THE hugely popular Rivaaz in Lymington has been named the Best Indian Restaurant on the South Coast at the prestigious Asian Curry Awards 2018.
Hosted by BBC news presenter Babita Sharma, the dazzling black tie event held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday is the most anticipated ceremony in the UK Asian hospitality calendar.
Rivaaz on St Thomas Street beat hundreds of restaurants to win first place, and those locals who have sampled the cuisine would say this accolade is well deserved.
Founded in 2007 by brothers Shah and Shamim Malek, the eatery shone through for the superior quality of its dishes. Shah is also head chef and creates the menus himself using recipes inspired by his parents.
“We are thrilled to have been recognized in this way,” he said. “Our key aim has always been to provide unique and innovative Indian cuisine that pushes the boundaries, and to consistently maintain the high standards that our diners have become accustomed to here at Rivaaz.
“None of this would have been possible without the continued support of all our lovely
diners and the entire team at Rivaaz who have worked tirelessly to make this award possible.”
Yawar Khan, chairman and founder of the Asian Curry Awards, said: “We are here to celebrate excellence within this industry. The Asian curry industry faces its toughest challenges to date, but restaurants like the ones being honoured are proving that if you have passion, drive and perseverance, nothing will get in your way.”
In response to a post about Rivaaz’s success on Facebook, well-wishers congratulated Shah and the team and heaped praise on the restaurant.
One wrote: “My favourite curry place. Well done Rivaaz. I always recommend going to you as the food is delicious and the staff are always so friendly and accommodating.”
Another wrote: “Congratulations, so well deserved! Not at all surprised, it’s an amazing restaurant. Well done Shah and team, really chuffed for you all! Big celebrations I hope.”
For the last eight years, the nation’s curry lovers have voted for their favourite restaurants to determine the shortlist for the Asian Curry Awards – the UK’s only pan-Asian culinary accolades.
The scheme recognises the best in the industry, encouraging ever higher standards and inspiring the next generation of chefs and restaurateurs to join this dynamic sector.
The judging criteria is heavily weighted towards the quality of the food and cooking, with additional points awarded for ambience, customer service, community involvement and hygiene.
Earlier this year, Rivaaz was also included in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for winning the coveted Certificate of Excellence for six years in a row.