Indian restaurant in Cardiff is House of Commons favourite

July 14th, 2008 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS  

By Venkata Vemuri
London, July 14 (IANS) A Kerala fish curry was all it took for an Indian restaurant in Cardiff to win the Tiffin Cup 2008, awarded by the House of Commons, for South Asian cuisine. Chef Anand George of the Mint and Mustard Restaurant on Whitchurch Road, Cardiff wowed celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot and MPs from around the country with his pan-fried sea bass.

Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan nominated him for the finals, a face-off with nine other chefs at Bellamy’s Restaurant in Westminster last Wednesday.

Chef George said: “I’m very proud to be rewarded for all the hard work that I’ve put in. All my family and friends were celebrating that I’ve won.

“I always had a dream to do something on my own and open my own restaurant and that’s what I have done. Business is very promising at the moment.”

A cook hailing from Kochi in Kerala, Chef George worked in star hotels in India before moving to London. He initially worked with Zaika, before deciding to go on his own.

He told South Wales Echo of Cardiff: “Where I come from the focus is on very light sauces that are not too overpowering. I have changed it slightly to make it appealing to British tastes.”

Julie Morgan said she was delighted a restaurant in her constituency had won the national competition. “This wonderful triumph is great news for Cardiff’s culinary culture and a testament to Mint and Mustard’s refreshing and innovative take on Indian cuisine. I am sure the Tiffin Cup award will make Anand’s wonderful restaurant the hottest place to eat in Cardiff.”

The Tiffin Cup, which has been running for three years, is designed to celebrate the best South Asian restaurants, while supporting charity organisations in the region. It is awarded by the Tiffin Cup of MPs, formed in 2005, by three Members of Parliament, John Barrett, Michael Fabricant and Keith Vaz. The MPs nominate a restaurant each from their constituencies for the competition, judged by celebrity British and Indian chefs.

Taj Mahal restaurant in Pembrokeshire won the inaugural cup, while Bekash of Essex was the winner in 2007.

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