A County Durham curry house has been named one of the finest Asian restaurants in the country after landing a prestigious accolade during a recent glitzy ceremony in London. 

Collecting the award for best Asian restaurant in the North East category at the Asian Curry Awards earlier this week, Spice Lounge in Durham was praised for its food, its customer service, and consistent high levels it sets itself. 

During the competition shortlist, The Spice Lounge beat rivals from all over the country, including some of the best names in the business, to scoop the top prize. 

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In the North East category, The Spice Lounge managed to triumph against My Delhi Indian Streetery, and other high-profile names across the region. 

Following the ceremony in Mayfair, London, Spice Lounge posted a video of their staff accepting the award with the message: "Boom - we did it!

"What a team effort, Team Spice lounge, customers and everyone involved for taking this award home take a bow what an achievement.

"We would like to thank all voters and supporters for making this possible, it’s amazing what we can achieve together."

After posting the social media message, it wasn't just Spice Lounge who were in a celebratory mood, though. 

Customers who are big fans of the restaurant also piled on to the post to offer their congratulations to the business, with one person saying: "A well-deserved award, well done to all of the team," while another added: "Wow, it's hardly a surprise to us customers, but a massive congratulations."

Elswhere in the competition, My Delhi Indian Streetery in Newcastle won the street food of the year category, while Spice I Am in Worthing was named as the UK’s Thai restaurant of the year. 

The ceremony also featured a number of Special Recognition categories including a memorial award for former Asian Curry Awards judging chairman Pat Chapman, who passed away in July, and another in honour of the late Lord Sheik, a longstanding patron of the Asian Catering Federation.

A record number of nominees were whittled down by online public vote prior to the award judges visiting shortlisted premises and determining the eventual winners. 

This year winners will also be included in the ACF’s new ‘One Hundred Top Curry Restaurants’ guide.

The event, organised by the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), which represents the nation’s 30,000 restaurant and takeaways, are the only accolades acknowledging the full array of Asian cuisines, is widely regarded as the sector’s most prestigious.

Yawar Khan, chairman of the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), said: “I warmly congratulate all of this year’s winners. These awards come at a difficult time for many in the Asian restaurant industry but through their participation, many establishments will see a significant boost to their bottom line.

“I would also like to particularly thank the UK public for their overwhelming support. Tens of thousands of people voted for their favourite restaurants this year. We are all grateful for this high level of interest and engagement which underlines the importance of the Asian restaurant industry and its social, economic and cultural impact across the UK.”

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