South Shields' The Namaste and Kings Prosecco Lounge wins best restaurant at Curry Life Awards

A restaurant and bar have been named best in the country at a national awards ceremony.

The Namaste and Kings Prosecco Lounge, in King George Road, South Shields, were named ‘best restaurant’ at the Curry Life Awards.

Entrepreneur Razz Ahmed and his team have been celebrating after the eatery and its sister site in Gateshead won the accolade.

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He said: "Managing not one but two restaurants in the current economic conditions is a constant juggling act, balancing the needs of customers and suppliers with those of the restaurant and staff.“It's a challenge that is paying off, as the restaurant have won numerous awards, including one in the last year.”

Entrepreneur Raj Ahmed (right) with his award-winning team.

Razz said the success is down to the hardworking members of staff and the overwhelming number of regular customers who have supported the establishment of the business.

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It is the second year Namaste has won the honour at the Curry Life Awards, and the restaurant was also named Shields Gazette readers’ favourite in the 2019, named Curry House of the Year.

It was the top choice for our readers in a vote, ahead of Ocean Road’s Spice Garden in second and third-placed Spice One in South Avenue.

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(l-r) Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer, Minister for London Paul Scully MP, Syed Ahmed - Editor of Curry Life, Namaste team receiving the awards from the Celebrity host Adam Boulton.

Namaste occupies the building which for decades was the former White Ensign pub, having taken over and revamped the premises.

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The Curry Life Awards judges for 2022 said the business describes itself as offering 'modern Indian cuisine with an exclusive edge' and offers an array of menus, including a vegan menu.

They said:” Diners can choose from an extensive à la carte, which has a four-course happy hour menu alongside a four-course set menu.

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“There’s also a separate vegan menu, with inventive choices including Adraki Gobi, a north Indian dish featuring cauliflower cooked bhuna-style, flavoured with a ginger spice blend, whole ground coriander and with fresh chopped tomato and Kadai Sabzi.

"This combines roasted seasonal vegetables from the tandoori clay oven, which are then tossed in a light sauce of aromatic spices and flavours, with the added crunch of mixed capsicum.

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“Diners can relax in a large beer garden and the modern, bright venue also shows live sports, which helps attract footfall, and there is live music every Friday and Saturday. The lounge part of the restaurant can also be hired for private parties or events.”