurants had more opportunity than ever to win, as new categories were introduced this year including Best South Asian Restaurant and Best Romantic Restaurant. The judges, made up of esteemed food critics and journalists, had the enviable job of testing out the delicious food to decide who would triumph on the night.
Guests from across the industry and media were treated to a tremendous evening celebrating Asian culture in Ireland, with entertainment in the form of Bollywood dancing from the talented BJ Production team. The Irish Curry Awards is a not-for-profit event with all profits and money raised donated to the event’s official charity Children’s Heartbeat Trust. The charity delivers emotional and practical support to children and young people with heart disease in Northern Ireland and their families.
A total of eighteen Asian eateries in Dublin won either gold or silver on the night. Gold winners include: Best Front of House, Kathmandu Kitchen; Best Chef, 3 Leaves, Blackrock; Best Young Chef, Kasturi, Lucan; Best Newcomer, Banaras, Loughlinstown; Best Family Friendly Restaurant, Veda Cabinteely; Best Neighbourhood Restaurant, Indie Spice, Sandymount; Most Romantic Restaurant, Tamarind; Best Restaurant South Asian, Nightmarket; Best Front of House South Asian, Chameleon, Dublin 2; Best Takeaway South Asian, Saba To Go, Deansgrange; and Indie Spice Grill, Swords were crowned gold for Best Restaurant.