Aberdeen’s Best Curry Awards returned last night with some hot competition crowned the best in the North-east.
A total of 350 people packed out the event at the city’s Hilton Double Tree to find out who could boast the region’s best curries.
Presented by the BBC’s Fiona Stalker, the ceremony saw 16 gongs handed out – with new additions for Chinese and Thai food.
One of the biggest winners of the night was Rajpoot, of Inverurie.
The eatery landed Overall Best Restaurant in Aberdeen City and Shire and Best Indian Restaurant in Aberdeenshire.
Noor Ahmed, from Rajpoot, said: “I’m feeling on top of the world to be honest. Really happy to be winning the best restaurant in Aberdeenshire and then overall – beating everybody, it’s a dream come true.”
The Chef of the Year Award went to Abdul Hamid from Indian on the Green, in Ballater.
He said: “Chef of the year is the biggest honour of my career.
“I’ve been competing in Aberdeen Curry Awards the last three times and came as the winner third time lucky.”
Presented by former council leader Barney Crockett, the prize went to Syed Abdur Razzak who opened Light of Bengal in the city in the late 1970s.
He said: “I’m honoured to received this award. It has come as a huge surprise for me as I was invited to just be a guest.
“I’m pleased to see the curry industry has grown so far.
“In the years since I came to Aberdeen to open Light of Bengal in 1978, since then it has grown so much over the North-east.
“If you can work hard sincerely you will have success without doubt.”
The Evening Express Readers’ Choice Award went to Shri Bheema’s.
It was a double celebration for the eatery with Balamurali Balajji from the restaurant claiming The Rising Star award.
He told the Evening Express: “I’m really proud of myself. We really didn’t expect it.
“It’s not just one man’s dream, it’s a team dream.”
Best Indian Takeaway in Aberdeenshire went to the Culter Curry House.
Best Thai Takeaway in Aberdeen City and Shire went to Sabai, Inverurie, while Best Chinese in Aberdeen City and Shire went to Panda Valley in Rosemount.
The prize for Socially Responsible Takeaway of the Year went to Nu Spice, which raised money for charity and provides cooking classes in local schools. The Socially Responsible Restaurant gong went to Alma, Laurencekirk, which raised more than £500 for charity.
Best Indian Takeaway in Aberdeen City went to Eastern Eye while Best Thai Restaurant in Aberdeen City and Shire went to Bhan Thai.
The Manchurian was crowned the best of the North-east’s Chinese eateries.
Ian Li from the restaurant said: “We’re very surprised and very happy.
“We were hoping to win and we did – all the credit is to the head chef.”
Best Indian Restaurant in Aberdeen City went to 8848 on Union Street and Best Newcomer was awarded to Shahi Darbar, Inverurie.
Bhan Thai was named the Best Thai Restaurant in Aberdeen City and Shire.
After the event Syed Ma’aruf Razzak, one of the award’s organisers, said the night had been a great success.
“It went very well, it was a great event,” he said.
“We had a break last year and we’re back again and hopefully we’ll continue in the future.
“We had 350 people at the event – the most we’ve had to date. It’s great to see it grow year on year and that’s the plan.”
The event raised £950 for Foodbox which offers free cooked meal in the city centre to help those struggling.