AN INDIAN restaurant in Leek has won a top regional award.
The Pabna Restaurant in Ashbourne Road, Leek has been announced as this year's West Midlands Region 'Restaurant of the Year' at the English Curry Awards.
The eatery, which employs ten people, has been trading in Leek for 16 years and has previously been a nominee for the British Curry Awards and Asian Curry Awards.
The 13 winners of the third annual English Curry Awards 2013 were announced on September 2 at a special event at the Salford City Stadium in Manchester.
More than 7,000 nominations came in from all over England and the race to be crowned at this year's awards ceremony was an extremely tight contest.
Pabna had been short listed for the West Midlands Region 'Restaurant of the Year' category along with two city-based restaurants.
Mohammed Ruhel, at Pabna, said: "We are very happy about winning the award because it shows the recognition we deserve as a restaurant and Leek does for having West Midlands Best Restaurant.
"We feel that we owe our customers and family for helping us to achieve such a big accolade.
"The great thing is about how Leek is getting recognition for one of its local businesses and showing how it is prospering.
"We are now West Midlands Best Restaurant and ranked as one of top ten restaurants in the UK rated by English Curry Awards 2013."
Yasmin Mahmood, Operations Director Oceanic Consulting, which organises the awards, said: "To be amongst such passionate people who love what they do is truly inspiring. The English Curry Awards aims to recognise that dedication.
"It was a fantastic evening and I would like to thank everyone for attending and a big thank you to our sponsors.
Congratulations to all our winners and finalists."
As for why he feels Pabna won the award, Ruhel added: "What makes us the best is that we call ourselves the "people's restaurant" where we listen to all customer views and feedback to help make their dining experience better.
"It is through the support of the people of Leek we have achieved this award.
"It is a big achievement when you consider that Birmingham's Broad Street has twice as many restaurants on one road than Leek does as a whole area.
“Our restaurant is a family owned restaurant and has been established for over 16 years and has consistently gone from strength to strength. The owner and head chef Noor Ali has been evolving the menus over years and feels that this is the pinnacle of stardom when it comes to cooking.
"At first we were voted to represent Staffordshire as a county and then we were chosen as finalists alongside Pushkar (Birmingham) and Basmati (Birmingham). At the night of the awards event we came out as victors and was officially confirmed as West Midlands Best Restaurant."