INDIAN Ocean has for the last 25 years been one of Tameside’s favourite Indian restaurants – and this year it narrowly missed being crowned the ‘Best in the North West’ at the 14th annual British Curry Awards.
The Ashton-based eatery was up against tough contenders at the BCA ceremony held at London’s Battersea Evolution.
A top accolade on its own, the win would have been even sweeter for the business as it would have taken their tally of British Curry Awards to five.
Since the competition began in 2004, Indian Ocean has taken home the Best in the North West award in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.
“It was a tough category this year,” said Forhad Jaani, managing director of the Indian Ocean.
“Of course we’re disappointed not to have won. Making it five British Curry Awards would have been brilliant and something no other restaurant has managed but we just love being involved.”
The British Curry Awards are dubbed the Oscars of the curry industry and despite a healthy number of other competitions in the Indian food sector, this is the one everyone wants to win.
It is a star-studded event with many celebrity guests and presenters in attendance.
Winning entries are based on customer nomination and the innovation of Indian food.
This year Indian Ocean, being mindful of its roots and the economic position of many of their customers, has introduced a number of attractive midweek promotions, offering value for money but without compromising on quality.
Indian Ocean, recognised as one of the top 17 restaurants in the UK in The Cobra Good Curry Guide in 2012 and 2013, is very much a community restaurant.
They have helped feed Manchester’s homeless with regular food donations to local charities for many years.
However, in recent times the demand for these donations and the services of partner organisations has escalated.
Indian Ocean has pledged to feed the homeless and vulnerable seven days a week.
They currently work with Emmaus Mossley, Greystones Tameside, Street Treats and Infinity Initiatives to provide hot meals for those in need and are currently in talks with the local Salvation Army to provide food to their homelessness relief efforts.
The restaurant is also exploring opportunities with local supermarkets to take their discarded food and turn it into cooked wholesome meals for donation.
Forhad said: “It’s been a fantastic year.
“Having just celebrated a landmark anniversary in the town and with a new website and online ordering system in development, it’s an exciting time and we can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring.”