An Indian restaurant Hornchurch has been shortlisted for a national cuisine award.
Tandoori Lounge on Hornchurch High Street is one of four contenders to win the Asian Restaurant Awards in the East of England region.
Owners Honey and Sukh Uppal created the restaurant in memory of Sukh’s mother and aim to bring “a taste of authentic Punjabi cuisine to the streets of Havering”.
Honey told the Recorder, âIt’s great news that we were shortlisted, especially since we’re still a brand new restaurant and only opened four years ago.
âFor us, this is a huge achievement, especially after going through the pandemic and seeing so many places shut down. ”
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The winners of the Asian Restaurant Awards will be announced at a gala dinner and presentation ceremony in Manchester on August 31.
Asian Restaurant Federation President Yawar Khan said, âThese awards will recognize the industry’s resilience, innovation and generosity in the face of such adversity.
Tandoori Lounge has already won the Good Food Award for 2020 and 2021, and Honey added, “I hope we win again and get a hat trick.”
The restaurateur explained that she founded Tandoori Lounge after moving to the area and struggling to find local restaurants the family enjoyed.
âWe had to travel very far to find places that satisfied our taste buds,â Honey said.
“Sukh actually bid on the empty store without telling me, and the next thing I knew was that we owned a restaurant.”
Honey now runs the day-to-day business while computer scientist Sukh works behind the scenes.
Their daughter Sarina, 11, enjoys cooking and helping in the kitchen, Honey explained, but her son Simar, 13, is happier eating the end product.
The couple chose a menu that was deliberately “slightly spicier and less sweet” than many other British Indian restaurants.
âPeople come in and realize that what they have eaten their whole life is not really Indian food.
âWe serve authentic Punjabi cuisine that we eat at home. ”
“I am really proud and I feel overwhelmed that we have had such a great response to our food.”
Tandoori Lounge was founded in memory of Sukh’s mother, Bholly, explained Honey, who was a âbig foodieâ and passed away in 2016.
âFortunately, she had given us her blessing, because that’s the only reason we could do as well as we are,â she added.