The winners of the British Curry Awards 2016

britishcurryawards

Last night saw the 12th annual British Curry Awards take place at London’s Battersea Evolution. Hosted by comedian Alistair McGowan, the prestigious awards, held in association with kukd.com, recognised the best curry restaurants across the UK for their hard work and innovative menus, from Dishoom in London to Blue Tiffin in Oldham.

The awards ceremony was started by Enam Ali in 2005 and since then has drawn a host of celebrities to the annual event, from the former Prime Minister David Cameron to celebrated chef Heston Blumenthal. And this year was no different, with the likes of Chris Grayling MP, Bake Off star Chetna Makan and TV presenter Saira Khan in attendance. And Heston made it back again, too.

Here is the list of winners in full:

Best casual dining restaurant: Dishoom, Covent Garden, London
Best newcomer: Darbaar, Shoreditch, London
Best delivery service: The Chilli Pickle, Brighton
Best in the North West: Blue Tiffin, Royton, Oldham
Best in Wales: Sheesh Mahal, Llanelli
Best in the Midlands: Asha’s, Birmingham
Best of South East: Maliks, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire
Best in Scotland: Karma, Whitburn, Bathgate
Best in London Central and City: The Cinnamon Club, Westminster, London
Best in the North East: Aakash, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire
Best in London Suburbs: Shampan Welling, Bexley
Best in the South West: Prithvi, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

The late Lord Gulam Noon, who was known as the “curry king”, was named as the recipient of this year’s Special Recognition Award. Sir Gulam helped to popularise Bombay Mix and chicken tikka masala in the UK as part of his many business achievements during his lifetime.

Members of the public nominated the restaurants for the awards and a panel of judges chose the final winners. Now all we have to do is visit them all before next years’ ceremony!

This is a guest post from London-based journalist, Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, who has written for The Independent and the Evening Standard, as well as our Open for Business blog.

Where to eat near… Oxford Street

Love it or loathe it, Oxford Street is one of the busiest and most famous streets in London. Stretching from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch, it’s home to over 300 shops and attracts around half a million visitors every day. So where should you eat once you’ve shopped ‘til you dropped? From budget to blow-out, here are some of the best restaurants nearby.

Glitz, glamour and gastronomy

  • Berners Tavern – Jason Atherton’s British restaurant offers first class food and wine in stunning surroundings.
  • Aqua Kyoto – Escape the busy streets below and enjoy Japanese dishes after a few drinks on Aqua’s roof terrace.
  • Hakkasan – Splash out on cocktails and dim sum at this award-winning modern Chinese restaurant.
  • Little Social – Sink into one of the leather banquettes at Atherton’s Parisian-inspired bistro close to Oxford Circus.
  • Maze Grill – Gordon Ramsay’s Mayfair grill serves rare breed steaks, fish and poultry, plus expertly prepared sushi.
  • Mews of Mayfair – Tucked away in a historic courtyard, this is a top spot for lunch or dinner with friends.

Good food, great wine

  • 28-50 – With a bistro-style menu and over 30 wines by the glass, this is an ideal place to escape the crowds.
  • Social Wine & Tapas – Enjoy wonderful wines, charcuterie and small plates at Jason Atherton’s West End tapas bar.
  • Antidote – Biodynamic wines, charcuterie and classic French dishes – perfect for date night or a low-key lunch.
  • NAC – Enjoy French sharing plates and a glass or two upstairs, or killer cocktails in the basement bar.
  • The Riding House Café – Take a detour into Fitzrovia for a pre-shopping brunch or a light lunch perched at the bar.
Senor Ceviche - Little Pitt - Pizza Pilgrims.
Senor Ceviche – Little Pitt – Pizza Pilgrims.

Foodie favourites

  • Senor Ceviche – Book ahead for Peruvian BBQ, ceviche and pisco cocktails at this colourful Kingly Court fave.
  • Little Pitt – Barbecue, bourbon and beer from the team behind Pitt Cue.
  • Goodman – This buzzy steakhouse just off Regent Street serves some of the best beef in town.
  • Roti Chai – Modern Indian cooking at its finest, just a stone’s throw from Selfridges.
  • Shotgun BBQ – Hit the shops on Carnaby Street and then head here for authentic American barbecue.

Child-friendly

  • Pizza Pilgrims – Stroll down Dean Street for some of London’s finest pizzas and Nutella pizza rings for dessert.
  • The Mayfair Chippy – First class fish and chips, plus comfort food favourites like shepherd’s pie and steak and chips.
  • Inamo – Kids can use the interactive tables to play games and order dishes from pan-Asian menu.
  • Comptoir Libanais – Little foodies will love the mezze dishes and home-made lemonade at this Lebanese gem.
Pho - Daisy Green - MEATliquor
Pho – Daisy Green – MEATliquor

International eats

  • Kiri – Owned by the Chisou team, this modern Japanese restaurant is a top spot for lunch or a sake-fuelled dinner.
  • Cocochan – Enjoy pan-Asian dishes and lunchtime bento boxes at this stylish restaurant near Selfridges.
  • House of Ho – An impressive four storey townhouse in Fitzrovia serving contemporary Vietnamese food.
  • Chi Kitchen – Refuel with dim sum, sushi, and pan-Asian dishes on the ground floor of Debenhams.
  • Mole Taco Bar – Mexican and South American flavours, from tacos to ceviche, plus an impressive tequila selection.

