Masala Ram’s in Bainsford took home the Best Dining Experience of the Year title for the central region at the Scottish Curry Awards 2019, while Himani’s Takeaway in Shieldhill was named the winner of the Takeaway of the Year gong for the same area.
The award winners were announced at a ceremony in the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow on Monday, April 15.
The event saw restaurants and takeaways from across Scotland recognised for their dedication to quality food and service.
Masala Ram’s employees feel a recent re-brand bolstered the restaurant’s chances of success.
An emphasis placed on the interior of the Union Street eatery is now paying dividends, according to general manager Sonia Salhotra.
She said: “Previously, we did have an award similar to this but winning the overall award is something different for us.
“We re-branded and changed the name back in October so obviously people like it and it’s going well for us.
“It’s the decor, we are concentrating a lot on that. Everything is from India.
“We wanted to condense our menus to concentrate on what goes in and out the door in terms of quality.
“Our food is modern and authentic. We offer a modern twist that the young generation like.
“We would like to thank our customers for voting for us and our staff who work extremely hard.”
She continued: “This achievement both delights and humbles us. It’s a badge of honour and source of pride for every single one of us at Masala Ram’s.
“It’s a testament to the hard work of our team, whose first-class skills and talents make Masala Ram’s special.
“We would like to thank our loyal friends and customers for supporting us throughout the years and will aim to keep providing the best experience to all of our guests.”
Ram Salhotra, owner, added: “We’re delighted to win the Scottish Curry Award.
“We feel privileged to serve our guests who come through our doors the best Indian food, and perhaps share a little bit of our love for the Indian cuisine and culture with them.
“My restaurant is unique and we want each and every guest to experience only the best when they visit Masala Ram’s.”
Newcomers Himani’s Takeaway has only been open for business since late 2018.
However, that hasn’t stopped the takeaway from earning plaudits for its produce.
Owner and chef Hemant Sharma, who previously worked in the hospitality sector in London for 13 years, said: “It’s a great opportunity. We are so excited that we were selected for this kind of award.
“We put in so much hard work in these past seven months and it’s paid off. It shows our customers all love us!
“I think it’s our food and what we are doing — we do authentic curries.
“All the food we make is made fresh from scratch. We don’t use any frozen food or food colouring.
“Our main focus is our customers and we want to make them happy.
“Thanks to all of our customers and the local community for supporting us and loving our food.”
Hemant thanked his wife, whom his business is named after, for all of her help since making the move to Scotland to follow his “dream”.
He said: “She has been my support all the way through.
“She’s really supported me financially and emotionally. She was the reason I got to open my own takeaway, which was a dream of mine.”
He also gave credit to fellow staff members Morgan Potts and Meena Sharma for their hard work.