Upmarket Indian restaurant in Luton makes shortlist for 'Curry Oscars' just six months after opening
Tapas Indian Mezze Grill was nominated in the Most Innovative Restaurants Concept category of the British Curry Awards
An upmarket Indian restaurant that opened in Bushmead only six months ago has been shortlisted to win a prestigious 'Curry Oscar' at the celebrated British Curry Awards in association with Just Eat.
Tapas Indian Mezze Grill was nominated in the Most Innovative Restaurants Concept category and the results will be announced at a gala ceremony on Monday, November 29 at Battersea Evolution.
It was launched after its founder, businessman Abu Nasir, became frustrated with what he says was a lack of choice, quality and service in Luton. He teamed up with his friend Khaled Ahmed - known locally as the King of Curry Sauces - to take a calculated risk during the pandemic and bring fine dining to the town.
The pair bought a vacant unit in Bushmead and completely stripped and refurbished it. The kitchen is equipped with all the latest technology and a specialist designer was brought in to create its decor. Customers have been coming from all over the country to sample its delights.
Football industry executive Abu - who's worked with the FA, Liverpool FC and the Premier League - said: "We offer an outstanding combination of both traditional and contemporary authentic Indian food and tapas.
"Our distinctive menu consists of curries and small plates, along with a vast variety of grill and mezze crafted by our team, who have spent years perfecting their culinary skills and recipes.
"Each dish is unique in its flavouring, made with fresh local ingredients and produce."
He added: "It's been a tough couple of years and we've had to cancel our grand opening twice due to Covid restrictions. We're hoping to do a formal launch in January with a star-studded line up."
He and Khaled are aiming to change the landscape of the curry industry in a positive way.
The pro-active and philanthropic pair also provide funding and support for several community and charity initiatives. These include local league football teams, Luton Foodbank, Bedfordshire Bowling Club and the Human Relief Foundation.
British Curry Awards founder Enam Ali MBE - himself a restaurateur - said: "It gives me great joy that, after the challenges of the last 18 months, my industry friends in the UK curry fraternity and public figures will once again unite in person to celebrate the nation's favourite curry houses while also recognising the issues we have faced during the pandemic."
He continued: "It's testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the cross-generational migrant community that comprises the UK's curry industry that we have come back ever more determined to serve curry lovers up and down the country.
"At the same time we will pay tribute to our industry colleagues that we have sadly lost to Covid. Their presence is deeply missed among us."