Quick bite

  • Bond Street Kitchen – Head to the second floor of Fenwick for lunch, a glass of wine, or a traditional afternoon tea.
  • Daisy Green – Aussie-style café serving great coffee, light lunches and excellent brunch.
  • Pho – There are few better ways to refuel that with a steaming bowl of pho (and a few summer rolls).
  • Obica – This Soho mozzarella bar offers a full Italian menu, including excellent pizza, salads and salumi.
  • MEATliquor – Get a little messy with chicken wings, burgers, beers and cocktails – served until late.

Of course, there are lots more delicious options in Soho, Mayfair and beyond – depending on how far you’re willing to walk. Try a search on OpenTable for more ideas and if we’ve missed your favourite place to eat near Oxford Street, let us know in the comments.

It’s turkey time! Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in London

This Thursday, families and friends across America will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional feast of roast turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. If you’re a homesick expat or just want to join in the fun, here are some of the best places to celebrate Thanksgiving in London.

thanksgiving

Bar Boulud, Knightsbridge – For £45 a head, diners at Bar Boulud can enjoy squash soup, followed by turkey breast and leg galantine with sage stuffing, sweet potato, and Brussel sprout fondue. Just be sure to leave room for dessert – pecan tart with vanilla ice-cream.

Absurd Bird, Spitalfields – This east London eatery specialises in comfort food from the Deep South, so come hungry! Kick things off with family-style sharing dishes of spicy chilli and butternut squash soup or Mississippi Sin Dip (luscious layers of cream, cheese and ham) served with whole grain tortillas. For the main event, choose from Southern spiced turkey crown or smoked whole chicken.

3 South Place, Liverpool Street – Give thanks in the City with cranberry Waldorf salad, parsnip soup, traditional roast turkey, and pumpkin pie. Four courses will set you back just £38, including an American Pie Martini.

Christopher’s, Covent Garden – It’s a double celebration for Christopher’s this Thanksgiving, as they’re also celebrating their 25th anniversary. They’re serving their slow-cooked ballotine of turkey with creamed potatoes and cranberry relish, but you can also opt for sirloin steak, Missouri-rubbed rack of lamb, and roast salmon with lemon-dill emulsion.

Avenue, St James’s – Head chef Dominic South has created an all-American menu, priced at £25 for two courses and £30 for three. It includes New England clam chowder, sweet potato gumbo, sea bream with creamed corn, and roast turkey with all the trimmings.

Big Easy, Covent Garden – Head to Big Easy for a family-style feast of pit-smoked turkey followed by Jack Daniels-infused pumpkin pie. If you fancy something different, swap the turkey for Nova Scotian lobster. The Thanksgiving menu is also available at their restaurants in Chelsea and Canary Wharf.

Red Dog Saloon, Soho – Not a fan of turkey? This Kansas City barbecue restaurant is serving clam chowder followed by a whole smoked chicken for two to share. The best bit? It comes with bacon gravy and there’s pumpkin pie with bourbon custard for dessert! The menu is priced at £25.95 per person and it’s also available at their restaurants in Hoxton, Clapham and Nottingham.

Bubbledogs, Fitzrovia – If you don’t have time for a full-on feast, pop into Bubbledogs for a turkey cranberry dog and hot cheesy corn dip, plus a glass of chilled Champagne.

Strut & Cluck, Spitalfields – Strut & Cluck serves some of the best turkey in town, and not just during the festive season! If you fancy a twist on the traditional Thanksgiving roast, try their Middle Eastern turkey feast priced at £30 a head. The main event includes harissa and honey wings, turkey koftas, and classic slow-roast thigh with delicious sauces and sides. They’re fully booked on Thursday but the menu is also available on Friday and Saturday.

There are Thanksgiving menus on offer at lots more great restaurants, including BalthazarCUT, Shotgun, and Smith & Wollensky. With all that turkey and stuffing, it’s like a dry run for Christmas!

OpenTable Discover for Android: App redesign helps travellers and locals connect with new dining experiences

We’re thrilled to introduce our redesigned OpenTable Android app, enabling diners to more easily discover and book great dining experiences, from the hottest new restaurants to neighbourhood gems.

The redesign features a new Discover home screen, which allows travelling and local diners to discover more with a single tap by connecting them to new dining experiences, ranging from trending cuisines and popular restaurants to curated option such as “OpenTable Insider Picks,” which allows you to dine like a local even when you’re in another city.

androiddiscover

The content presented on the new Discover screen factors in elements like availability, popularity, proximity and personal favourites. It enables quick visual browsing of categories to get recommendations that will satisfy any taste. The recommendations are especially handy for local diners eager to explore something new and for travellers hoping to sink their teeth into amazing culinary experiences. New categories include:

  • Most Popular – Restaurants with the highest popularity scores
  • My Favourites – Diner’s favourite restaurant list
  • Special Features – Restaurants perfect for every occasion ranging from romantic to kid-friendly
  • Near Me Now – Nearby restaurants with immediate availability
  • Dinner Tonight – Restaurants with availability that night
  • Earn Bonus Points – Restaurants with bonus dining points available

The OpenTable Discover home screen is currently rolling out for Android users of the OpenTable app in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Australia. Discover is also available for iPhone users of the OpenTable app. In addition to the new features of the redesign, diners can still use OpenTable’s quick and easy search functionality.

To find out more about OpenTable’s newest discovery-focused app features, please find details here. And be sure to share your experiences with Discover using the hashtag #DiscoverOpenTable here or over on FacebookG+Instagram, or Twitter.