Newmarket Indian restaurant wins 'Curry Oscar'

Ziaur Choudhrey and Golam Mobin of Montaz, in Newmarket, Suffolk, with their British Curry Award

Ziaur Choudhrey and Golam Mobin of Montaz with their British Curry Award - Credit: Montaz

An Indian restaurant in Newmarket has won a British Curry award.

Montaz, on Old Station Road, was named the winner of the East Midlands category of the awards, which former prime minister David Cameron called the "Curry Oscars". 

General manager Ziaur Choudhrey said "It's absolutely amazing to win. Winning a British Curry Award has been a dream of ours since the awards started 17 years ago."

"It feels great to be recognised by the industry.

"Everyone who's anyone attends the awards, including ex prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron. 

"For the Indian restaurant sector around here us winning this is a really big deal. We're putting Newmarket and Suffolk on the map.

The East Anglian restaurateur contingent at the British Curry Awards

The East Anglian restaurateur contingent at the British Curry Awards - Credit: Montaz

As to why they won the East Midlands award, Mr Choudhrey is unsure how that happened. 

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"When we got shortlisted we were just happy with that. 

"Now we've won though we think we might do a little campaign to get East Anglia recognised with a separate category at the awards."

Ziaur Choudhry and Golam Mobin of Montaz, in Newmarket, Suffolk, with the organiser of the British Curry awards, Enam Ali 

The Montaz boys with the organiser of the British Curry awards, Enam Ali - Credit: Montaz

Mr Choudhrey believes that Montaz's win is down to the ambience they create at the restaurant. 

He said: "Your decor, your drinks shelves, even your staff's uniform, it all matters. 

"We also use local ingredients to produce seasonal dishes which reduces our carbon footprint.

"It was completely a team effort, the entire Montaz family, past and present are to thank for this achievement."

Asked what he'd recommend to someone new to the restaurant, Mr Choudhrey said: "I think our regional dishes are very authentically done, we get them as close to home cooking as possible. 

"One of our signature dishes, the Oxcheek is also very good. We won a national TV show, Catering Circle on Channel S with it."

Ziaur Chowdhrey, general manager at Montez, in Newmarket Suffolk, giving a speech after he received his award 

Ziaur Chowdhrey, general manager at Montez giving a speech after he received his award - Credit: Montaz

Mr Choudhrey added: "The hospitality industry has had a really hard time over the last two years, and not just with the pandemic. 

"We are facing a really hard time at the moment with staff shortages and rising energy prices.

"I don't think we'll be expanding any time soon. Our food is difficult, and getting a chef who'd be able to pull it off would be almost impossible at the moment."