Island café's curry worth waiting (4 hours) for

A RESTAURANT on a Hebridean isle supplying what is thought to be the UK's longest takeaway is set to be crowned the best in Britain.

Islanders on Coll place their orders on Thursdays with Caf Kismul in Castlebay on Barra - and they arrive after a four-hour ferry journey.

Now the restaurant, which specialises in curries, is up for an award, backed by the Western Isles' curry-loving MP, Angus MacNeil. He has listed Caf Kismul for the Tiffin Cup, which is awarded to the best South Asian restaurant in Britain.

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The Tiffin Cup is a national competition between constituencies, and Caf Kismul is one of the final 11 from more than 100 nominated for the award to be decided at the Commons on Tuesday, and to be judged by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott and Celebrity Masterchef winner actress Lisa Faulkner.

Thursdays are the only days the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry runs between the islands. Coll has a population of about 200, but Caf Kismul regularly supplies more than 30 orders on Thursdays to the island.

The dishes are cooked by Rohal and Pauline Bari and put in special heat-resistant containers with reheating instructions.

They are placed on the 15:15 ferry from Barra, which arrives in Coll at 19:10.

The orders are placed by Coll resident and curry fan Tony Oliver, who works for ferry company CalMac in the Coll office.

Mr Oliver, 58, said: "We have to keep it to a limited group on Coll, or it could get out of hand. Everybody would want his curry, and we couldn't cope. We usually have ten to 15 curries ordered, but it can be double that."

He added: "The only other ferry is from Oban. That leaves at 7am and takes just under three hours, but who wants to eat curry at that time of the morning?

"Anyway Rohal's curries are very good; I rate them very highly. They have some very good delicate tastes."

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Mr MacNeil, who lives on Barra, said: "We have the best little curry house in Scotland, with exceptional customer service."