CURRY houses in the region picked up prestigious accolades at a glitzy awards ceremony this week.

Saltburn’s Spices restaurant and Middlesbrough’s Jolsha were named North-East restaurants of the year at the BCA awards, while York’s Mombai Lounge picked up the title in the Yorkshire and Humberside category.

Judges from the Bangladeshi Caterers Association (BCA) visited eateries across the UK and whittled down hundreds of contenders to 38 curry houses.

On Sunday evening, finalists were invited to mingle with celebrity guests, dignitaries and politicians at a glittering ceremony in London.

Gemma Gooderham, manager at Spices, said owner Mohammed Babul Ahmed was key to the restaurant’s success.

She said: “He is amazing, he just really wants everybody to enjoy every single meal, it really matters to him.

“If a customer is not happy, he’s even been known to go into the kitchen and cook them a meal himself so that he knows it is perfect.

“He lives in Leeds and commutes to the restaurant every day because he thinks he should be there.

“It’s brilliant to have won a national award and I think it’s very well deserved.”

Mr Babul Ahmed said: “I am overwhelmed to have been nominated for this award and to win it.

“I’d like to thank all of our customers for their loyal support over the years.”